Computer Science Academics

The Department of Computer Science is housed in the Harris Corporation Engineering Center (HEC) on UCF’s main campus in Orlando. The department’s faculty includes 5 IEEE Fellows, 2 ACM Fellows, 5 NSF CAREER Award winners and several other award-winning faculty.

The department is home to UCF’s Championship Programming Team, which has finished first, second or third out of 80 teams since their first contest in 1982 (every year it has entered) at the ACM Southeast Regional Programming Contest. The team has qualified for the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest World Finals in every year from 2004 through 2018. In 2017, the team finished tied for 13th at the World Finals, and was the top finishing team from the United States at World Finals.

Many of the team members have gone on to work at Google, Facebook and other selective employers.

Courses

Level 1: Introduction to Programming and Game Design in Python and pyGame

The introductory programming course at the SI will introduce students programming to students with little or no prior programming experience. Students will first learn the basics (data types, variables, arithmetic and Boolean expressions, control structures, etc.) in the Python language. The concepts encompassed in this portion of the course are similar to those learned in the beginning of any introductory programming course. Once the students grasp these building blocks, students will be introduced to the pyGame package that allows for programmers to more easily build video games in Python. For the remainder of the course, students will learn both more advanced features of Python, including functions and lists and learn enough pyGame to create their own video game. By the end of the course, students will be able to write stand-alone Python programs that utilize sets of data to make calculations and write basic games using pyGame with a game loop, displaying moving objects on the screen, object collision detection, and other common components of games.

Level 2: Intermediate Programming and Game Design

The intermediate programming course at SI is designed for students who have at least a semester’s worth of programming experience in either Python, Java or another language. The language used for the course will be determined by the pool of students who are attending the program. This course has been taught in Java using Swing in some years and Python using pyGame in other years. The course will focus on object-oriented program design, teaching students how to design and construct larger programs with several interacting pieces. Once students are comfortable creating their own classes, students will learn the appropriate graphical tools (either Java Swing or pyGame) and work on a final project to create their own video game including a game loop, displaying moving objects on the screen, object collision detection, and other common game components.

Level 3: Android Development course
The advanced programming course at SI is designed for students who have taken the AP Computer Science A class or equivalent. Students will be expected to have a solid understanding of object-oriented design, including inheritance prior to starting the course. The course will build on this understanding, introducing, OpenGL, OpenAL, and Android so that students can design their own Android applications.

The courses taken during SI may be eligible for high school credit. After completion of the program, students receive a detailed syllabus along with an individualized academic report, which includes recommendations for appropriate placement or credit. Their high school may choose to award a semester or a year of credit for completion of the SI program. Students should talk with officials at their high school before attending the program, to ensure that the appropriate credit or placement will be accepted. The SI instructors will provide further information to the high school, if needed.

Note: Based on the students who will attend the camp, the academic staff reserves the right to adjust the courses (including language used) to best suit the academic needs of the group.