Something I didn't see in here (through my fast scrolling) that I think would be great to teach and learn as an advanced course, is mathematics for VFX. There have be several occasions where someone has asked a question or had a problem and one of our awesome members would swoop in and go something like: "well you could easily achieve this by taking the UV coordinate and [maths] it with a custom [maths] node, clamp it on the X and divide it by the [maths] then take your end result and plug that into your texture, multiplied by world space and you get [awesome] We did this on our [AAA award winning game] and it doubled our performance. No big deal really... [maths] "
I tend to brute force my materials to look cool, just plugging things in and tweaking values while having a general idea on how the outcome will look, but some FX people know how to use math to get precisely the complex result they want without any wasted time. I think as an advanced elective, advanced mathematics for use in VFX would be a very valuable course. I haven't used anything outside of basic math since I was done with high school, and I've completely forgot all my calc and trig, nor would I know how to apply it to materials/shaders even if I remembered it