University of Florida CISE Update
May 1, 2012, 11:11 pm
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The attempt to shut down the Computer Science department at the University of Florida has previously been discussed in the theory blogs (see here and here for example).

I wanted to post a quick update to make sure that the issue remains in the “blogsphere”. This post from saveufcise suggests that the department is still being strongly pressured to merge with EE.    You can now take action to help them by either writing a letter or pledging money to create a College of Computing(240K pledged in last 3 days).

I interviewed at U. Florida CISE many years ago, and came away with a very favorable impression of a department that was clearly going places.  I can also say that the department is filled with strong researchers (and incidentally nice people), who should not be going through this debacle.  This page makes it clear that the CISE department is one of the best in the school of engineering at U. Florida (see excerpts below).  So if you can, please take a moment to support them!

“The CISE department at UF has consistently demonstrated its excellence. In 2010, CISE graduated 25 PhD students,  (3 times more than that number at 2000). We are bringing 5.5 million per year on research funding,  (almost 4 times the amount in 2000). We have 2 ACM Fellows,4 IEEE Fellows and 2 AAAS Fellows; many faculty have won other awards and are on prestigious editorial boards and program committeees. Almost all have active NSF or NIH funded research programs. 12 young faculty won NSF Career Awards, which is 22% of College total, (also 5 times more than 2000).  Over the last 5 years, we have won 11 best paper awards. we teach thousands of nonmajors, and approximately 600 undergraduate majors, 400 masters and 131 PhD’s with 32 tenure track faculty and at this moment, only 3 nontenure track faculty!  CISE is generating 17% of the college’s primary source of income (weighted student credit hours) while only costing only 10% of the college. The Dean herself admitted during her Apr. 12 interview with students that the CISE department has the highest revenue/cost ratio in the college.   CISE faculty are actively collaborating with researchers in almost every UF College, along with many national and international universities, as befits the flagship research institution of the state.

It is impossible to overemphasize the importance of a strong Computer Science and Engineering program in today’s economy. The predicted growth rate for Computer Science positions over the next ten years is 30%, almost 3 times the predicted growth rate for all engineering occupations. Software engineering jobs have consistently achieved high national rankings (#1 in 2011 and 2012).

Gainesville’s technology job sector has exploded in the last three years, with the founding of companies such as Grooveshark, Infinite Energy, and Shadow Learning. MindTree recently selected Gainesville as the site for its US expansion largely due to the presence of the CISE program. The opening of the UF Innovation Hub on January 11th promises to draw even more high-tech companies to Gainesville.”


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