The class “A Gentle Introduction to Bilateral Filtering and its Applications” was very well-presented. Bilateral filters are edge-preserving smoothing filters that have many applications in rendering and computational photography. The basic concept was clearly explained, and then various variants, related techniques, optimized implementations and applications were discussed. The full slides as well as detailed course notes are available here. Currently they are from the SIGGRAPH 2007 course; I assume the 2008 slides will replace them soon.
A related technique, which appears to have some interesting advantages over the bilateral filter, was presented in a paper this year, titled “Edge-Preserving Decompositions for Multi-Scale Tone and Detail Manipulation”. It presents a novel edge-preserving smoothing operator based on weighted least squares optimization. The paper and various supplementary materials are available here.