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Orlando, FL, United States

The University of Central Florida, commonly referred to as UCF, is a metropolitan public research university located in Orlando, Florida, United States. UCF is a member institution of the State University System of Florida, and it is the largest university in the United States by undergraduate enrollment and the country's second-largest by total enrollment.The university was founded by the Florida Legislature in 1963, and opened in 1968 as Florida Technological University, with the mission of providing personnel to support the growing U.S. space program at the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Florida's Space Coast. As the academic scope expanded beyond its original focus on engineering and technology, "Florida Tech" was renamed The University of Central Florida in 1978. Initial enrollment was only 1,948 students, as of 2014 enrollment consists of 60,810 students from over 140 countries, more than 40 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. The majority of the student population is located on the university's 1,415-acre main campus approximately 13 miles east-northeast of downtown Orlando and 55 miles south-southwest of Daytona Beach. The university offers over 200 degree options through twelve colleges and twelve satellite campuses throughout Central Florida. Since its founding, UCF has awarded almost 270,000 degrees, including 50,000 graduate, specialist and professional degrees, to over 230,000 alumni worldwide.UCF is a space-grant university and has made noted research contributions to optics, modeling and simulation, digital media, engineering and computer science, business administration, education, hospitality management, and the arts. It is considered an up-and-coming national university by U.S. News & World Report. UCF's official colors are black and gold and the university logo is a Pegasus, which "symbolizes the university’s vision of limitless possibilities." The university's intercollegiate sports teams, commonly known by their "UCF Knights" nickname and represented by mascot Knightro, compete in National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I and the American Athletic Conference . Wikipedia.

Aim: Niche-based distribution models are often used to predict the spread of invasive species. These models assume niche conservation during invasion, but invasive species can have different requirements from populations in their native range for many reasons, including niche evolution. I used distribution modelling to investigate niche conservatism for the Asian tiger mosquito (. Aedes albopictus Skuse) during its invasion of three continents. I also used this approach to predict areas at risk of invasion from propagules originating from invasive populations. Location: Models were created for Southeast Asia, North and South America, and Europe. Methods: I used maximum entropy (M. axent) to create distribution models using occurrence data and 18 environmental datasets. One native model was created for Southeast Asia; this model was projected onto North America, South America and Europe. Three models were created independently for the non-native ranges and projected onto the native range. Niche overlap between native and non-native predictions was evaluated by comparing probability surfaces between models using real data and random models generated using a permutation approach. Results: The native model failed to predict an entire region of occurrences in South America, approximately 20% of occurrences in North America and nearly all Italian occurrences of . A. albopictus. Non-native models poorly predict the native range, but predict additional areas at risk for invasion globally. Niche overlap metrics indicate that non-native distributions are more similar to the native niche than a random prediction, but they are not equivalent. Multivariate analyses support modelled differences in niche characteristics among continents, and reveal important variables explaining these differences. Main conclusions: The niche of . A. albopictus has shifted on invaded continents relative to its native range (Southeast Asia). Statistical comparisons reveal that the niche for introduced distributions is not equivalent to the native niche. Furthermore, reciprocal models highlight the importance of controlling bi-directional dispersal between native and non-native distributions. © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Source

Hancock P.A.,University of Central Florida
The American psychologist | Year: 2013

To what extent are identified psychological processes created in laboratories? The present work addresses this issue with reference to one particular realm of behavior: vigilance. Specifically, I argue that the classic vigilance decrement function can be viewed more realistically and advantageously as an "invigilant" increment function. Rather than characterizing the transient decrease in detection capability that is evident on exposure to enforced monitoring as a diminishment in capacity, it may be more usefully seen as an appropriate scaling by the designated observer to adapt to the nonoptimal circumstances that he or she is forced to endure. This proposition emphasizes the dynamic response characteristics of the observer and locates the origin of the phenomenon and the onus for practical improvements in the design of operational displays with designers rather than apportioning blame for performance decrements to the operator. This perspective reinforces the recognition of a crucial presence of the necessary but often unrecognized external arbiter in the vigilance paradigm and the extrinsically imposed imperative to sustain attention. Explicit recognition of this fact also helps explain the stress involved with extended vigils. In identifying the traditional vigilance decrement as a form of iatrogenic disease, I argue that modern design of work systems should alleviate the need for either the acute or the chronic expressions of such enforced human monitoring activity. It is possible that the case of vigilance is itself representative of a modern propensity to create new psychological phenomena in the face of human exposure to modern, evolving technical environments. (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved. Source

Jans H.,IMEC | Huo Q.,University of Central Florida
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2012

Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) are some of the most extensively studied nanomaterials. Because of their unique optical, chemical, electrical, and catalytic properties, AuNPs have attracted enormous amount of interest for applications in biological and chemical detection and analysis. The purpose of this critical review is to provide the readers with an update on the recent developments in the field of AuNPs for sensing applications based on their optical properties. An overview of the optical properties of AuNPs is presented first, followed by a more detailed literature survey. As the last part of this review, we compare the advantages and disadvantages of each technique, briefly discuss their commercialization status, and some technical issues that remain to be solved in order to move the technique forward (151 references). © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry. Source

Kolpashchikov D.M.,University of Central Florida
Chemical Reviews | Year: 2010

The advances in the development of binary probe (BPs) and their improved selectivity in comparison with other hybridization-based techniques were studied. The first BP, which used Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET), was suggested in 1988. A commonly adopted BP architecture employs the different affinity mode BPs. In this design one strand with a longer analyte binding arm binds tightly to the position abutting to the single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) site. A second shorter analyte binding arm interrogates the SNP site by forming stable hybrid only with the perfectly matched sequence. The design of BPs employs self-assembly of more than two nucleic acid components. The same principle is adopted by DNA nanotechnology, which deals with constructing objects and functionally active assemblies from DNA molecules. Newly designed constructs based on aptamers, DNA junctions, and DNA enzymes offer an opportunity to utilize DNA probes that avoid direct covalent attachment with organic dyes. Source

Exciting new opportunities are emerging in the field of catalysis based on nanotechnology approaches. A new understanding and mastery of catalysis could have broad societal impacts, since about 80% of the processes in the chemical industry depend on catalysts to work efficiently. Efforts in surface science have led to the discovery of new heterogeneous catalysts, however, until recently the only way to develop new or improved catalysts was by empirical testing in trial-and-error experiments. This time-consuming and costly procedure is now rapidly being replaced by rational design methods that utilize fundamental knowledge of catalysts at the nanoscale. The advent of nanoscience and nanotechnology is providing the ability to create controlled structures and geometries to investigate and optimize a broad range of catalytic processes. As a result, researchers are obtaining fundamental insight into key features that influence the activity, selectivity, and lifetime of nanocatalysts. This review article examines several new findings as well as current challenges in the field of nanoparticle based catalysis, including the role played by the particle structure and morphology (size and shape), its chemical composition and oxidation state, and the effect of the cluster support. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Source

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