Advice for Undergraduateraduate Student Advisees
This is just a first cut at an 'undergraduate' advice page; it's very preliminary.
I hope I have time to flesh this out in the near future.
Obviously, most of what follows is just personal opinion.
But it is about things that various students have asked me about.
The best and worst thing about OSU is that it's BIG.
If you want to learn about anything, there is an expert on campus.
If you want to get lost in the shuffle and float through your undergrad degree, you can do that too.
Types of graphics jobs:
Computer (and related technologies) companies such as Apple, DEC, TI, Intergraph, etc.
CAD user Industry: Rockwell, Ford, GM, Lockheed, etc.
Game makers: Pyrotechnix, Engineering Animation Inc., etc.
Animation industry: Pixar, PDI, ILM, Blue Sky Studios, Digital Domain, Disney, Dreamworks, ImageWorks, Cinesite, etc.
If you want to get into graduate school, especially if you're thinking about fellowships and such:
Take some extra time and get involved in some research.
I've been on OSU's fellowship committee and it is very valuable to be able to cite some research you've done and to have reference letters from faculty who have worked with you on some kind of project outside of the regular classroom.
If nothing else, do an honors thesis project.
If you want to get into computer animation:
You need something to differentiate yourself from the mass of enthusiastic limited-talent riff-raff.
You need strengths in visual arts or technical know-how or, ideally, both.
But if you really want to do computer animation - just do it!
Do it with low tech equipment.
Do it with borrowed equipment.
Just do it.
If you want to start your own company:
Just do it! Get experience by trying things.
If you need financing, the best way to get it is to be out there trying - not making a company prospectus, planning this and planning that. Just do it.
If you want to be a consultant:
This can be a tough way to go.
Most of all you need initial contacts who will give you work and who will recommend you word-of-mouth.
Easing into it while you're still in school or while you're on another job is a good way to establish the contacts you'll need while putting food on the table.
If you want recommendations from a faculty member:
The recommender writes a good recommendation letter iff:
- he knows you well
- you've done good work for him/her
This may seem obvious, but take the extra step to create a good impression - always attend class, speak up, do the reading assignments, etc.
- Get involved in a research project - this is the best thing to do, especially for grad school.
- Do something extra in a class - even if you don't get extra credit for it
- Sit in (or take) the faculty member's 788 or 888 class - and participate
- Ask (intelligent) questions in class
- Take independent study
Graduate Schools strong in computer graphics
This is off the top of my head, so it may change as I think about it more.
The strongest all-around and who's there
- Toronto (Fiume, Terzopolous, others)
- Washington, Seattle (Salesin, Popovic)
- Brown (Hughs, others)
- UNC (Fuchs, Brooks, others - mainly VR)
- Utah (Hansen: visualization; traditionally strong in modeling)
- Georgia Tech (Rappaport, others)
- Stanford (Levoy, Hanrahan)
Schools that have strengths in certain areas (and some of these I'm not sure
who's still there or what they're currently doing)
- Caltech (Barr, Schroeder, Breen)
- Cornell (Greenberg: rendering)
- Berkeley (Barsky: curves)
- U. Penn (Badler: animation)
- SUNY (Kaufmann: volume graphics)
- Rochester (modeling)
- RPI (modeling)
- CMU (Hodgins: animation)
- and, of course, Ohio State with strengths in visualization, volume graphics, and animation....
Last updated: 2/13/09