Imagination offers mobile-graphics teaching materials to academia

June 30, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
Describing it as, “the first complete university teaching course on mobile graphics,” Imagination Technollgies, under its University Programme (IUP), has created, “An Introduction to Mobile Graphics” that includes teaching materials and hands-on exercises with PowerVR GPUs.

In universities (says Imagination), graphics technologies are generally taught as part of game development or computer science curriculum, and are based on standard console or PC graphics. Since consumers increasingly interact with graphics on their mobile devices via games and user interfaces (UIs), it’s important that developers understand the specific constraints of mobile devices where power-efficient rendering is a must.

According to Robert Owen, manager, Worldwide University Programme, Imagination: “Our programme brings leading-edge technologies into the classroom in packages that are genuinely useful to teachers, and exciting for their students. This ground-breaking course enables teachers to align with the reality of users today, who often experience graphics through portable devices incorporating an Imagination PowerVR GPU.”

The course has been developed so that little to no previous knowledge of graphics is required, and the content is adaptable to fit most teaching methods and structures. A dozen different modules cover mobile graphics technologies and their architectures, the PowerVR framework for mobile graphics development, mobile graphics software development kits (SDKs), texturing, transformations and example shader code including lighting models. The course includes lecture slides with integrated presenter notes, practical exercises including model solutions, and example exam questions and answers. Practical exercises use the PowerVR SDK on a simulator or available boards/tablets. Examples of mobile games and technology demonstrations give students an intuitive idea of the capabilities of the mobile GPU. This introductory course is based around OpenGL ES 2.0, the most widely deployed and adopted mobile graphics API.

The materials for “An Introduction to Mobile Graphics” were developed by Darren McKie, undergraduate/MSc games and graphics programme leader and selector fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Department of Computer Science, at the University of Hull. These materials have gone through extensive critique through academic reviewers including Associate Professor Martin Kraus, in the Department of Architecture, Design, and Media Technology at Aalborg University, Denmark; and Dipl. Inform. Jan Robert Menzel, at RWTH Aachen, Germany.