2018-2019 Graduate Catalog 
    
    Mar 21, 2019  
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog

Modeling and Simulation MS


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College: Graduate Studies Degree: MA
Department: School of Modeling, Simulation, and Training Option: Thesis, Nonthesis
Program Websites: http://www.ist.ucf.edu/grad
Graduate Program Handbook

The UCF School of Modeling, Simulation, and Training (SMST) was recently approved beginning with the 2018-2019 academic year. The SMST is home to UCF’s renowned Institute for Simulation and Training (IST) and the Modeling and Simulation graduate programs. This designation as a school is a formal recognition of the exceptional growth and success of IST and the graduate program internationally, nationally, and within the local Central Florida region.

Program Description


Simulation is the quintessential utility tool. In one way or another, just about every engineering or scientific field uses simulation as an exploration, modeling, or analysis technique. Simulation is not limited to engineering or science. Simulation is used in training, management, and concept exploration and involves constructing human-centered, equipment-centered, and/or stand-alone computer-based models of existing as well as conceptual systems or processes. The purpose of simulation is to evaluate the behavior of the human, organization, equipment, and/or systems under study through the evaluation of output from the corresponding simulation construct. Because of the scale and complexity of modeling and simulation, practitioners have developed both generalized and specialized skills.

Input from industry and government M&S researchers and practitioners has been instrumental in identifying the key competencies for M&S professionals and has been critical to the development of this program. The curriculum is designed to provide a broad overall perspective of the developing simulation industry and an awareness of the economic considerations. Upon completion of the program, graduates will have the diverse training necessary to enable them to work in varied capacities in government agencies, or in the defense, service, entertainment, and manufacturing industries.

Graduates of the Modeling and Simulation MS degree program will:

  • have an interdisciplinary core body of knowledge on modeling approaches, human factors, computing infrastructure, and visual representation and will be capable of critically reviewing the literature in the field; 
  • have developed the capacity to solve complex problems by building simulation models, designing and carrying out experiments, collecting data, analyzing results, and managing M&S programs; and
  • be able to clearly communicate their findings to their peers.

Students in the Modeling and Simulation graduate program have often focused their study and research efforts in one or more of the following research areas:

Behavioral Cybersecurity

The Behavioral Cybersecurity in M&S research area has attracted those who wish to gain expertise in the latent cognitive aspects of security for computer systems, servers, mobile devices, networks, software, and network-enabled devices.  Typical problem areas for behavioral aspects of cybersecurity include insider threats, hacker motivations, user training and education, digital ethics, cyber law and policy, senior leader education, and cyber workforce development and education.  Typical courses include Behavioral Aspects of Cybersecurity, Cyber Operations Lab, Emerging Cyber Issues, Digital Ethics, Human Cognition and Learning, Cyber Crime and Criminal Justice, and Data Mining Methodology I.  

Human Systems

The Human Systems in M&S research area has attracted those who wish to gain expertise in the content and techniques of human behavior in simulation systems, including human factors, human-computer interaction, virtual worlds, statistical and quantitative procedures, experimental design, computer techniques, and other research methodologies. Typical problem areas for R&D include human-in-the-loop simulation; team performance under stress; and use of visual, audio, haptic, and other sensory input/output modalities to coordinate human-machine activities. Typical courses include Human Factors, Training Systems Engineering, Human Computer Interaction, Intelligent Simulation, and Distributed Learning.

Computer Visualization

Computer Visualization in M&S is a research area that attracts those who wish to gain expertise in technical aspects of computer graphic systems, virtual environments, and human-centered simulation systems applying the state-of-the-art in computer graphics and other human-interface technologies. Typical courses include Human Computer Interaction, Computer Graphics Systems, Computer Vision, Machine Perception, Human-Virtual Environment Interaction, and Sensation and Perception. Students in this research area typically have an interest in the area of Emerging Media, which focuses on the development of new forms of interactive media and the creation of story-driven content for them such as interactive works of art, electronic games, virtual reality, the Internet, portable devices and mobile applications, wearable computers, etc.

