Computer Science Academics

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The University of Central Florida is committed to ensuring the health and safety of our Summer Institute (SI) students. We have shifted some of our programs to virtual for Summer 2021 and will continue to monitor and follow university guidelines regarding COVID-19, applicable to our programs. Potential cancellations, student capacities, locations, and other details may change as information surrounding the current pandemic continues to unfold. We will update our websites as new information becomes available and appreciate your flexibility and patience during this time.

The Department of Computer Science is housed in the Harris Corporation Engineering Center (HEC) on UCF’s main campus in Orlando. The department has shown excellence in research, innovation and teaching. The department ranks 16th in the nation under U.S. News and World Report’s list of “Most Innovative Schools.” The department ranks in the top 50 nationwide for publishing in the most selective Computer Science conferences, with a rank of 6th in computer vision, 13th in visualization and 25th in Human-Computer Interaction.

The department is home to UCF’s Championship Programming Team, which finished in 10th place in the 2018 ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) World Finals, and 1st place of all teams from North America, as well as the nationally ranked Cyber Defense team, which has placed first or second nationally in 5 of the last 6 years. Most students from both teams get offers from the most selective companies in the United States.


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

The introductory programming course at the SI will introduce 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, they 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 will 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 using Swing

Students wishing to enroll in this course must complete a Course Entry Assignment in addition to the SI Application.

The intermediate programming course at SI is designed for students who have at least a semester’s worth of programming experience in either Java or another language. 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 in Java, Java GUI (Graphical User Interface) design in Swing will be taught. Swing is a Java package that aids programmers in creating graphical objects. Students will learn Swing and basic game design components, including a game loop, displaying moving objects on the screen, object collision detection, and other common components of games.

Level 3: Android Development

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.