Jump to an overview Check into the PhD program Our laboratories Our location What's up Jump to UCF's home page UCF's home page Go to the IST home page IST's new headquarters with two floors of labs and admin offices

View current or download a PDF version of past newsletters here

Thales Training & Simulation joins IST Affiliates

Thales Training & Simulation, with a generous contribution to IST simulation research education efforts, has signed on as a charter member of the IST Affiliates Group.

Thales Training & Simulation representatives Keith Kaser and Stephen Jackson on January 15 presented a check for $5,000 to IST Director Randall Shumaker and UCF Vice President for Research, M.J. Soileau. The company also has offered intern opportunities for graduate students through its offices in the US, England, France and Australia.

With headquarters in Tulsa Oklahoma, Thales Training & Simulation is a subsidiary of the Thales Group, a worldwide professional electronics marketer to aerospace, defense and information technology & services employing 63,000 people in nearly 50 countries.

The IST Affiliates Group is a select group of corporate, academic and government entities and individuals working to advance the art and science of simulation training technology.


Thales reps present check to IST director

While Thales Training & Simulation Director of Business Development Stephen A. Jackson (left) and UCF Vice President for Research M.J. Soileau look on, Thales Vice President Keith Kaser presents a $5,000 check to IST Director Randall Shumaker.

AT&T Foundation gives $25K grant for M&S graduate study

The AT&T Modeling and Simulation Award, is the largest single donation to the program, now in its second year. IST senior research scientist and M&S graduate program chair, Dr. Peter Kincaid, said the funds will be used to augment financial aid from the university with the goal of attracting the best possible graduate study candidates from across the country.

“We’re delighted to make this donation to UCF’s outstanding modeling and simulation graduate program,” said Lou Addeo, president of AT&T Government Solutions.

“We hope this grant will attract the best and the brightest in the field to Orlando to study and contribute to high-tech job growth in the area. We have a vibrant M&S business right here in Orlando and we’re proud to help make this area a leader in this important and growing field.”

“Modeling and simulation has grown in recognition by industry as a field worthy of advanced study,” said IST Director Randall Shumaker. “This grant by AT&T is a prime example of that recognition and will help attract highly-qualified students to the program.”

Attending the announcement ceremony, Florida congressman Tom Feeney (FL-24) said that the university's cutting edge programs have helped place the Central Florida High Tech Corridor at the forefront of technological research and development.

"AT&T's grant will further solidify the region's lead and increase the attractiveness of the Institute for Simulation and Training," said Feeney.

According to UCF records, 94 students are currently enrolled in one or more of the 93 IST courses leading to a master’s or PhD in modeling and simulation—more than 50 percent above projections. So far, the university has awarded seven master’s degrees in the new program. Two doctoral dissertations, both in the field of augmented reality, are in progress.

Inaugurated in 2002, the multidisciplinary program accepts students from engineering, computer science, psychology, math, statistics and digital media.

AT&T Government Solutions' headquarters are in Vienna, Virginia. 


Florida Congressman Tom Feeney (FL-24) (left) joined AT&T representatives Bob MCCarty, VP, Sales Center, and Edward Babiuch, District Manager AT&T Government Solutions Orlando Operations, and M&S graduate program chair Peter Kincaid in a check presentation ceremony at IST's Orlando headquarters.


Congressman Feeney and AT&T vice president Andraza






Florida Congressman Tom Feeney (left) and AT&T vice president for Florida legislative affairs, Gary Andraza (right) after the presentation toured some of IST's work-in progress.

IST joins team effort to bring democracy values teaching to school systems

How do you bring to life such abstract concepts as justice, diversity and separation of powers in a way that engages young students?

It's a tough assignment, but IST researchers are working toward an opportunity to apply simulation technology to teaching these and other core democratic values to young people.

Project developers have been working for more than three years on the concept. Their goal is an engaging simulation experience that will teach how adhering to core values keeps a society healthy. The effort began in response to a legislative mandate to the Michigan public school systems to teach core values to middle school students.

