Dear colleagues, alumni and friends,
As we navigate through the challenges of COVID-19, I want to share with you the actions we have taken at the University of Florida Department of Computer & Information Science & Engineering. Our first priority continues to be the health and safety of our faculty, staff and students.
As of March 13, all of our classes have been moved into a virtual environment, all staff and faculty members have transitioned to working remotely, labs have been secured, and the department building has been locked down. Please visit the UF Health Updates page for complete information on the university’s response to COVID-19.
All over the country, the demand for employees with computer science and computer engineering degrees is on the rise. This means CS programs have been steadily increasing in size over the last several years. Enrollment at the University of Florida Department of Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE) has increased by almost 170 percent in the last 10 years.
With all of this growth, we are proud to say we are now the largest department at UF. How does this achievement differ for CISE? Because this growth didn’t happen by accident. We believe that growth will help us thrive as a department and help our students thrive after graduation.
Over the past five years, enrollment in the department has increased by 83 percent. We’ve been working to cap class sizes and add more class sections to increase student engagement and focus more on individualized learning. More classes mean a need for more faculty. Since 2015, the department has hired nine tenure-track faculty, increased our number of lecturers and hired additional support staff, including three undergraduate advisors.
UF Online, the university’s online undergraduate experience, has now risen to No. 4 in the country for best online bachelor’s programs, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 rankings. The online undergraduate degree in computer science is the largest UF Online program.
Since the Fall, the department congratulated a faculty member for receiving a mentoring award, another faculty member was named an AAAS Fellow, and another received an NSF CAREER Award. Our students have excelled beyond the classroom, with the UF Student InfoSec Team (UF-SIT) placing in several events at the CSAW Competition in November, a cybersecurity event held by the NYU Tandon School of Engineering.
Earlier this spring, the House Administration Committee held a hearing on Election Security. With this year’s election fast approaching, security has been an important topic of conversation. At the University of Florida, we are working to improve voting security and accessibility.
A lot has already happened this year, but we are looking forward to even more innovation and continued growth.
Juan E. Gilbert, Ph.D.
The Banks Family Preeminence Endowed Professor
Chair, Department of Computer & Information Science & Engineering