The computer science department in Trinity College Dublin (TCD) offers a full-time 4-year BA in Computer Science as well as a 4-year evening course for a BSc. in Computer Science.

We spoke to Carol O’Sullivan, who teaches the computer graphics (optional) module to fourth year students. In the first three years the course can be divided into 45% software, 35% hardware and 20% mathematics. There is some study of the social uses and implications of computing. Programming languages covered include JAVA and C++ and both the UNIX and Windows 2000 operating systems are included. C++ is one of the more popular programming languages used for games today while hybrids of JAVA are growing more and more popular as a means of programming games for mobile handsets.

Carol’s work is almost exclusively in real-time interactive computer graphics, covering display hardware, image processing, 2D and 3D transformations, rendering and OpenGL. Students of computer graphics are advised to use 3DSMAX to create models for their work. Although it is not taught on the course, there are copies of 3DSMAX installed for use by students on the course.

Graduates from the course include the CEO and founder of Havok, Hugh Reynolds. Havok produce complex game middleware and 3D software for platforms including all the major games consoles and Macromedia’s ShockWave 3D technology. Many graduates of the programme go on to do post graduate study in the field of real-time interactive graphics.

The only direct link with the gaming industry at present is with Havok, who have recruited from the programme.

Essentials: Location: Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland
Courses: BA in Computer Science, BSc in Computer Science (Evenings)
Duration: Both 4 years
Course Strengths: Artificial Intelligence, Computer Graphics, Programming C++, Programming JAVA. Course Weaknesses: Very technical, 3D packages are available but not taught.
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