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Computer Science 3D Modelling: Remote Lecture with Year 13 Student Joe Iddon

During his lecture, Joe Iddon (13SP) presents an approach for learning basic programming skills to display 3D models based on mathematics learnt in the classroom.

Joe is an avid computer scientist and programmer. During his talk, he took us through the fundamentals of looking at shapes in 3 dimensions, using a camera on a 3D image to create a 2D image, with the two possible projections views of orthographic versus perspective. A link to a demonstration of this is here: 3D Visualisation. Joe also has a website, where he posts a range of different types of projects: Joe Iddon Website, including some of the work completed in Arduino Club.

Rohan C (12KY) commented on the lecture, saying:

“During the lecture, he focussed on the intricacies of drawing 3D graphics with a computer. Joe’s teaching ability and passion for Computer Science quickly became apparent as he delved into a complex subject - outlining both the basics of Web Development with HTML, as well as linking the school’s mathematics course into his explanation... He made it a great lecture for everyone there! (Year 7s through to Year 13s)

Multiple times during the lecture Joe referred to Matrix Transformations, one of many topics taught at Reading School, and gave students an insight into applications of their learning. He also went on to show a 3D model of the school itself, bundled with a dragon to navigate the school grounds virtually! Find a link below: 3D Reading School 

Many thanks to Joe for this talk, as well as to Mr Ling-Winston for arranging it and to the Society Office for coordinating all online inspire lectures.”

Mr Stephen Ling-Winston (Head of Computer Science) said:

“Joe was a pleasure to have in the classroom as well as during the lunchtime Arduino Club, which he ran throughout year 12. He continues to support Reading School and as an accomplished programmer and innovator in the Computer Science and Engineering fields, he joined us to demonstrate how to implement a 3D modelling system using JavaScript, with only the mathematics he learnt from his time in school.

Joe coded using JavaScript to setup the colours and X, Y and Z coordinates of three shapes by defining the vertices in an array data structure. To know where any face is, he used a centroid (centre of a face defined by vertices) to determine the location of the face and thus ensures the shapes that are at the back are drawn first so the closer shapes are drawn over the further away shapes.

He then moved on to perspective by performing a calculation on the Z distance to affect the X and Y dimensions of the shape to reduce the sizes of shapes further away. Including a camera view “is quite simple” in Joe’s words, where the camera position replaces the centre origin and the world moves the opposite direction to that selected on the keyboard.

If you fully understood all of this report then Joe clearly is absolutely right … simple.”

When asked to comment on his motivations for presenting a lecture, Joe said:

“Trigonometry and matrices both seem like mathematical ideas that never leave the classroom. I wanted to give a lecture on 3D rendering because both these ideas are fundamental to how games like Minecraft work and are a true application of Mathematics that we can all relate to. I enjoyed getting this to work from scratch and wanted to share how surprisingly simple it is to do so.”

Mr AM Robson (Headmaster) also added:

“Joe is an outstanding student who has always demonstrated commitment and humility and he epitomises Reading School’s key values of Academic Excellence, Integrity and Leadership. His motivation and positive work ethic makes him a positive role model for our younger students.  I have no doubt that he will prosper at Robinson's College, Cambridge where he has had an offer to read Natural Sciences and where he will also join his brothers, Ben and Callum making it a hat trick from Reading School to Cambridge for the Iddon brothers.  The Iddon brothers validate Reading School’s endeavours in the qualities we seek to embed in  ‘Building Good Men’ and we are extremely proud of how well they are all doing. 

Thank you Joe for being the first Year 13 to share your knowledge with your peers and those younger than you, through an online Inspire Lecture, which was positively received.  Wishing you all the best for the future.”

If you would like to share your professional expertise, academic specialism or research background with our students through a short talk, master class, tutorial or inspire lecture, please complete the form here: Remote Inspire Lectures

Please bear with us as we work through our list and contact you to arrange dates and times for future talks.

If you have any further queries please contact Piatrice or Jas at 

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