Dr. Farokh B. Bastani
Professor of computer science, director of the UT Dallas National Science Foundation Net-Centric Software & Systems Industry/University Cooperative Research Center
Excellence in Education Chair
Bastani's research interests are in the areas of software engineering, software reliability, formal methods, program transformation, self-stabilization and inherent fault tolerance.
His current focus is on embedded systems – making sure that computer systems work reliably and that if one part of a system fails, recovery systems automatically engage to ensure system safety.
For example, a car is a complex machine with embedded systems. A typical car is controlled by several interconnected computers.
"It is a complex integrated system with lots of time constraints. If a car hits a patch of ice and the driver loses control, antiskidding capabilities have to be activated in real time based on the car's speed and travel direction. The reliability of the system depends not only on doing things correctly, but also doing it at the correct time."
The UT Dallas site of the National Science Foundation Net-Centric Software & Systems Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (NSF NCSS I/UCRC) was formed in 2009 and has included research with Boeing, Cisco Systems, Codekko Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., Keane, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon Co., Texas Instruments Inc. and Tektronix.
"Through the center, students get to do invaluable work with high-technology companies and land positions when they graduate," Bastani said.
Bastani's group is also working on automated software synthesis – which involves telling a system what is needed and having the system automatically generate the code.
Bastani earned his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, and his master's and doctoral degree in computer science from the University of California, Berkeley.
He was a professor at the University of Houston before joining UT Dallas in 1997. Bastani's wife, I-Ling Yen, is also a faculty member in the Department of Computer Science of the Erik Jonsson School.
The chair was created with a February 1992 gift from the now-dissolved Excellence in Education Foundation. Bastani was appointed in January 2002.
The center that Bastani directs within the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science partners with commercial companies for advancements in research, development and application of software systems. In addition to training students, the center brings prominence and jobs to the Dallas-Fort Worth area, contributing to the economic growth of Texas.
"The collaborative research environment with high-tech companies at UT Dallas sets us apart. Also, leaders of the companies in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and our institution are all highly supportive of innovative research, including in emerging areas such as cloud computing."