Course CSE325
Title Computers and Sculpture
Credits 3
Course Coordinator

Xianfeng Gu


This multidisciplinary class surveys how computer science and computer technology are used in sculpture. Case studies with slides, videos, and software demonstrations illustrate a range of approaches of sculptors incorporating computers in their creative process. Various state-of-the art fabrication technologies are studied with site visits if available on campus. Mathematical foundations are emphasized so students can recognize them when analyzing sculpture and choose the right tool when designing. In the weekly laboratory, these ideas are reinforced with projects using a range of available software and inexpensive construction materials, e.g., paper, cardboard, and foamcore.

Prerequisite CSE 110 or permission of instructor
Course Outcomes
  • An ability to use current software tools and hardware technologies for designing and fabricating 3D sculpture.
  • An understanding of the geometric ideas of pattern and structure, such as fractals, symmetry, polyhedra, surfaces, and non-Euclidean geometry.
  • An ability to create their own individual or group sculpture projects.


Computational Conformal Geometry by Gu & Yau; Int'l Press of Boston (ISBN # 978-1571461711)

Major Topics Covered in Course
  • Sculpture (historical and modern)
  • Geometric Foundations
  • Representation of solids on a computer
  • Technologies: solid freeform fabrication, milling, laser cutting, etc.
  • Mathematical forms: symmetry, fractals, polyhedra, surfaces, etc.
  • Solid modeling techniques
  • Using Software packages: Maya, Stella, Mathematica Algorithmic design Study of individual sculptors

Laboratory Projects

Individual and group construction projects, virtual and physical.

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