I highly suggest that all computer science students complete a research project, either as a course or as an independent study credit. It will provide a good start for your portfolio and resume.
As an aside, I also suggest that CS students schedule as many Software Engineering courses as possible. Most everything else is pretty much stuff that you can learn on your own.
I have already put a lot of work into the project, but I will not present all of it right now.
The idea for the project began after viewing an odd illusion:
After viewing this illusion, and seeing the smoothly flowing ripples, I remarked to myself that the human brain was much better at manufacturing "special effects" than most computers.
View Literature Summary (PDF, 20KB)
At the most fundamental level, all computer graphics are an illusion. From the underlying motivation of the CG field, to the computational techniques used to present images to viewers, subtle use of illusion and trickery are the primary tools of a graphicist. I hope to show that less subtle use of optical illusion, specifically static illusions that result from errors in perception, can result in complex graphical effects at very cheap cost, in terms of overall processing power, minimum rendering hardware requirements, and in the context of handheld and embedded devices, power consumption.