Simulation Modeling and Analysis

The Simulation Modeling and Analysis research area attracts those who desire to gain expertise in using simulation as a optimization tool for effective design, planning, analysis, and decision-making. The emphasis of this area is on problem definition, model formulation, design of simulation experiments, and model-based analysis. This area attracts those who seek to develop skills in the application of advanced quantitative methods to modeling and simulation. Building on backgrounds in operations research, mathematics or statistics, they should gain experience in modeling and simulation through the application of optimization, mathematical and statistical theory to build multidisciplinary simulation models and conducting rigorous simulation experimentation. A graduate will be prepared to work with corporate and government decision-makers as they model and evaluate the impacts of proposed policies and system designs. Typical courses include Engineering Statistics, Statistical Aspects of Digital Simulation, and Mathematical Modeling, Discrete Systems Simulation, Object-Oriented Simulation, Experimental Design, and Quantitative Aspects of Modeling and Simulation.

Simulation in Healthcare

Simulation in Healthcare is a fast growing new area in M&S. Issues related to bringing down the cost of healthcare and reducing costly medical errors are generating many new opportunities related to systems analysis, communication between healthcare providers and patients, and simulation-based training, to name a few. Currently a disproportionate amount of the US economy goes to healthcare, at least twice as much as the average of the 25 richest nations, and health outcomes in the US place the country near the bottom of this group of countries. M&S can contribute significantly towards improving this situation. Typical courses include Discrete Systems Simulation, Experimental Design, and Object-Oriented Simulation, Engineering Statistics, Human Computer Interaction.

Interactive Simulation and Intelligent Systems

Interactive Simulation and Intelligent Systems research attracts those who wish to pursue or are currently pursuing careers in the training simulation/simulator industries. Graduates specializing in this research area typically are interested in creating designs for simulators and simulator-based training systems and to apply expert systems and other intelligent systems in a simulation setting. Typical courses include Training Systems Engineering, Simulation of Real-Time Processes, and Intelligent Simulation.

Simulation Infrastructure

The research area of Simulation Infrastructure attracts those who wish to gain an in-depth understanding of the basic components of simulation systems and their patterns of configuration and communication, including hardware and software issues. They will gain experience in the development of distributed simulation and training environments. Graduates should be able to implement such systems or manage a team capable of developing such systems. Typical courses include Performance Models of Computers and Networks, Simulation Design and Analysis, High Performance Computer Architecture, and Analysis of Computer and Communication Systems. Simulation Management: Simulation Management research area attracts those who wish to gain expertise in the management of projects related to modeling, simulation, and training (MS&T). Graduates who focus in this area of study should be prepared to manage such projects for military agencies or MS&T companies. Typical courses include Environment of Technical Organizations, Modeling and Simulation of Real-Time Processes, Management Information Systems, and Project Engineering.

Simulation Management

Simulation Management research area attracts those who wish to gain expertise in the management of projects related to modeling, simulation, and training (MS&T). Graduates who focus in this area of study should be prepared to manage such projects for military agencies or MS&T companies. Typical courses include Environment of Technical Organizations, Modeling and Simulation of Real-Time Processes, Management Information Systems, and Project Engineering.

Curriculum


The Modeling and Simulation Master of Science program requires a minimum of 30 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree.

The M&S MS program offers a thesis option and a nonthesis option. Each option requires 15 credit hours of required core courses.

  • Students who select the thesis option must take 9 credit hours of unrestricted electives and 6 thesis credit hours.
  • Students who select the nonthesis option must take 3 credit hours of restricted electives and 12 credit hours of unrestricted electives.

The culminating experience for thesis-option students in the MS program is the final thesis document and the oral defense of the thesis research.

The culminating, capstone experience for nonthesis students is a technical project, which requires a written and oral presentation of the work, completed as part of the required core course IDS 6916 - Simulation Research Methods and Practicum . This project is reviewed by panel experts.

Total Credit Hours Required: 30 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Bachelor’s Degree

Required Courses: 15 Credit Hours


Core: 15 Credit Hours


Core courses provide an interdisciplinary framework for all Modeling and Simulation students. Teams of Modeling and Simulation program faculty teach these core courses. Course descriptions can be found in the Catalog Menu at the top of the page under the heading “Courses.”

