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ITU Presents: Professor Dr. Cornel Pokorny Details the Future of Computer Science Education

IMG_4766This June, ITU hosted its second ITU Presents of the Summer Trimester. This time Professor Dr. Cornel Pokorny gave a guest lecture on WebGL and its potential as an educational tool.

During his hour and a half lecture, Dr. Pokorny gave an overview of WebGL’s advantages as a computer graphics API and shared demonstrations from his brand-new HTML-book (H-book). Featuring real-time examples of WebGL, the H-book is a great illustration of the programming language’s capabilities.

Dr. Pokorny’s enlightening examples shed light on why he feels WebGL is so special. He believes that WebGL sets itself apart because of its high-speed, high-functioning, on-the-web nature. His presentation touched upon those features while also shedding light on its future as a programming tool.

WebGL: a Special Piece of Software

IMG_4748For Dr. Pokorny, WebGL is so unique because it leverages the Internet to create high-quality graphics. Based on OpenGL, WebGL is a programming language that allows any user to manipulate interactive graphics through their web browser.

The ITU Presents lecture focused on why WebGL is so unique. Its web-based nature gives it an upper hand when compared to the likes of competitor programming languages. Dr. Pokorny finds that WebGL makes high-quality graphics available to the masses.

“High-quality and high-performance computer graphics are now available for everybody, even on a normal quality laptop,” said Dr. Pokorny during his lecture.

The Potential of WebGL

During his presentation, Dr. Pokorny explained why he became so fascinated by WebGL’s ability to produce interactive graphics in a browser. His overview covered a variety of currently available samples that reveal the power of WebGL.

One example was a web-based animation that showcased a variety of fishes swimming. Dr. Pokorny chose this showpiece because of its ability to actively demo how WebGL can be used to actively display over 2,000 single animations at a single time.

Another highlighted demo showed how a user could interactively move a ball through a virtual pool. The animation showed how WebGL could handle the complexity of water animations in real time. As Dr. Pokorny pointed out, displaying the waves of water in an interactive game used to be quite a demanding process – at least until WebGL came into the picture.

Putting High-Quality Graphics into Textbooks

IMG_4745The audience at Dr. Pokorny’s ITU Presents was shown a variety of samples from his brand new H-book. His H-book serves as a companion piece to his latest textbook. Computer Graphics with WebGL offers students an introductory look at the new programming language and is currently available through ITU Press.

Aimed at advanced students of Computer Graphics, the textbook, and accompanying H-book, serve as a great primer for experienced programmers interested in learning more about WebGL. Dr. Pokorny believes that the collective print and digital books could play a major role in advancing WebGL in academia.

“To open the way for WebGL into the curricula of universities and teaching institutions, we need good textbooks. Computer Graphics with WebGL should play this role,” reported Dr. Pokorny.

Learn More

To learn more about ITU Presents, check out our ITU Presents MeetUp page. Also, be sure to check out a free sample of Dr. Pokorny’s H-book on the book’s website.

About ITU Presents

ITU Presents is a monthly lecture series that aims to engage participants in lively discussions on Silicon Valley culture, technology, and philanthropy. The series brings experts from across disciplines together to create an informative dialogue and engage the Silicon Valley community in informative discussions that pinpoint current industry issues.