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Dr. Damla Turgut

Chair, Department of CS

Dr. Damla Turgut

4328 Scorpius Street, Orlando, FL 32816-2362
Phone: (407) 823-6171
Fax: (407) 823-1488

Computer Science is the engine that drives many of the achievements of our current world. It gave us the internet, smartphones, efficient manufacturing, and creative finance. It allows us to approach and sometimes exceed the capabilities of the human vision system, drive AR/VR experiences, answer queries in natural language, and generate workmanlike artwork. In the near future, it will help drive cars and assist the disabled and the elderly. Some researchers argue that the whole universe is computational!

But computer science is also a great applied, and should I say, “partnership science”, amplifying the capabilities of other engineering disciplines and sciences.

At the same time, Computer Science presents new challenges for humanity, both when it comes up short in its promises, but also when its unchecked powers can lead to unintended consequences. There are legitimate concerns that computational devices might replace jobs faster than the creation of new jobs for humans. Another danger is that we might inadvertently extend our biases and prejudices into the computational world, either by design mistakes, biased training data, or AI objectives that are not aligned with the interest of the society. And of course, the cyber world created by the computational agents is vulnerable to the activities of cybercriminals and is a setting where the competition between powers, state actors, and economic interests plays out.

I strongly believe that there is no other science that is so foundational to the success of humanity, where a student can make so much positive difference as Computer Science.

The Computer Science department of UCF is at the forefront of many of the current challenges. Our department offers undergraduate degrees in Computer Science and Information Technology. Our students receive an excellent education that allows them to compete with the best universities in the nation. For instance, our programming team had advanced to the World Finals of the International Collegiate Programming Contest almost every year since its first start in 1982, has placed as high as second place at the international level, and competes well each year against the best teams from across the globe. As another example, our Collegiate Cyber Defense Championship team won first and second place in Collegiate Cyber Defense Championship almost every year since 2014, winning also many other cyber competitions.

Our department offers Master’s Degrees in Computer Science and, for students who aim to specialize their graduate education to a specific area and career path, we are also offering master’s degrees in Computer Vision, Cyber Security and Privacy, and Digital Forensics. Our department is also involved in interdisciplinary master’s programs in Data Analytics and FinTech.

Finally, the faculty and students of our department perform research in many areas of computer science from theoretical advances to translational research. Our Ph.D. program is the oldest Computer Science Ph.D. program in Florida, as well as the first Ph.D. program at UCF. Faculty include members of National Academy of Sciences, Fellows of IEEE and ACM. Students regularly publish in the top venues of their respective fields and they are sought after by research institutes, universities and industry research labs.

Please feel free to browse our webpage for more information about our academic and research programs. We hope that whatever your computation related career plans, you will find the Computer Science Department at UCF a wonderful place to be!