Unrestricted Electives: 9 Credit Hours


All Modeling and Simulation MS students must take at least 9 credit hours of unrestricted electives that support the student’s area of graduate study. Unrestricted electives must consist of at least 9 credit hours of formal courses, which may include independent study (up to 6 credit hours). The remaining credit may consist of additional thesis (for thesis option students only), directed research, and additional courses as advised appropriately by the faculty adviser and/or program director.

Thesis Option: 6 Credit Hours


Thesis students are required to take an additional 6 credit hours of thesis.

  • IDS 6971 Thesis 6 Credit Hours

Nonthesis Option: 6 Credit Hours


Restricted Elective: 3 Credit Hours


Nonthesis students must select an elective course from the Modeling and Simulation Graduate Program. Appropriate courses include those that follow. Others may be added over time with Program Director approval.

Unrestricted Electives: 3 Credit Hours


Nonthesis students are required to take an additional 3 credit hours of unrestricted electives that support the student’s area of graduate study.

Modeling and Simulation MS Electives


In addition to successfully enrolling and completing the core courses, students are required to carefully select electives with the guidance of a faculty adviser. Elective choices should be made with the intent to strengthen a research interest and/or area of focus in order to meet the individual student’s educational goals and objectives.

Listed below are suggested courses in various areas of focus or specialization. These course groupings are mere guides, are not exhaustive and are only meant to assist with advising and course selection in order to meet the individual student’s educational goals and objectives. They are not intended to restrict elective choices among focus areas as we strongly encourage Modeling and Simulation students to maintain an interdisciplinary approach to their graduate studies.

If a student identifies another UCF course which may be of value to his/her modeling and simulation research area, but is not already identified in a list below, he/she may request approval from the Graduate Program Director for the course to be used as an elective in the Graduate Plan of Study. All such requests must be made in advance of enrolling in the course.

Those electives categorized as “General” would be appropriate for all students regardless of focus area. The remaining categories are grouped by area of research interest.

General


Human Systems


Quantitative Methods for Simulation, Modeling and Analysis


Plan of Study


After admission to the Modeling and Simulation MS program, students should file a Graduate Plan of Study (GPS) with the Modeling and Simulation Graduate Program Office.

The purpose of the GPS is to design an appropriate program of coursework to support a student’s area of graduate study and to meet the specific educational needs, goals and objectives of that student. The coursework must be selected to form a unified, cohesive plan of study. The plan of study must have 50 percent of its content composed of 6000-level courses.

For thesis students, the GPS should be developed under the supervision of the thesis adviser(s) and members of the Thesis Advisory Committee, although initially it may be constructed under the supervision of the M&S Graduate Program Office. For nonthesis students, the plan of study should be developed under the supervision of the M&S Graduate Program Office.

Changes in the Graduate Plan of Study can be made (due to course offering deletions, schedule conflicts, etc.) and with the approval of the M&S Graduate Program Office.

Graduate Plans of Study for MS students should be on file with the College of Graduate Studies by the end of the student’s second major term (based on full-time enrollment) and must be on file by the end of the term prior to the term of expected graduation.

Equipment Fee


Full-time students in the Modeling and Simulation MS program pay a $27 equipment fee each semester that they are enrolled. Part-time students pay a $13.50 equipment fee each semester that they are enrolled.

Independent Learning


A thesis serves as the independent learning experience for thesis students.

Nonthesis students are required to take at least one course where a research project is required (typically IDS 6916 ) and submit an end-of-program portfolio.

Application Requirements


For information on general UCF graduate admissions requirements that apply to all prospective students, please visit the Admissions  section of the Graduate Catalog. Applicants must apply online. All requested materials must be submitted by the established deadline.

Students who enter the Master of Science in Modeling and Simulation program are expected to have an academic and/or work background that has prepared them in mathematics (introductory calculus and probability and statistics) and computer “literacy,” including proficiency with word processing, spreadsheet, and database programs, and, preferably, familiarity with at least one higher order programming language (e.g., C++). Students with undergraduate degrees in Engineering, Computer Science, or Mathematics will generally have this background.

