Research Centers & Labs

Centers and Labs - INIT Lab

At the UF Department of Computer & Information Science & Engineering, our faculty and their Ph.D. students are working on some incredible research.

From voting technology to virtual environments, augmented reality and virtual reality, take a moment to explore our labs and the work our researchers are doing.

Research Centers

Florida Institute for Cybersecurity Research

The Florida Institute for Cybersecurity Research (FICS  Research) was established to be the nation’s premier multidisciplinary research institute in the advancement of cybersecurity as a basis for long-term partnership and collaboration among industry, academe, and government. FICS  Research’s mission is to directly support research needs of industry and government partners in a cost-effective manner with pooled, leveraged resources and maximized synergy and to enhance the educational experience for a diverse set of top-quality graduate and undergraduate students. FICS  Research will advance knowledge and technologies in this emerging field and ensure commercial relevance of the research with rapid and effective technology transfer and establishing spin-off companies.

FICS Research is unique. It is arguably the only institute in the country that provides excellent expertise in all aspects of cybersecurity and assurance including hardware, network, mobile, big data, internet of things (IoT), applied crypto, social sciences, law, and more.

Director: Mark Tehranipoor, Ph.D.; Associate Director: Kevin R.B. Butler Ph.D.

UF Transportation Institute

The UF Transportation Institute (UFTI) located in the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering aims to advance state-of-the-art transportation, disseminate research results, and provide educational opportunities related to transportation across the lifespan. UFTI brings together faculty, staff, and students from many diverse backgrounds to provide solutions to a variety of transportation problems. The Institute was created in 2013 as an umbrella organization housing several other transportation-related centers within the University of Florida.

Warren B. Nelms Institute for the Connected World

The Warren B. Nelms Institute for the Connected World was established to lead research and education in all aspects of the intelligent connection of things, processes, people, and data that address major world challenges including health, energy, transportation, and manufacturing.

Together with industry, university, and government partners, the Nelms Institute will develop broad, interdisciplinary Internet-of-Things (IoT) technologies, applications, and policies to create more secure and connected communities. To fuel the next industrial revolution, the Institute will promote tech transfer, entrepreneurship, policy, education and outreach in IoT and its integral components of sensors, low-power embedded processing, communication, networking, cloud computing, data analytics, machine learning, security, privacy and trust.

Director: Swarup Bhunia, Ph.D.,; Associate Director: My T. Thai, Ph.D.

Research Labs

Adaptive Learning & Optimization Lab

Adaptive Learning & Optimization Lab at the University of Florida conducts research on a broad range of topics centered on the optimization and its connection to network science, which is an interdisciplinary academic field, including communication networks, online social networks, smart-grids, and national critical network infrastructures.

Director: My T. Thai, Ph.D.

Bioinformatics Lab

Bioinformatics aims to study biological data using computational techniques. The key subgoals in bioinformatics are (i) enabling efficient access to bioinformatics data, (ii) analysis and interpretation of biological data.

The Bioinformatics Lab develops novel algorithms and software for computational analysis of bioinformatics data.

Directors: Tamer Kahveci, Ph.D. and Christina Boucher, Ph.D.

Center for Vision, Graphics and Medical Imaging (CVGMI)

Center for Vision, Graphics, and Medical Imaging (CVGMI) at the University of Florida serves two main purposes:

  1. To promote basic and applied research in Computer Vision, Vision-Graphics and Medical Image Analysis.
  2. To provide a research environment for faculty and graduate students with research interests in the aforementioned areas.

Faculty from various Departments are involved in this Center and the Center facilitates their interaction with each other, domestic and international visitors from Universities and industry. The Center has been the site for several workshops for representatives from other Universities, business, the U.S. Government, and foreign governments (United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia).

Director: Baba C. Vemuri, Ph.D.

Data Science Research Group

Data Science Research Group at the University of Florida focuses on large-scale data management, data mining and data analysis using technologies from database management Systems (DBMS’s), Statistical Machine Learning (SML), and Information Visualization. Such research in a Big Data era is called Data Science, which is a profession, a research agenda, as well as a sport! The goal of Data Science research is to build systems and algorithms to extract knowledge, find patterns, generate insights and predictions from diverse data for various applications and visualization.

Director: Daisy Zhe Wang, Ph.D.


The ELX lab conducts research in human-computer interaction, with a focus on learning technologies and technologies to support mental wellness. Research areas include wearable technologies for learning, enactment-based storytelling, Maker technologies in education and narrative-centered technological approaches. The goal of the lab is to design and evaluate new interfaces to investigate possible solutions to real-world problems.

Director: Sharon Lynn Chu, Ph.D.

Embedded Systems Lab

The primary focus of Embedded Systems Lab is to develop efficient tools, techniques and methodologies for developing low-power, high-performance and reliable embedded systems. Currently, we are investigating many exciting and cutting-edge research problems including energy-aware computing, system-level modeling and validation, self-healing systems, hardware security and trust, and post-silicon validation and debug. These research projects are sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF), Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC), US Department of Education (ED), Army Research Office (ARO), IBM, and Intel.

Director: Prabhat Mishra, Ph.D.

Engaging Learning Lab

The Engaging Learning Lab conducts research in three areas: Computer Science Education (CS ED), Learning Technology Design & Evaluation, and Curriculum Development & Assessment for K-12 and Undergraduate students. Through our research and collaborations, we aim to advance the science of how people learn in technology-rich learning environments, learn computer science, and develop identities as computational thinkers and CS Professionals.  Our research uses computer science techniques, learning theory, HCI, design-based research, qualitative and quantitative methods, and BCI devices to build models of cs learning and identity development, identify pedagogical and instructional best practices, develop learning  and identity assessments, and learning environments and curricula. We have developed several CS curricula and assessments for K-12 students in Artificial Intelligence, Cyber-security,  Robotics, Mobile App Development, Game Design, and Introductory programming. We have also developed VR and mobile application empathy games for elementary school children. Using these curricula, we collaborate with schools and community organizations to offer after-school and summer camp programs for K-12 students and professional development workshops for teachers.

