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Most Classes Begin Apr 03
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TECH 13 — The Reality of Being Virtual

Quarter: Spring
Day(s): Mondays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 8 weeks
Date(s): Apr 3—May 22
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Apr 5
Unit: 1
Tuition: $480
Instructor(s): Thomas Merrick
Limit: 40
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Open
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Apr 3—May 22
8 weeks
Refund Date
Apr 5
1 Unit
Thomas Merrick
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Virtual reality (VR) is becoming mainstream, with more than 10 million systems used in the United States alone. This course examines VR through a variety of societal lenses, including popular culture, engineering, behavioral science, and communication. We will begin the course by laying a broad foundation for understanding numerous aspects of VR, such as latency, degrees of freedom, eye tracking, frame rates, haptics, head tracking, positional audio, room tracking, and more. Students will also learn a framework for creating their own VR models and transforming existing ones. Through a combination of lectures and discussions featuring guest speakers from Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, Oculus VR, and Inspirit, we will explore the benefits and drawbacks of VR and augmented reality (AR) as well as potential industry pitfalls involved with extended reality (XR), which is an umbrella term for VR, AR, and mixed reality (MR). Students will leave the course with a broad understanding of this exciting new technology, its uses, and its possible evolution, as well as with new insights into how companies and educators can transform their organizations with the help of VR.

Each student must either have or purchase an Oculus Quest 2 headset since much of our course learning will occur while immersed in VR. More information will be provided upon registration.

Partnerships and Implementations Lead, Inspirit

Thomas Merrick is a virtual reality enthusiast who has taught VR in the Virtual Human Interactive Lab at Stanford. He was an associate partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers and IBM and also spent 20 years in education as an administrator and teacher focused on math, science, statistics, and computer science. He received an MA from Columbia in private school leadership, and he is a 2020 Stanford Distinguished Careers Institute Fellow.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.