IST's Media Convergence Lab has joined with the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies and GL Visions, Inc. of Michigan in seeking sponsorship for the project, billed as one of the Media Convergence Lab's series of Virtual Learning Landscapes. More details are available here.


Core democratic values said to be key to a lasting society

The rock of America’s foundation is its democratic values, 18 of which have become the very core of our nation’s two and a quarter centuries of existence.

The builders of that foundation, committing to paper their frustration with decades of injustice and oppression, articulated in their declaration of independence from Great Britain a revolutionary vision of society.

The members of the Second Continental Congress, and the people whom they represented, experienced first-hand the effects of tyrannical rule and thus had every reason to be fervent toward their cause.

More than two hundred years later, Americans are far-removed from the events that led these original congressmen to mutually pledge their “Lives, [their] Fortunes, and [their] sacred Honor.” How do we instill these core democratic values in a generation of students for whom the pain of persecution is but a dry textbook reference?

Simulation for vicarious experience
The Core Democratic Values Virtual Learning Landscape will draw upon the power of computer simulation to immerse students in situations where they may personally experience the consequences of a break down of core democratic values.

As the simulation progresses, students will be able to assume the role of men and women faced with critical decisions that will affect a city’s and their future. They will see first-hand how choices that acknowledge or deny core democratic values result in alternative futures.

Core Values of Democracy

life • liberty • truth • justice • diversity • common good

patriotism • pursuit of happiness • popular sovereignty

separation of powers • representative government

religious freedom • individual rights • rule of law
federalism • civilian control of the military

checks and balances • equality



Some of our other recent stories...

Autonomous robot test vehicle

One of the test platforms for IST's
autonomous robot research carries
a video camera, laser rangefinder and
GPS sensors. Check it out in our
Fall 03 IST Review.

The CyberGrasp force feedback glove
provides realistic manipulation of virtual
objects. See the story in the Fall 03 Review.



IST, Army Research Institute sign cooperative agreement for augmented reality study

IST and the Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences have entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement to collaborate on augmented reality research.

A Battlefield Augmented Reality System developed by the Naval Research Laboratories will be on loan to IST from the Army. IST over the next few years will conduct effectiveness studies using this system.

Augmented reality systems use optics, computer generated data and other devices either portable or worn on the body to enhance the information the user has about a subject.

In a battlefield environment augmented reality could provide enemy strength, position and characteristics, terrain data or any other information useful to the soldier.

IST researcher honored with prestigious UCF ‘Order of Pegasus’

Haydee M. Cuevas, a graduate student in psychology, has been named to the Order of Pegasus, a selective program at UCF designed to recognize outstanding performance by students in academic achievement, professional service, leadership and publication or research experience. The breadth of accomplishment required to attain this honor elevates the Order of Pegasus to the most prestigious and significant student award at UCF.
Among her many activities, Cuevas currently works at IST with UCF/IST professors Jan Cannon-Bowers and Stephen Fiore on an NSF-sponsored project in synthetic learning environments and with Cannon-Bowers on the Virtual Field Trip project for the Orange County (Florida) school system. She has worked with IST program director and UCF psychology professor Eduardo Salas, Team Performance lab director and professor, Clint Bowers and Fiore on Air Force research and with Fiore on Navy-funded research.

Through these efforts Cuevas has published numerous peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters and conference presentations and, to a large degree, is already recognized nationally, if not internationally, for her unusual level of achievement in research and in service.

Haydee M. Cuevas

Cuevas (center) confers with members of the Virtual Field Trip project, student researchers Linda Upham-Ellis (left), Andrew Schrock and Courtney Schwartz, in the IST synthetic learning environments lab. The goal of the project is to improve reading comprehension using interactive “field trips” that acquaint beginning readers with concepts, characters and environments they have never experienced.


updated: 01/30/2006

Institute for Simulation & Training, 3280 Progress Dr., Orlando, FL 32826

407-882-1300 / Suncom: 363-1300