Welcome, on behalf of Dr. Mostafa Bassiouni, our associate chair for Information Technology, and myself and our faculty, to the department of Computer Science at UCF. This is a very special time for us, as it is the 50th Anniversary of the UCF College of Engineering and Computer Science. 2018 also marks the 41st year since the founding of the department of Computer Science in 1977.
Computer Science is responsible for research and degree programs in the areas of: Computer Science, Digital Forensics, and Information Technology. We also share degree programs in Data Analytics with the UCF Department of Statistics and the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems. In Computer Science we offer a Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. We offer a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology, a Master of Science degree in Digital Forensics, and the joint Master of Science degree in Data Analytics.
Our mission is to advance human understanding of Computing, both through teaching and research. In teaching, our mission is to educate our students so that they have the fundamental knowledge, and the interpersonal and technical skills they need to succeed and excel. In these efforts they often work closely with local and national companies, such as Lockheed Martin, Harris Corp., and SAIC.
Computer scientists study phenomena connected with computers and computation including: software (algorithms, data structures), hardware (design of computers), and many diverse applications of computational thinking and techniques. Our faculty have internationally recognized expertise in several application areas, including: Computer Vision, Image and Video Processing, Virtual Reality, Systems, Mobile Computing, Computer Security, Digital Forensics, Bioinformatics, and Systems Biology. They also have strength in more fundamental areas of Computer Science, such as: Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Human-Computer Interfaces, Computer Graphics, Software Engineering, Parallel Computation, Networking, Graph Algorithms, Theory of Computing, Algorithms, Quantum Computing, and Computer Architecture. In each kind of area you will find some of the most interesting and challenging practical and intellectual problems of our day, which hold a key to continued technological progress and expanding the human intellect.
UCF has the oldest Computer Science Ph.D. program in Florida, which was also the first Ph.D. program at UCF. This indicates the centrality of Computer Science at UCF, and the strength of our research. The Computer Science department has five faculty members who are fellows of the IEEE, one of whom is also a fellow of the ACM; two of these five are also fellows of the AAAS and some are also fellows of other professional societies). Three of our faculty (Drs. Shah, Hughes, and Hua) have received the Pegasus Professor award, the highest honor given to a faculty member at UCF, and during the last five years five of our young faculty members have won the prestigious NSF CAREER award. We are very proud of our National Collegiate Cyber Defense Championship (CCDC) team, which won the national championship in 2014. Most of the team members are undergraduates in either Information Technology or Computer Science. We are also very proud of our programming team, which has won many Southeast Regional contests and successfully competes at the ICPC world finals. Most of the team members are undergraduates. The department also offers opportunities for undergraduate research, including an active honors program and a "Research Experience for Undergraduates" in Computer Vision (funded by the NSF for more than 25 years).
Digital Forensics is primarily taken by law enforcement officers, who use its specialized tools and techniques to better investigate crimes and find evidence for prosecution. Since computers are used in many ways, such investigations not only involve computer crimes, but also the analysis of computer activities and files associated with more traditional criminal activities.
Information Technologists work to provide better service and value to businesses. Businesses rely on information technologists to drive efficiency and productivity throughout their enterprises, not only by maintaining computer equipment and software, but also by improving business processes, and discovering innovative ways to use an enterprise's information resources to serve its customers.
Gary T. Leavens
Chair and Professor