Dr. Gopal Gupta
Department head and professor of computer science
Erik Jonsson Chair
Growing up, Gupta had seen computers only in movies, but the thrill of something new and a way to apply his fondness of mathematics led him to pursue a career in computer science.
He earned his bachelor's degree from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur, and his master's and doctoral degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, all in computer science.
He is a leading expert in programming languages and applied logic, with research interests that include implementation and semantics of programming languages, assistive technology, software engineering, parallel and distributed processing, and logic and constraint programming.
Gupta directs the ALPS (Applied Logic, Programming Languages, and Systems) Laboratory, which aims to produce fast and sturdy software systems. The laboratory has collaborated with researchers from other universities in the United States, and scientists in the United Kingdom, Denmark, Brazil, Spain, Austria and Portugal. Funding sources for his projects include the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Education, Environmental Protection Agency, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and Department of Homeland Security.
Gupta is co-founder of Interoperate, a startup that automatically translates legacy system codes into their modern versions accurately and efficiently. Interoperate's clients include General Electric and Siemens AG.
Although he has been successful in commercializing his research, teaching is Gupta's passion. He is co-investigator of the CHAMPS (CHallenging Algorithmics and Mathematics in Problem Solving) program. CHAMPS exposes middle school students early to advanced mathematic concepts and applications, with hopes of spurring interest in computer science careers.
"I hope to never retire from my job. As a professor, I'm living my dream of pushing every edge of the envelope."
Gupta enjoys following the news, watching Bollywood movies, playing racquetball and table tennis, and supporting the Tar Heels in college basketball.
Gupta has held this chair since 2011, when it was established anonymously to support the research and scholarly activities of a faculty member to benefit the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science.
Gupta has used logic programming to build many practical software systems, including a tool implemented for many years in UT Dallas' computer science and electrical engineering departments that automatically allocates teaching assistants. Another tool translates Braille math code to print so sighted teachers can read their blind students' work. Recently, Gupta co-developed the paradigm of co-inductive logic programming.
"Computing science is rooted in mathematics and logic. It is exciting to be part of a field that can be theoretical and practical both at once."