CIS 565: GPU Programming and Architecture

Fall 2015

University of Pennsylvania
Computer Graphics @ Penn

Student Projects

University of Pennsylvania

Course OverviewScheduleStudent WorkPrevious semester


A timely selection from the following topics:

  • GPU Computing: GPU architecture, massively parallel programming, parallel algorithms, performance, mobile architecture
  • Rendering: Graphics pipeline (rasterization), path tracing, deferred shading, ray marching
  • APIs: CUDA, WebGL, OpenGL (compute shaders), Vulkan (Next-Generation Graphics APIs)

This is a project-intensive course with significant coding, writing, and presenting. It is more work than any other course, but it is worth it.


  • Passion for computer graphics.
  • CIS 460/560: Introduction to Computer Graphics. Preferably received an A.
  • Strong C or C++.
  • Also useful:
    • CIS 371: Digital Systems Organization and Design, or
    • CIS 501: Introduction to Computer Architecture.


Patrick Cozzi,
Office Hours: By appointment

Teaching Assistant

Kai Ninomiya, gmail: kainino1+cis565@
Office: Moore 103 (SIG Lab)
Office Hours (tentative): Tuesday, 6-7pm, and Friday 4-5pm


Monday, 6-9 pm, Moore 212


Recommended Books

No books are required, but course material comes from many sources including:


  • Projects: 50%
  • Final Project: 50%

Academic Integrity

An academic integrity violation will result in the student receiving an F in this course.

See Academic Integrity at the University of Pennsylvania: A Guide for Students.


Joe Kider, Gary Katz, and Suresh Venkatasubramanian taught this course before me.

All my former TAs have helped shape this course: Harmony Li, Liam Boone, Karl Li, Varun Sampath, and Jon McCaffrey.

Previous students have provided significant course feedback including: Xing Du, Karl Li, and Ian Lilley.

Many passionate folks in our field have also provided course input: Johan Andersson, (@repi),Quarup Barreirinhas, (@quarup), Wolfgang Engel, (@wolfgangengel), Mikkel Gjoel, (@pixelmager), Eric Haines, (@pointinpolygon), Dominik Lazarek, (@Omme), Emil Persson, (@_Humus_), and Christophe Riccio, (@g_truc).