This article possibly contains original research. (October 2020)
Amar Gupta (born 1953) is a computer scientist, originally from Gujarat, India and now based in the United States. Gupta has worked in academics, private companies, and international organizations in positions that involved analysis and leveraging of opportunities at the intersection of technology and business, as well as the design, development, and implementation of prototype systems that led to widespread adoption of new techniques and technologies. He has surmounted several strategic, business, technical, economic, legal, and public policy barriers related to several innovative products and services.
Gupta has spent the bulk of his career at MIT. In 2015, he rejoined MIT to work at the Institute for Medical Engineering and Sciences (IMES), Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, and the Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) on innovation and entrepreneurship related to Digital Health and Globally Distributed Teams. He serves as Principal/Co-Principal Investigator and Coordinator for "Telemedicine" and "Enhancing Productivity of Geographically Distributed Teams" areas.
Gupta currently teaches a MIT School of Engineering course -- Telehealth and Telemedicine for Enhancing Global Healthcare: Opportunities and Challenges. The course received very high grades in student evaluation of course contents and instructor for all 3 consecutive years. MIT uses a scale of 1-7 for such grades with 1 being very poor and 7 being excellent, and the course received Median Grade of 7 overall in all years. Over these past years, he has assisted multiple startups established by students of this course and supervise research of dozens of students. During 2018, he delivered the keynote addresses at events in DC for senior officials of federal government officials and for federation of state medical boards. His subsequent address streamlined to a global audience is available online. 
During the interim period that he was away from MIT, Gupta served as Phyllis and Ivan Seidenberg Endowed Professor and Dean of the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems at Pace University, USA and as the Thomas R. Brown Professor of Management and Technology at the University of Arizona, USA. At the latter university, he was also Professor of Entrepreneuship and Professor of MIS at Eller College of Management, Professor of Computer Science in College of Science, Professor of Latin American Studies in College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Professor of Community, Environment and Policy in Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, Professor at James E. Rogers College of Law, Member of the HOPE Center in College of Pharmacy, and the Director of Nexus of Entrepreneurship and Technology Initiative at the University of Arizona.
Life and career
Gupta was born in 1953 in Nadiad, Gujarat, India. He received Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering in 1974 from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. his undergraduate project on the design and implementation of an Electronic Taximeter was one of the two finalists for the best project of that year. In 1980, Gupta received Master of Science in Management from MIT School of Management. His thesis was awarded in Brooks Prize Honorable Mention. In the same year, he received Doctorate of Philosophy in Computer Science from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi for his PhD research performed at MIT.
From 1979 to 2004, Gupta served as the Founding Co-Director of the Productivity from Information Technology (PROFIT) Initiative and an allied roles at MIT Sloan School of Management. As Director of the Research Program on Communications Policy at MIT School of Engineering, Gupta coordinated the establishment of the Internet Telephony Consortium, which was subsequently renamed as the Internet and Telephony Convergence Consortium and played a pivotal role in the commercialization of the Voice-over-IP technology. As Associate Director of MIT's International Financial Services Research Center at MIT Sloan School of Management, he initiated and mentored the research effort that ultimately led to nationwide electronic clearance of checks, the Check-21 Act in the US, and similar innovations in other countries. As Diversity Committee Member for three terms, each 3 years long, he assisted in increasing the number of underrepresented minorities at Sloan. As a supervisor, he mentored large number of students including Salman Khan (founder of Khan Academy), Ronjon Nag (founder of Cellmania and Lexicus), and Phil (Lik) Mui (who led the strategy formulation and execution of Google Analytics).
Gupta has served as advisor to a broad range of multinational corporations (including IBM, Citibank, Chevron, and American International Group) and international organizations on technology, innovation, and strategy issues. He has served as an advisor to several UN organizations including World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Development Program (UNDP), UNIDO, and the World Bank on various aspects of national policy and large-scale information management in the context of the needs of both individual agencies and member governments. He led a UNDP team to plan and implement a national financial information infrastructure in a Latin American country where 40 percent of the banks had gone bankrupt. Gupta was part of the expert group established by the WHO to formulate policy guidelines for health informatics. These guidelines were subsequently ratified as national guidelines by over 100 countries. He also served as an UNDP advisor on a $500 million nationwide effort to get computers into every school in Brazil, and as World Bank advisor on Distance Education endeavor to Mozambique. He secured approval for the proposal to establish two UN Centers of Excellence in Information Technology. He was the first person to attain the rank of Senior Research Scientist at MIT Sloan. In this position, in cooperation with Professor Lester Thurow (former Dean of MIT Sloan School of Management), he launched the United States' first course on international outsourcing.
From 2004 to 2012, Gupta was appointed at the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona as the Thomas R. Brown Professor of Management and Technology, Professor of Entrepreneurship and MIS; and Senior Director for Research and Business Development. In this role, he has established dual degree programs with the Colleges of Agriculture, Science, Engineering, Medicine, and Optics. The program was designed to lead to two graduate degrees and a certificate in entrepreneurship. Gupta played a significant role in creating the vision for new interdisciplinary research initiatives, such as the proposed multi-college endeavor that would enable United States and Mexico to enhance healthcare in bordering areas through mutual cooperation without investing any additional funds. Another potential endeavor involves the creation of a new International Center of Excellence funded entirely through private donations.
