More about what we do at IST

If you're still in the dark about IST, join the crowd. Simulation research is many-sided and one of the challenges we face is explaining the multifaceted capabilities of our staff — and student — researchers.

The university three decades ago made human-centered simulation research a priority. UCF established the institute not to do this research in a vacuum but to provide opportunities for learning and for strengthening the central Florida simulation industry.

So much of our research (a learning process) is conducted by many of the brightest and most highly motivated students at the university, guided by talented and highly regarded faculty and staff researchers. Most of these students carry their IST-acquired discipline and skills directly to the high tech community as new professionals in M&S-related careers.

But what do students and staff research at IST? And who pays for it?

Second question first: About half of our research is sponsored by the Department of Defense and other government entities. That's primarily because they depend on simulation research to develop effective training programs for public safety management and national defense. Often the results of this research, once made available to private industry, are transferred to public use. As a matter of fact, UCF made this technology transfer a priority, setting up an extensive infrastructure to promote and encourage commercial success with university research products.

Our researchers look at all aspects of simulation science, from the psychological effects of "wandering around" in cyberspace to ways to talk to computer-generated forces — and real life robots.

We study the training effect of simulations — whether they train people correctly for a task — and even whether simulation is the best way to learn under certain circumstances.

Our mathematicians (gratuitous fact: UCF's math department faculty are cited in others' scholarly works even more than some math professors at Harvard), engineers and computer scientists dig down to the very foundations of simulation science in a continual effort to create faster, more cost effective and increasingly more accurate solutions to modeling and simulation problems.

Some of the "spin-offs" of all this research are

  • Web-based data management systems that speed research and help prevent redundancy
  • Parallel computer clusters, advanced performance computers that speed up simulation database processing
  • Training programs, certificate programs and professional degrees for people already in the simulation business
  • Application to simulation of personal communications devices and other modes of sending and receiving information
  • Entertainment values tied to learning applications to increase overall retention

As you can see, there is a lot going on at IST. For a full appreciation of all that we do, contact us for a visit.

[back to the home page]  


Institute for Simulation & Training
3100 Technology Pkwy, Orlando, FL 32826

Problems with this site? Contact the Webmaster.
This page was last updated on: February 4, 2013