From Immersive Visualization Lab Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search


CSE 190: Virtual Reality Technology

Course Description

Virtual reality (VR) has been capturing people's imagination for decades, but it has been only recently that this technology became available for consumers. This course aims to explain how VR technology works, and you are going to do programming projects to better understand potential and limitations of today's VR hardware and devices.

Due to COVID-19 this course will be taught entirely on-line. All lectures, discussions and tutoring will happen via Zoom. You do not need to physically be in San Diego to take this course.

All lectures and discussions will be recorded and available on Canvas within 24 hours.

Quest2.png Oculus-quest-2-exploded.jpg
Oculus Quest 2 Oculus Quest 2 Interior

Computer Hardware Requirements

In order to be able to do the homework projects in this course you will need to have:

  • A Windows or Apple computer (desktop or laptop) with the ability to run Unity
  • A VR headset with two controllers (loaner units available from CSE department)

Course Schedule

Click here for the course schedule.

It lists lecture dates, homework due dates and recommended reading.


In this course the following topics are going to be covered, plus a few more:

  1. Overview of the state-of-the-art VR technologies and research trends
  2. VR programming in Unity
  3. Human visual system: 3D depth cues, color perception
  4. Fundamental physics of 3D displays
  5. Display types: LCD, OLED, volumetric, light field
  6. How to generate stereographic 3D images
  7. Immersive VR systems: Head Mounted Displays, CAVE, smart phone VR, etc.
  8. Augmented reality devices
  9. Rendering to Head Mounted Displays


  • CSE167 (Introduction to Computer Graphics) or equivalent


  • Instructor: Dr. Jürgen Schulze
  • Instructor's office hour: Tuesdays 2:00-3:00pm on Zoom
  • TA: Guowei Yang, for lab hours see Campuswire
  • Number of Units: 4
  • Section ID: 40382
  • Lectures: Tuesday and Thursday, 12:30pm-1:50pm on Zoom (see Canvas for URL)
  • Homework Discussion: Mondays 2pm on Zoom (see Canvas for URL)
  • 4 programming assignments
  • Written final exam: 3 hour exam to take between June 7 at 11:30am and June 8 at 11:30am
  • VR app presentation
  • Discussion board: Campuswire
  • Grade management: Canvas


Project 1 15%
Project 2 20%
Project 3 20%
Project 4 20%
Final Exam 20%
Presentation 5%

We will enter your grades into Canvas. Please verify sporadically that your grades have been recorded correctly and inform your grader or instructor if you find an error.

The final grade depends on the weighted average of all your scores. The following grading key will be used:

Final Score Letter Grade
100+ A+
95+ A
90+ A-
85+ B+
80+ B
75+ B-
70+ C+
65+ C
60+ C-

For undergraduate students with the P/NP option: A pass (P) grade will be given for an average grade of 60 or higher.

For graduate students with the S/U option: A satisfactory (S) grade will be given for an average grade of 75 or higher.

Homework Assignments

All homework projects are due on Fridays, there will be a due date roughly every other week.

All projects are solo projects. Team work is not permitted.

To submit your project, make a video of your app showcasing all its features and upload it to Canvas by the due date.

Unless indicated otherwise, if you cannot get a project done in time before the due date you can submit it 7 days later with a penalty of 25% of your score.

Internet Resources

UCSD's VR Club TritonXR has some excellent resources to help you get started creating VR applications with Unity.

  • Workshop Slides: Take a look at the "Technical" folder for Unity-specific workshops. If you're interested, there are also non-technical design slides that are interesting for VR.
  • Unity Tutorial Guide This guide helps you navigate Unity's many offered tutorials.

EdX course 190x teaches VR with Unity on smartphones with lots of videos and hands-on tutorials. You can audit it free of charge.

Or you can view just the tutorial videos which walk you through the steps to create a VR app for your smartphone.

Run your Quest 2 without a Facebook account (requires an old Oculus account).

Useful information on quaternions


You will not need to buy a textbook for this course because the lecture slides will be made available to you, and the material from the lectures will be sufficient for the final exam. However, if you want more in-depth information, we recommend the following books:

Vrbook-200p.jpg The VR Book by Jason Jerald, 550 pages, Morgan & Claypool Publishers, October 16, 2015, ISBN-10: 1970001127, ISBN-13: 978-1970001129
Vr-200p.jpg Virtual Reality by Steven M. LaValle. To be published by Cambridge University Press. Download PDF

Students with Disabilities

If you have a documented disability, please email me your documentation to me as soon as possible so that I can make suitable accommodations for you. If you believe that you have a disability and desire accommodation, please register with the Office for Students with Disabilities.