Department of EECS History & Background
The University of Central Florida officially began as Florida Technological University on June 10, 1963. The name of the institution was changed by action of the Florida Legislature on Dec. 6, 1978. The School of EECS initially began in 1967 with the approval of the Bachelors degree in Computer Science (CS) and the creation of the Computer Science Department. Located at that time in the College of Arts and Sciences, CS later was approved to offer a Masters degree in CS in 1973, and the CS Ph.D. program was approved in 1980.
Computer Engineering (CpE) began in 1967 also when the BS in CpE was approved, followed in 1971 with the approval of a MS in CpE. The Ph.D. program in Computer Engineering was approved in 1983.
Additionally, Electrical Engineering (EE) was approved to offer the Bachelors in EE in 1967. The Masters in EE was approved in 1971 and the Ph.D. in EE began in 1983.
The fourth and final program in the School of EECS is Information technology, which was approved to offer the BS in IT in 2001.
Additional Historical Information
In 1994, the EE Department and CpE Department were merged into one Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department within the College of Engineering due to exceeding interaction between the two disciplines. At this time, the CS Department was still located within the College of Arts and Sciences.
In 1998, UCF administration hired a national leader - Dr. Erol Gelenbe, whose expertise was in the EECS fields - to lead the School of Computer Science. Shortly thereafter, UCF Administration cited many advantageous opportunities for growth with the relocation of Computer Science into the College of Engineering. For strategic reasons, CS moved to the College of Engineering and become one unit with ECE - forming the School of EECS within the renamed College of Engineering & Computer Science. The primary goal was to reorganize computing and electrical engineering disciplines on campus.
In 1999, plans began to form for the construction of a new building to house the entire school. Originally known as Engineering 3, The Harris Corporation Engineering Center would be completed in 2006 to house the School of EECS in one, revolutionary and state-of-the-art facility.
In Sept. 2005, CS and ECE programs were truly merged - administratively and curriculum-wise - as one unified School of EECS. Dr. Issa Batarseh was named the School's Director and Dr. Mark Heinrich was named Associate Director. Dr. Batarseh continues to lead the School's efforts to achieve 100% unification of the degree and research programs and operations of the school. Leadership of the School of EECS now consists of representatives from all programs/disciplines within the school. Dr. Batarseh continues as Director, with Dr. Charlie Hughes having served as Associate Director for 2007-2008 Academic Year, and Dr. Gary T. Leavens serving for the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 Academic Years.
Since the School's refocus in 2005, the administration recreated and redefined the School's objectives, missions and operational guidelines. New mission, vision, goals, objectives and outcomes were finalized in 2006 and there now exists a true merging of curriculum, outcomes, objectives, mission and vision for a unified School of EECS.
In July 2010, the School of EECS was renamed Department of EECS, in an effort to have a uniform departmental structure throughout the College of Engineering and Computer Science.
In September 2010, the Dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science established two divisions within the Department of EECS: the Electrical and Computer Engineering Division and the Computer Science Division. Dr. Zhihua Qu was named the Interim Chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Division, and Dr. Gary Leavens was named the Interim Chair of the Computer Science Division. Dr. Leavens is also currently serving as the Interim Chair of the Department of EECS.
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