From 2012 to 2015, Gupta worked at Pace University: Seidenberg School of Computer Science for Information Systems. As the Founder and Head of the "Nexus of Entrepreneurship and Technology" initiative, Gupta interacted with the trustees of the Thomas R. Brown Foundation to delineate and refine ideas that are of high interest to the individuals who have sponsored the endowed chair. He initiated efforts to establish major interdisciplinary initiatives in telehealth and three other areas. He supervised partnerships with healthcare IT startups and jointly won several New York City's Pilot Health Tech Innovative Project Awards and initiated new partnerships with government agencies and private organizations. One of the projects, The Telehealth Intervention Program for Seniors (TIPS), was selected for a National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Award in 2016.
National policy on Telemedicine
Gupta proposed new national policy on Telemedicine, which became fully effective on June 11, 2018 by the US Department of Veterans Administration (VA). VA medical practitioners can now offer medical services across state lines too with virtually no incremental overhead. This new policy will lead to major growth of this industry in the US and other countries, based on the experience with earlier innovations such as nationwide systems for automated check-processing.
Gupta conducted research on medical personnel working during day time from diverse places around the world to perform high quality services to patients in other continent(s) during night time. This idea was explored in a paper published in Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. In 2017, Emory University transferred some of its medical personnel to Australia so that they could work during daytime from there to attend to patients during night time in Atlanta.
Gupta served as chief scientist and vice president for the development of VCN ExecuVision, the first presentation graphics program. The company, Visual Communications Network also pioneered the development of clip art for the IBM personal computer.
At MIT, Gupta led a team of researchers to develop technology to automatically read handwritten information on checks and proposed a nationwide check clearance system, allowing the electronic clearance of printed, typed, and handwritten checks. This innovation is manifested in the Check 21 system in the U.S. and in similar approaches in Singapore, and Brazil. Gupta and his colleagues also developed the first microcomputer-based image database management system.
24-Hour Knowledge Factory
The concept of the 24-Hour Knowledge Factory was developed by Gupta. This concept allows for multiple professionals in different geographical locations to work together to perform a single task or project. Research is being conducted to utilize this model in a variety of industries. In 2007, Gupta was awarded an IBM faculty award for this vision.
The 24-hour Knowledge Factory is inspired by the Industrial Revolution. Prior to the Revolution, manufacturing was a cottage industry where a product was developed from ideation to creation by a single craftsman and attending apprentices. The Revolution saw a transformation in manufactured goods from individual objects of art to interchangeable commodities. This transformation was made possible by investing unprecedented capital into specialized tools and machinery. Manufacturers, in order to leverage their invested capital as well as meet growing demands for their products, moved from daylight work hours to the modern system of working shifts around the 24 hour clock.
Today, the advanced economies of the world are moving from the production of tangible goods to the development of intangible intellectual property (IP). The frontier of IP development is still relatively new and is in much the same place as pre-Revolution manufacturing. Software, ASICs, marketing campaigns, and many other fields still, by and large, produce objects of art by the work of a relatively small number of masters and understudies. However, industry can be seen to be experimenting with this concept. In particular, contemporary software development is often a global effort with development teams distributed across North America, Europe, Russia, India, and Australia, to name a few common places. This strategy allows for an efficient design process that has a faster turnaround time. It provides the firm with access to high-talent designers who would otherwise have to move to a different country, or work at odd hours of the night. The creation of professional service teams that transcend geographic and temporal boundaries offers the potential to change the face of many industries. This new innovation will dramatically impact the manner in which companies build, test, sell, and support their products and services. The 24-hour knowledge factory can therefore deliver many benefits. However, there remain significant challenges in communication, collaboration, project management, and administration in this novel business environment. Dr. Gupta's goal is to generate new ideas, explore many alternatives, and conduct research and development of new processes and systems that will make a significant contribution to the realization of the 24 hour knowledge factory.
Gupta proposed the notion that healthcare applications should be handled in a three pronged manner involving on-site personnel, off-site personnel, and advanced computer techniques. Mooted this model in 2001 for improved interpretation of mammograms using on-site technicians, off-site radiologists, and emerging data mining technology. This concept won the first prize in the Big Red Venture Contest at Cornell University. An extended article on this topic was published in The Wall Street Journal. A complementary video interview can be accessed at the website of The Wall Street Journal.
Electronic Processing of Bank Checks
Gupta was the lead inventor for U.S. Patent on "System and Method for Character Recognition with Normalization", (Patent #5633954, dated May 1997). This patent played a significant role in a major court case in Canada in 2010. This invention includes the automated reading of courtesy amount (the amount denoted in numerical format) and the electronic transmission of the check to the financial institution on which the check has been issued. This concept is manifested in the Check 21 legislation in the US.
Graphics and Clipart for PC
Gupta served as Co-Founder, Chief Scientist, and Vice President of the company (Visual Communications Network, Inc.) that pioneered and commercialized the concept of presentation graphics.
- Outsourcing and Offshoring of Professional Services: Business Optimization in a Global Economy (IGI Global, 2008, ISBN 978-1-59904-972-4)
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- Creating Agile Business Systems with Reusable Knowledge (with Amit Mitra, Cambridge University Press, 2006, ISBN 978-0-521-85163-3)
- Agile Systems with Reusable Patterns of Business Knowledge: A Component-Based Approach (with Amit Mitra, Artech House, 2005, ISBN 978-1-58053-988-3)
Articles in Popular Media (Partial List)
- Prescription for Change, The Wall Street Journal, October 20, 2008 (extended article and online video interview).
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