In the last 15 or so years, the University of Central Florida has always placed a team (usually two or three teams) in the top ten places in the ACM South East Regional Computer Programming Contest. It's not unusual for UCF to get two teams in the top three places. Occasionally, UCF competes in the international ACM contest as well. (What's UCF's secret? Practice.)

UCF has a very strong Computer Science and Engineering programs, with ties to surrounding industry (some across the street) such as NASA, Siemens Westinghouse, Lockheed Martin, Harris, Lucent, and Disney.

There are a few UCF courses actually taught at NASA through the Florida Space Institute, and some of our adjunct faculty work full time at Lockheed Martin or Siemens Westinghouse or other near by companies. Research money and grants for all departments trickles in from surrounding industry. For instance, there is currently a grant from Lockheed Martin for the Education department that is funding a new building for education majors. And why not-- while UCF Engineering students may end up working there, teachers graduating from UCF may be teaching children of Lockheed Martin employees, etc.

Another strong department at UCF is CREOL: Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers, which is internationally known for its research in lasers.

UCF was originally called Florida Technological University (name changed in 1978), and it still has a heavy emphasis on technology.

UCF is a fairly young school, and a bit unlike other universities in that it is undergoing contstant change; it is a forward looking school, trying to create the future, rather than relive the past. UCF's motto is Reach for the Stars.

Facts about UCF:
UCF is located in Orlando, Florida with another campus in Daytona Beach and one in Brevard County.

  • UCF is the only public university in Florida that has a Technical Writing program that is already implemented.
  • The population at UCF is roughly 39,000 students.
  • There are also classes offered at a downtown Orlando building, but not many.
  • Their mascot is the knight.
  • The UCF colors are black and gold.
  • UCF is currently working on a joint venture with the city of Orlando to build several theatres for their drama program, as well as an art museum.
  • The school's film program graduated many of the people who ended up working on the blair witch project.
  • UCF has partnerships with several huge companies and institutions, such as Siemens Westinghouse, Lockheed Martin and Kennedy Space Center.
  • The acronym UCF is also laughingly referred to as meaning "under construction forever", because so many things keep getting built.. such as a new 3 floor health center that opened just last week.... as well as 2 more classroom builings going up.
UCF is Florida's fastest growing public university with an enrollment of over 39,000 students and new buildings constantly being planned and constructed. In fact, one of UCF's unofficial acronyms is Under Construction Forever. The newest buildings on campus include the Academic Villages, a twin set of dorms designed with a southwestern motif, the Honors College dedicated to honors study programs, the Recreational Services Center, a state-of-the-art gymnasium and athletic facility, a second building for the college of Business Administration, and a state-of-the-art Teaching Academy for upcoming educators.

Finding a parking space at UCF is an ongoing challenge, but the college is hard at work on building new 4-level 1300-space parking garages, with Garage #4 completed during Summer 2002 at the north end of the campus and Garage #5 in the planning stages. Paved parking lots are a thing of the past at UCF, and as such new garages will be constructed overtop of former paved lots, adding new parking spaces without occupying new land.

Projects recently completed on campus include a welcome center for incoming students. Future building projects include a second building devoted entirely to additional classroom space, a new athletics complex (including practice fields, stadium, and a swimming pool), and a new engineering/computer science complex. Most all construction takes place on the main Orlando, Florida campus, although from time to time a stray project may popup at the satellite Daytona Beach, Florida campus or Seminole Country location. Design and planning behind these new projects falls under the domain of the college's Facilities Planning department. Occassionally project land downtown, as is the case with The Electronic Arts and University of Central Florida School of Film and Digital Media and Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy. All new projects fall under the domain of the campus master plan, the document which provides the planning and development goals of the college. This plan is updated every five years and is approved by the college and the state. With the 2003 master plan UCF began to work towards making the process an ongoing one, with updates coming frequently to deal with the constant changes at the college.


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