Whether it’s solving the world’s biggest problems or investigating the potential of novel discoveries, researchers at UCF are on the edge scientific breakthroughs that aim to make an impact. Through the Research in 60 Seconds series, student and faculty researchers condense their complex studies into bite-sized summaries so you can know how and why Knights plan to improve our world.

Name: Ray Eddy ’21PhD

Position: Lecturer of integrated business in UCF’s College of Business

Why are you interested in this research?
I am really fascinated by the concept of immersion. I received my Ph.D. here at UCF in texts and technology, a program that studies the intersection of information and the technology we use to analyze it. That program allowed me to really dig into immersion. Beyond that, my business background is in entertainment, so studying how immersion affects people’s experiences — whether that is in virtual reality, a theme park or just a good book — was a natural extension of my personal experiences and interests.

Are you a faculty member or student conducting research at UCF? We want to hear from you! Tell us about your research at bit.ly/ucf-research-60-form.

Who inspires you to conduct your research?
I wouldn’t say that there is one person who inspires my research. Rather, I am fascinated by the unlimited creativity of any truly cutting-edge designer. It can be the design of a new video game, a VR experience, an escape room — you name it. Anything really innovative and groundbreaking is inspiring to me.

How does UCF empower you to do your research?
To me, the best part of research at UCF is the colleagues I work with who are all so driven in their pursuit of profound discoveries. I can always find someone whose interests overlap mine in an interesting way, and together we can leverage our strengths to analyze something that we believe is significant.

What major grants and honors have you earned to support your research?
As a recent Ph.D. graduate I haven’t had a chance to apply for many grants just yet. However, along with some colleagues I did recently receive a small grant to pursue a project called “Deconstructing Narrative Immersion in the Theme Parks.”

Why is this research important?
I fully believe that entertainment is a core need in human society. I would never say that it is more important than safety, or equality or diversity, and so on. However, once we satisfy our basic needs, humans crave entertainment. And the study of immersion gives me insight into how we can enjoy our entertainment in a very fulfilling way. Alternatively, we can also study how immersion might improve the ways that humans internalize new information, possibly benefitting our educational systems. So overall, I believe that this work is meaningful to society in different ways.

How to Get Involved with Research at UCF

  • F-LEARN @ UCF: A living-learning community for STEM students entering UCF from high school that provides hands-on early research opportunity for academic success.
  • Getting Started Workshops: The Office of Research hosts workshops that inform students about how to get started in research and find a faculty member to work with and the first steps on getting started in research.
  • Honors Undergraduate Thesis: Over the course of two to four semesters, students work closely with a faculty committee to research, write, defend, and publish an original thesis that serves as an honors capstone product of their undergraduate career.
  • Introduction to Research and Creative Scholarship Opportunities (INTRO) Mentoring Program: A semester-long immersive, classroom experience offered in fall and spring semesters that provides students ways to get connected to research opportunities. This program is available in person or online.
  • Office of Undergraduate Research: OUR is dedicated to cultivating and supporting world-class research at UCF. Students can connect with the office for any questions they may have about research or to find opportunities.
  • Peer Mentoring: This program connects students with experienced undergraduate researchers who will provide guidance on how to get started and get support through research experiences.
  • Research Positions Database: This online resource allows students to discover research opportunities with UCF researchers across various disciplines. Please note faculty contact information is password protected, but students can gain access by attending a peer mentoring session, completing the Research Roadmaps webcourse, and through other engagement opportunities.
  • Research Roadmaps Webcourse: The is an online, non-credit, self-paced course that introduces students to research opportunities at UCF. It provides the same information as peer mentoring sessions or a workshop, but at your own pace. Completion of this course also provides you access to the Research Positions Database.
  • SONA: This is a research participation system that allows students who are looking to become participants in studies, usually in exchange for course credit, to find opportunities. The College of Health Professions and Sciences, College of Business and Department of Psychology are among some of the units at UCF that list opportunities here.
  • Summer Research Academy: A three-day event in July that’s designed to support UCF undergraduate students across all majors who are interested in participating in research and creative scholarship. This is an ideal opportunity for students who want to begin research in the fall.
  • T-LEARN @ UCF: A living-learning community for first-year, transfer students at UCF who have already earned an Associate in Arts degree. T-LEARN provides a select group of students interested in STEM hands-on learning experiences by helping them engage in research.

Are you a faculty member or student conducting research at UCF? We want to hear from you! Tell us about your research at bit.ly/ucf-research-60-form.