Westchester County Business Journal: MIT scientist to head Pace computer science school

The Westchester County Business Journal, Pleasantville Daily Voice and India Abroad ran articles announcing the arrival of Amar Gupta, the new dean of the Seidenberg School for Computer Science and Information Systems at Pace.

MIT scientist to head Pace computer science school

The Westchester County Business Journal, Pleasantville Daily Voice and India Abroad ran articles announcing the arrival of Amar Gupta, the new dean of the Seidenberg School for Computer Science and Information Systems at Pace.

From the article:

“Amar Gupta, a visiting scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a management and technology professor at the University of Arizona whose focus is on linking technology and entrepreneurship, will be the dean of Pace University’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems effective Aug. 15. Gupta has also served as an adviser to the United Nations and World Bank.

Gupta said the locations of Pace, in Westchester and Manhattan, make it uniquely suited to his work. “There’s a proximity to a number of good companies, like IBM, and the chance to develop closer relationships with businesses to find out their needs and train students to meet those needs, to produce the skills and talent that will help them,” said Gupta. “I want to see more joint efforts involving business, government agencies and universities.”

Gupta said dual-degree programs are more important than ever today. “In the old days there were clear demarcations between people in health care, law and information systems,” he said. “But as an example, in the case of law, today there are issues related to law from information technology and information technology plays a growing role in how legal processes are conducted today.”

Health care is one area Gupta pointed to, knowledge of which, along with expertise in computer science, could enable students to be “the change agents of tomorrow.” At the University of Arizona, he developed what has come to be known in academic circles as the 24-Hour Knowledge Factory, a system of working whereby teams in different time zones work on a project during their work day. “When you come back to your project, you feel as if a magic fairy has done work for you while you were asleep,” said Gupta. “It’s like a relay race.”

He talked about how this might be applied to health care. “If an accident takes place at night in the U.S., X-rays can be taken somewhere nearby but read by someone working daytime hours in another country. Or in Australia, in a similar situation, it comes to us for a doctor here to see,” he said. Technology makes this possible, he said, and eliminates the need for shift work, which has been linked to health problems.

This system of working can be applied to many different types of situations, he said, and “allows a project to be completed more quickly. Also, there is an international feel to what is developed and, depending on what the project is, it will be of greater interest to potential buyers around the world.”

Gupta also developed technology, on which he holds a patent, to allow for precise readings of handwritten information on bank checks. He said it was only widely accepted after 9-11 when planes were grounded and checks could not be processed the way they had been for many years.

Then there is his advisory work. For the World Health Organization, he helped set U.S. guidelines on health infomatics –– information relating to health care and the computerization of it. In the 1980s he worked with the World Bank, in one instance helping develop a financial infrastructure for a Caribbean country that had experienced a lot of bank failures.

His work with major corporations in the early days of personal computers produced some interesting reactions. He recalled that when meeting with executives at IBM and encouraging them to develop their own PC after Apple had come out with its computer, one half-joking response was, “ ‘We’re not in the toy computer business.’ But very soon after that, they came out with their own PC,” said Gupta.

Just as Apple and other PCs brought computerization to the average person, Gupta wants to bring education in computer science to everyone on campus. “My goal is for every student at Pace to take at least one course in computer science.”

Read the original article in on Westfair online.

Also read about Gupta in India Abroad,  India West and the Pleasantville Daily Voice.

NEWS RELEASE: Amar Gupta, Authority on Linking Technology and Entrepreneurship, Named Dean of Pace’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems

Pace University President Stephen J. Friedman announced today that Amar Gupta, Ph.D., the Thomas R. Brown Endowed Professor of Management and Technology at the University of Arizona and a visiting scientist at MIT, has been appointed dean of Pace’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems, effective Aug. 15.

Amar Gupta, Authority on Linking Technology and Entrepreneurship, Named Dean of Pace University’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems

Splitting his time between the University of Arizona and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Gupta has been an interdisciplinary innovator throughout his career, performing breakthrough research, teaching a wide variety of subjects, and working with such diverse organizations as IBM and the United Nations

NEW YORK, July 9, 2012 – Pace University President Stephen J. Friedman announced today that Amar Gupta, Ph.D., the Thomas R. Brown Endowed Professor of Management and Technology at the University of Arizona and a visiting scientist at MIT, has been appointed dean of the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems, effective Aug. 15.

