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.