Director: Christina Gardner-McCune, Ph.D.; Co-Director: Jeremiah Blanchard, Ph.D.

Geoplexity Research Group

Geoplexity = Geometry + Complexity

The Geoplexity Research Group works on a variety of types of discrete structures as they grow in size.


  • Discrete geometry (Geometric constraint systems, Combinatorial rigidity, Matroids and Submodular functions, Finite geometries, Geometric analysis),
  • Asymptotic complexity,
  • Mathematical software development,
  • Mathematical and Computational Modeling and Design of Viruses, Molecules, Materials, Microstructures and Mechanisms,
  • Algorithmic foundations,
  • Machine learning foundations,
  • Algorithmic Economics

Director: Meera Sitharam, Ph.D.

Human-Experience Research Lab (HXRL)

The Human-Experience Research (HXR) Lab conducts research in Human-Centered Computing (HCC). HCC is focused on understanding how to make computational technologies more usable and how computational technologies affect society. We study the design, development and evaluation of technologies in applied context. The HXR Lab builds innovative solutions to real-world problems by integrating people, technology, policy, culture, etc. Some of our active research projects include Electronic voting, advanced learning technologies, brain-computer interfaces, multimodal user interfaces, voice user interfaces, culturally-relevant computing/ethnocomputing, IT workforce development, and broadening participation in computing.

Director: Juan E. Gilbert, Ph.D.

Intelligent Natural Interaction Technology (INIT) Laboratory

The INIT Lab (the Intelligent Natural Interaction Technology Laboratory) focuses on advanced interaction technologies such as touch, speech, and gesture, especially for children in the context of educational interfaces. INIT Lab projects advance human-computer interaction (HCI) research questions of how users want to interact with these natural modalities, and computer science research questions of how to build recognition algorithms that can understand user input in these ambiguous modalities.

Director: Lisa Anthony, Ph.D.

Interactive Data and Immersive Environments (Indie) Lab

The Indie Lab​ engages in human-centered research of interactive visualizations. Our research focuses on the design and evaluation of applications and techniques that support effective interaction and understanding of data, information, and virtual environments. Research areas include information visualization, virtual reality, 3D interaction, visual analytics, and educational games. The group includes undergraduate and graduate students from multiple departments, and we actively collaborate with faculty across the university.

Director: Eric Ragan, Ph.D.

LearnDialogue Group

The LearnDialogue Group investigates how natural language dialogue and intelligent systems can support human learning, especially for computer science education. We build computational models of human collaboration and tutoring, and these models drive the adaptivity of our intelligent systems.

Director: Kristy Elizabeth Boyer, Ph.D.

Mobile and Pervasive Computing Laboratory

The Mobile and Pervasive Computing Laboratory was established in March of 2000 through a donation from Harris Corporation. Mobile and pervasive computing at the University of Florida means exciting research, cutting-edge technology innovation, and solid educational training. Professor Helal is directing several research projects in the areas of Mobile and Pervasive Computing. Most of the projects are human-centered addressing quality of life issues and benefiting different user groups including an individual with special needs and the growing elderly population around the world.

Director: Sumi Helal, Ph.D.

Natural Language Processing Research Laboratory

The NLP Research Laboratory, directed by Professor Bonnie Dorr, conducts research on a range of topics concerning the analysis and synthesis of multiple human languages. Researchers in the laboratory apply techniques from sociolinguistic computing and machine learning and develop explanatory NLP representations designed for cross-disciplinary human-centered solutions that are robust, scalable, and ethically responsible, and that have the potential to create real-world impact.

Research projects align with the researchers’ interests and expertise, ensuring that everyone in the lab is working on projects that they find engaging and meaningful. Overall, the NLP Lab is a dynamic and innovative research group that is at the forefront of NLP research and development. The group is committed to advancing the state of the art in NLP, and to using these technologies to create new opportunities for understanding, communication, and innovation.

Director: Bonnie Dorr, Ph.D.

Ruiz Human-Computer Interaction Lab

The Ruiz Human-Computer Interaction Lab at the University of Florida focuses on tackling problems in the field of human-computer interaction, a discipline concerned with the design, evaluation and implementation of interactive systems, and the study of major phenomena surrounding them.

Our current research focuses on developing new Natural User Interfaces (NUI) that support non-verbal communication in novel ways, developing tools to support collaboration in large distributed e-science projects, developing new gestural interactions for virtual reality and augmented reality, and understand the challenges in developing NUIs for children.

Director: Jaime Ruiz, Ph.D.

SoundPad Lab

The SoundPad Lab uses 3D audio to create assistive technology, universally accessible interfaces, multi-modal interfaces, and to discover patterns in big data. We also research the perceptual requirements necessary to render realistic spatial sound using headphones in virtual environments. Our research interests include Human-Computer Interaction in the contexts of 3D Audio Processing, Multi-modal Interfaces, Psycho-acoustics, and Virtual Environments.

Director: Kyla McMullen, Ph.D.


SurfLab = Geometric Algorithms + 3D Graphics + Interactive Simulation

Director: Jorg Peters, Ph.D.

Virtual Experiences Research Group (VERG)

The goal of VERG is to facilitate training of interpersonal skills through the use of human-computer interactions with virtual humans.

Director: Benjamin Lok, Ph.D.