Course analysis 2D1257 Visualisation, 4p Spring 2002

Course data


Course responsible
Kai-Mikael Jää-Aro
Other teachers:
Gunnar Ledfelt <> Tel: 790 6333
XiaoLiang Ma <>


10 h lecture, 18 h supervised lab

A laboratory exercise worth 2 points, one written exam worth 2 points, six exercises giving bonus points on the exam.

23 students, (3 D, 3 F, 4 X, 11 IM)

Course literature

The Visualization Toolkit, 2nd ed by William Schroeder, Ken Martin and Bill Lorensen.

Student performance

After the exam, the results were as follows:
U 3
4 5
D 0 0 1 1
F 0 0 0 3
IM 2 3 2 3
X 0 0 0 1
MD 0 1 - 1
Total 2 4 3 9
Thus 61% of the students have passed the exam.

The laboratory exercise results:
D 2
F 3
IM 4
X 1
MD 2
Total 12
52% of the students have passed the laboratory exercise.


We have tried to combine theoretical lectures with immediately following hands-on exercises on the just covered material. To encourage work on these exercises the students were given bonus points on the exam if they were demonstrated before a given deadline.


The examination was both an ungraded laboratory exercise and a written exam.

The laboratory exercise was performed in groups of two students and then presented both as a written report and a demonstration of the developed visualisation (of airflow in two different rooms).

The written exam was based on a few questions on terminology and theory and the rest on practical application of visualisation methods on various example data.

Course evaluation

A course evaluation was done with the ace system. Fice students filled in the questionnaire. The main points of the replies were as follows:

Otherwise the prerequisitesd were considered to be adequate (and even necessary), the course credits and difficulty level were considered adequate and the students seems to spend as much time as expected on the laboratory exercises. No individual lecture was singled out for praise nor condemnation.

The points mentioned are very valid. I still have not found any decent recent book on scientific visualisation, but will intensify the efforts to find one. Even if one is found, we will need some text covering VTK as well, but then rather use The Visualization Toolkit User's Guide. I have earlier been loath to use two course books on the grounds of the higher cost for the students, but as the need for a better book has been a recurring theme over all course analyses, the higher cost has to be seen as necessary.

I will have to consider how to reorganise lectures so as to give more theoretical explanation while retaining the hands-on exercises, which I consider to be essential.

It seems the time plan for the laboratory exercises worked better this year than last year, but it will be necessary to go through the exercises in detail and update them, as some inconsistencies and unclarities have been found.

The students got bonus poinmts for all laboratory exercises done before a given deadline. Most students were quite diligent in doing these exercises, which resulted in most passing the exam with relatively little effort. Thus the bonus system will need to be adjusted a bit. probably I will set it up so that one gets bonus points on the first six questions only, so that one will have to do well on the more complex questions as well.

Some unsolved issues from last year are: