CIS 565: GPU Programming and Architecture

Fall 2018

Patrick Cozzi

University of Pennsylvania
Computer Graphics @ Penn

University of Pennsylvania

Course OverviewSchedule Student Work Previous semester


A timely selection from the following topics:

  • GPU Computing: GPU architecture, massively parallel programming, parallel algorithms, performance
  • Rendering: Graphics pipeline (rasterization), path tracing, deferred shading, forward+ rendering, VR
  • APIs: CUDA, WebGL, Vulkan

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.

For a course more focused on GPU architecture without graphics, see Joe Devietti's CIS 601.


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

Repos, Schedule, Google Group, and LinkedIn

Head Lecturer

Shehzan Mohammed
Shehzan Mohammed

Course Advisor

Patrick Cozzi,

Patrick Cozzi

Teaching Assistants

Ottavio Hartman,
Office: SIG Lab
Office Hours: Tuesday 10:30am-noon, Wednesday 12:30pm-2
Ottavio Hartman

Yash Vardan,
Office: SIG Lab
Office Hours: Thursday 1-4
Yash Vardhan

Youssef Victor,
Office: SIG Lab
Office Hours: Monday, Thursday 10am-12
Youssef Victor

Recommended Reading

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 former TAs have helped shape this course: Kaixiang Miao, Austin Eng, Shuai Shao (Shrek), Gary Li, Kai Ninomiya, 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).