In Fall 1995, the Computer Science Department offered a new, graduate level course titled "Multimedia Systems" (CS610). Co-developed by Professors Brian Smith and Ramin Zabih, this course provides students with cutting-edge knowledge in multimedia systems. It surveys the state of the art through papers selected from the literature and reviews foundational aspects of enabling technologies for multimedia, including human perception and digital audio/video storage, transport, compression, and processing techniques. Enrollment in 610 included undergraduates, MEng, and PhD students from engineering and such diverse fields as communications, art history, and physics.
Students are required to work in groups of two or three on a small, but real, research problem suggested by experts in the field. This class project is modeled after a real research endeavor: students submit a white paper for preliminary review and a formal proposal with justification, milestones, and equipment needs. When the research is complete, each group gives a 15-minute conference-style presentation on the results of their research, and submits a 10-page conference-style paper. The presentations are given over two days in a forum to which all the faculty are invited, and the results are gathered in a conference "proceedings". The quality of the research in CS610 is very high: three projects from this yearŐs course were accepted for publication in the ACM Multimedia 95 conference.
CS610 is only one of many CS courses whose materials are available on the Web. See http://www.cs.cornell.edu/ and link to the Course Home Pages.
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