Supercomputer Applications Project #1
OpenGL Graphics and Computer Simulation
by D.W. Hyatt
Goals and Objectives
In this unit the student will:
- Learn about high speed Internet access and its potential for education:
Imagining the Future
- Learn the fundamentals of OpenGL Graphics in a C++ programming environment
- Create a computer simulation of some simple physical principle
- Extend this project to take advantage of high speed bandwidth
- Present the application in an attractive web page format
Internet2 and Imagining the Future
Our school has been invited to become part of a special project to look
at the educational benefits of high speed bandwidth, or
is the next generation of the Internet where such concepts as Virtual
Reality, Tele-Immersion, and Full-Screen Video Conferencing are the norm.
We will be participating
in this project with five other schools in the United States, and will be
developing educational activities that might be appropriate to high speed
Internet access. The company sponsoring this project is
Advanced Network and Services,
the same company that sponsored
ThinkQuest, the high school
The first objective in this project is Team Building and Project
Formulation. In other words, students must organize a team and then
formulate a project idea that ties in with the educational objectives
of Supercomputer Applications. The students from TJ are strongly
encouraged to collaborate with
students from the other participating schools. A number of students
who took Supercomputer Applications in the Fall Semester 2001 will
be continuing with a special project class during 7th Period so that
they may participate more easily. The deadline for
team formation is February 12, 2002 and project submission is set
for May 15, 2002.
Our students will need to get a My ThinkQuest account on the ThinkQuest
server so that they will be able to participate in some of the special things
that the sponsors have created for us.
Once you have that account, please
give the user ID to Mr. Hyatt so that he may alert Dr. Amela Sadajak, the
Director of the ThinkQuest project. They have planned some live video
conferences for us with leaders in the field. Certain portions of the
ThinkQuest site are password protected, so you must not only have a My
ThinkQuest account, but must also know the student access code
and password. See Mr. Hyatt or Mr. Latimer for those access codes.
Sources for Project Ideas
Here are some possible places to get a few Project Ideas for Imagining
Introduction to OpenGl Graphics
OpenGL is a graphics package that is supported by a number of C and C++
programming languages. We will use Mesa Graphics which is a free version
of OpenGL graphing things in both two and three dimensions.
The following resources may be useful.
Computer Simulation and Potential Project Ideas
Our first experiment will be developing some computer simulations of
simple physical or biological models. We will expand on these in the
coming weeks, but for now we will use some simple OpenGL commands to
create windows, plot points, and so forth. The following web pages
may be of interest:
- An Introduction to Computer Simulation
This page will give you an introduction to some simple computer simulation
techniques and how they may be useful in defining your own original project.
It also has your first assignment in OpenGL.
- The Physics Toolbox
This is a page that defines the general idea of a Physics Toolbox, a suggested
format for a series of physics utilities that can be used by students at many
A site on the Internet that has some interesting objects that are
constructed from simple springs and masses. The springs are driven by
a simple muscle action that is defined on the side bar in a wave
format, and there are also slide bars that control the amount of
gravity, the amount of friction, and the spring constant. People
can play with the simple Java Applets, but multi-user interaction is
not possible. This
was the inspiration behind the concept of the Physics Toolbox, and may
be a potential source of ideas for your project.
- Other Ideas
This is a page with some other ideas for your consideration.
Displaying Your Work
There are a number of links here that will help you create a web
page so you can display your work for this class and for ThinkQuest.
- Notes on Web Presentations
Special Instructions for Second Semester Students
Students who are continuing in Supercomputer Applications from last semester are encouraged to
enhance one of their best simulation projects. Some things that could
be added might be any of the following options:
- Expand current applications to use multiple person interaction over the Internet using
- Investigate alternative input devices such as a cyber glove
- Create an application new that could
utilize simple stereo 3-D visualization techniques
with inexpensive red-blue (anaglyph) glasses
- Create projects that would use advanced stereo 3-D visualization
equipment such Virtual Reality headsets or goggles.
- Suggest something to the teacher...