In addition to the general UCF graduate application requirements , applicants to this program must provide:

  • One official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each college/university attended
  • Résumé or Curriculum Vitae
  • Goal statement
    • The goal statement should discuss all relevant professional background and any previous research and/or teaching experience. The statement should explain the motivation behind the pursuit of a Master’s degree in Modeling and Simulation. Future educational and career goals after the completion of the applicant’s master study should be discussed.
    • If the applicant is interested in completing a Master thesis, then the applicant must clearly describe the particular area of research interest. The applicant should identify at least one UCF faculty member who shares a similar research focus and is believed to be best suited to serve as a potential thesis advisor.
    • The goal statement should between 500 and 1,000 words.
  • Two letters of recommendation
    • The letters of recommendation should be from faculty members, university administrators and employers. The letters, which must be current to the application, should address the educational and career goals of applicant. The letter writers should also know the applicant well enough to discuss the applicant’s capacity to perform, excel and succeed in a graduate program. Letters for Master’s thesis students must discuss the applicant’s ability to perform graduate-level research.
    • Applicants applying to this program who have attended a college/university outside the United States must provide a course-by-course credential evaluation with GPA calculation. Credential evaluations are accepted from World Education Services (WES) or Josef Silny and Associates, Inc. only.

Applications are accepted for the fall and spring terms only.

Readmission

Applicants who are reapplying for admission need not resubmit transcripts and GRE scores if the transcripts and scores are previously on file with UCF. However, the following application requirements do need to be current for the new application for readmission: 

  • Résumé/Curriculum Vitae 
  • Goal Statement 
  • Letters of Recommendation

Prerequisites

Students who enter the Modeling and Simulation Program are expected to have an academic and/or work background that has prepared them in mathematics (introductory calculus and probability and statistics) and computer literacy, including proficiency with word processing, spreadsheet, and database programs, and, preferably, familiarity with at least one higher order programming language (e.g., C/C++, Visual Basic, Java, etc.). Students with undergraduate or graduate degrees in Engineering, Computer Science, or Mathematics will generally have this background.


For students with less technical academic preparation, the prerequisite course IDC 5XXX Introductory Mathematics for Modeling and Simulation will prepare them to pursue the required core course IDC 6XXX Mathematical Foundations of Modeling and Simulation. This prerequisite course will also prepare students to pursue several, but not all, of the focus areas. For example, these students could pursue the Simulation Management or Human Systems focus areas, but would need a number of prerequisite courses in
mathematics, statistics, and computer science to pursue focus areas such as Simulation Infrastructure.

Application Deadlines


Modeling and Simulation MS *Fall Priority Fall Spring Summer
Domestic Applicants Jan 15 Jul 1 Dec 1 -
International Applicants Jan 15 Jan 15 Jul 1 -
*Applicants who plan to enroll full time in a degree program and who wish to be considered for university fellowships or assistantships should apply by the Fall Priority date.

Financials


Graduate students may receive financial assistance through fellowships, assistantships, tuition support, or loans. For more information, see the College of Graduate Studies Funding website, which describes the types of financial assistance available at UCF and provides general guidance in planning your graduate finances. The Financial Information  section of the Graduate Catalog is another key resource.

Fellowships


Fellowships are awarded based on academic merit to highly qualified students. They are paid to students through the Office of Student Financial Assistance, based on instructions provided by the College of Graduate Studies. Fellowships are given to support a student’s graduate study and do not have a work obligation. For more information, see UCF Graduate Fellowships, which includes descriptions of university fellowships and what you should do to be considered for a fellowship.

Contact Info


Graduate Program

R. Paul Wiegand III, PhD
Interim Program Director
wiegand@ist.ucf.edu
Telephone: 407-882-0313
PIII 209

Graduate Admissions

Anthony Tufano​
gradadmissions@ucf.edu
Telephone: 407-823-2766
Millican Hall 230 ​
Online Application
Graduate Admissions

Mailing Address

UCF College of Graduate Studies
Millican Hall 230
PO Box 160112
Orlando, FL 32816-0112

Institution Codes
GRE: 5233
GMAT: RZT-HT-58
TOEFL: 5233
ETS PPI: 5233

Graduate Fellowships

Grad Fellowships
Telephone: 407-823-0127
gradfellowship@ucf.edu
https://funding.graduate.ucf.edu

Graduate Financial Aid

UCF Student Financial Assistance
Millican Hall 120
Telephone: 407-823-2827
Appointment Line: 407-823-5285
Fax: 407-823-5241
finaid@ucf.edu
http://finaid.ucf.edu

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