“Pace is delighted to welcome such an outstanding scholar and leader to Seidenberg at a time when computer science and information systems are becoming ever more central to the university’s historic mission of Opportunitas, preparing young people with the intellectual and practical skills they need to succeed in this world,” Friedman said.

“Today, this means educating all of our students to achieve mastery in the use of technology and a deep understanding of technology’s impact across the professions,” he added. “A distinguished scholar and practitioner, Dr. Gupta will provide vital expertise to the entire Pace community while leading the Seidenberg School in exciting new directions.”

While serving as an endowed professor in the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Gupta had been initiating and nurturing new research, collaborative teaching methods, and other interdisciplinary programs that enable students to receive two graduate degrees and a certificate in entrepreneurship. He was also the founder of the Nexus of Entrepreneurship and Technology Initiative, where he developed what is dubbed the 24-Hour Knowledge Factory. This project involves teams based in three continents who work during the day in their respective countries to collectively provide round-the-clock operations for knowledge-based work. In addition to working on these ventures, he is affiliated with a large number of departments at the University of Arizona: computer science, entrepreneurship, management and organizations, public health, law, pharmacy, and Latin American studies.

At MIT, in Cambridge, Mass., he managed and secured funding for major research projects. He served as the founding co-director of the Productivity from Information Technology, or “PROFIT,” Initiative at the Sloan School of Management. He also directed the Research Program on Communications Policy and acted as associate director of MIT’s International Financial Services Research Center, where he developed a patented approach for highly accurate readings of handwritten information on bank checks.

“The Seidenberg School provides tremendous opportunities for developing new interdisciplinary courses and programs geared to the needs of students in all the schools of Pace University,” Gupta said.

“As one of the premier university-based schools in the tri-state area focusing on both computer science and information technology, it provides an outstanding foundation to launch new teaching, research, and entrepreneurial endeavors with leading organizations in the United States and abroad,” he added. “I look forward to working closely with colleagues and students in different schools at Pace to develop new cross-campus endeavors that address the challenges and opportunities of the global knowledge economy.”

Gupta’s innovative work in that global knowledge economy also extends beyond the halls of academia.

He has served as an adviser to the World Bank, IBM and Citibank, as well as to United Nations organizations that include the World Health Organization, the United Nations Development Programme, and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization.  He was one of the founders of Visual Communications Network Inc., which developed pioneering PC-based presentation software, and served as its chief scientist and vice president.

At Seidenberg, Gupta will succeed Constance A. Knapp, Ph.D., who has been interim dean since 2008. After the transition is made, she will return to teaching at the school.

“Pace provides a wide diversity of schools and programs,” Gupta said. “I want to work with these schools so that the students who graduate from them have all the knowledge they need to use information technology. We are living in an increasingly global society in which this technology has an ever increasing role to play.”

Born in Nadiad, India, Gupta received his undergraduate degree in 1974 in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. In 1980, he received a graduate degree from the Sloan School at MIT. That same year, he also received a doctorate focusing on the discipline of Decision Support Systems for research conducted at IIT, Delhi, and MIT. He worked at MIT for 25 years on diverse educational endeavors and created the pioneering course in global outsourcing. Last year, he was voted Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year by his Eller College students in Arizona.

Throughout his career in science and technology, Gupta has been more associated with business–oriented projects rather than with pure scientific research. That has been strictly by design.

“I really think the opportunities are in the application of computer science in different disciplines,” Gupta said. “I view computer science and information systems to be enabling technologies and processes, the value of which is derived from the way they are applied in disciplines like banking, manufacturing, health care, commerce, and the law.”

Gupta has written or edited 12 books, and is author of more than 70 research papers. The father of two, he and his wife, Poonam, have been splitting their time between residences in Massachusetts and Arizona.

About Pace

For 105 years, Pace University has educated thinking professionals by providing high quality education for the professions on a firm base of liberal learning amid the advantages of the New York metropolitan area. A private university, Pace has campuses in New York City and Westchester County, New York, enrolling nearly 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in its Lubin School of Business, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, College of Health Professions, School of Education, School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. www.pace.edu.

Media contact: Michael A. Oricchio, Pace University, 212-346-1117, moricchio@pace.edu