Be ready to do a great deal of OpenGL (GL stands for "graphics library") programming in C/C++. You are expected to be proficient in C or C++. I would not allow the use of another programming language, such as Java, to write your assignments in this course. Neither will I spend time teaching or reviewing C/C++ programming.
It is important to note that this course is not about OpenGL programming. It is about concepts and algorithms related to image synthesis and graphics display. There will only be one lecture on OpenGL, where some basics will be covered. You are expected to learn and be good at OpenGL programming pretty much on your own.
In this class we will focus on OpenGL 3.x. I recommend to have the OpenGL Superbible, 5th edition handy. You need the 5th edition in order to do OpenGL 3.x. Please be aware that there are some modifications that need to be done to get it all working on a specific OS. Your code has to run on the linux computers in the CSIL lab! If it doesn't, you'll get zero points.
Courtesy to your TA, Wallace, there are a couple of good online tutorials. There is a short one and a more complete one.