CS 634 - Multimedia Systems

Bulletin Description

This course covers fundamental techniques in multimedia systems for capturing, managing, accessing and delivering digital media over local, wide-area and wireless network technology. The core topics will emphasize the digital media (images, video, audio) and the algorithms to generate, store, access and process it. Network concepts will be presented at a high level only.

Expected Preparation

Students should skilled in structured functional/object-oriented programming, graphical user interface design, image processing and basic concepts in multimedia/graphics/imaging systems. Students should have mathematical maturity expected of first-year graduate students.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will learn the core concepts involved in systems that capture, manage, access and deliver multimedia data over computer networks. These core concepts include audio and video digitization and acquisition, coding techniques, archival and delivery systems, multimedia user interfaces, and a functional treatment of state-of-the-art network technologies. Students will develop a skill-set in this course that will enable them, using toolkits and custom-designed programs, to understand how to acquire, store and deliver a variety of digital media via computer network.

Syllabus Information


1. Introduction

     · History (origins)

     · Component technologies and concepts

2. Multimedia: Perception, Representation, Presentation and Transmission

3. Media Forms

     · Sound/Audio

     · Images and graphics

     · Video and animation

     · Compression

4. Optical storage media

5. Multimedia operating systems

6. Network systems and multimedia requirements

     · LAN's, WAN's, ATM

     · Quality of Service

7. User Interfaces

8. Syncrhonization

9. Applications


Exact details about examinations in this course will be determined by the instructor offering the course. Typically there will be one in-class, midterm examinations during the semester and a twohour final examination. Specific details will be made available in the syllabus at the start of each semester in which the course is offered.


A student's grade will be determined by a weighted average of homework assignments, programming exercises, projects, hour examinations, and the final examination. The faculty offering the course will make the details available at the start of the course. A typical weighting is:

Homework and programs - 50%
Mid-term examinations - 20%
Final examinations - 30%

Possible Textbooks

Multimedia: Computing, Communications, and Applications
Steinmetz and Nahrstedt, Prentice Hall

Video and Image Processing in Multimedia Systems
Furht, Smoliar, and Zhang, Kluwer.

Multimedia Interface Design
Blattner amd Dannenberg, ACM Press

Designing the User Interface
Shneiderman, Addison Wesley

Papers: Selection of readings from the yearly ACM multimedia conference.