Interview with Dr. Gaurav Gupta, Mathematics, College of Science and Technology at Wenzhou-Kean University

Dr. Gaurav Gupta from the College of Science and Technology is from India and has 11 years of teaching experience and rich research experience in data analytics and image processing. He is enthusiastic about billiards, hiking, and motorcycle romantic travel racing games. He is well-versed in a variety of applications and enjoys discussing with students.

Today, we interview Dr. Gaurav Gupta to learn about his teaching insights and his educational worldview.

Dr. Gaurav Gupta has abundant experience both in teaching and research. Before coming to WKU, he has been engaged in teaching at the North Cap University in Gurugram, India, and the Greater Noida Institute of Technology in Greater Noida, India. Along with distinguished educators and scholars, he has trained bachelors, masters and doctors in their curriculum study and academic research. Additionally, he has rich research results and has published more than 30 research papers in world-renowned journals. Not only that, but Dr. Gaurav Gupta has also worked in scientific institutions such as the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), the National Institute of Hydrology, and others. While working in ISRO, he had an intensive study about 3D city models. By accessing the projection of cities from a remote satellite system, he subtly transforms the two-dimensional images of cities into a 3D heat map. This unique and precious experience also laid the foundation for him to engage in the research of image-processing techniques in the future.

Dr. Gupta knows that combing scientific research with industrial application will be more promising to transform scientific research achievement into productivity. More valuable research topics are also likely to be discovered in the application, which is in turn promoting scientific innovation. By integrating the knowledge of applied mathematics into the data analysis of machines, he accidentally opened up a new field of machine learning techniques and published his own academic papers later. Recently, he has been focusing on new research about medical image segmentation, where he has combined image processing techniques with cardiac image applications in the medical field. This technique is able to speed up the process of segmenting images of organs during surgery and thus improve surgical accuracy. Similarly, when the image contains too much information, this image segmentation technique is capable of segmenting and classifying the disordered information, which can greatly improve the efficiency of analyzing the image.

In 2017, the rapid development of China and its vibrant culture drove him to China and to join WKU. In his eyes, WKU is an international university with professors from 40 different countries and regions teaching here. The university breaks down the barriers between disciplines, and the professors can negotiate and cooperate with each other to make problem-solving more “down to earth.” In 2020, Dr. Gupta led the Department of Mathematics at WKU to organize the Academia-Industry Consortium for Data Science (AICDS), which received a positive response from faculty and students of WKU. The conference became a feast for data science enthusiasts and experts, with 41 research projects and articles presented, allowing more participants to see more possibilities of data science and its wide range of application areas.

Dr. Gaurav Gupta has been teaching at WKU for 5 years. The love of his students and WKU’s openness and tolerance have always made him passionate about teaching. “Teaching has not only been a magical experience but also has brought me unspoken joy.” So says Dr. Gupta when referring to his teaching experience at WKU. He adheres to a flexible teaching method and insists on “bespoke instruction.” In his perspective, a good teacher should have the qualities of inspiring and motivating students to self-study. In terms of improving class participation and enthusiasm, he has a “trump card”——integrating math knowledge into the breezy teaching process, including analyzing mathematics applications in life and referring to previous knowledge points. No matter how dull the word problems are, he will have them “transformed” into clear and distinct steps as if by magic. His special teaching style of infusing entertainment into learning eliminates students’ fear of struggling with difficult math problems. This can cultivate students’ awareness of establishing models to solve problems spontaneously and cultivate their mathematical thinking.

In class, Dr. Gupta actively guides students to solve problems with efficient skills. Outside the classroom, he has established lots of research projects to motivate students to engage in the exploration of different topics. According to Gupta, “It is not enough to simply possess theoretical knowledge in the study of mathematics. Students need to extend the knowledge learned in class and apply it to real practice.” Therefore, he set up research-related courses such as Applied Machine Learning, Statistical Data Mining, and Senior Seminar in Mathematics.

In terms of Chinese students, he said: “Many WKU students study hard and want to achieve more and more. They do not just want to complete the course and get a degree. They want to get more into research. I can directly do some research and give it to them.” After learning about students’ research interests, Dr. Gupta established project groups with them in robotics, medical imaging and other related fields. Inspired by the connection between machine analysis and social science he noticed while researching natural language programming with his students. He later set up a research project on real-world AI and machine learning, which focused on analyzing text data on platforms like Google and Wechat to track and protect user passwords and other personal information. Under the guidance of Dr. Gupta, Changjie Lu (Class of 2023) and Shen Zheng (Class of 2021) participated in CVPR to present their project named Unsupervised Domain Adaptation for Cardiac Segmentation: Towards Structure Mutual Information Maximization. In this top-ranked conference in the field of computing, they also exchanged ideas with top scholars from around the world and gained valuable experience from online seminars.

This is what Dr. Gupta does, passing on mathematical culture in the teaching and imparting practical experience in the research so that more students can immerse themselves in mathematical culture and grasp practical experience. In the end, Dr. Gaurav Gupta would like to tell WKU students that mathematics learning requires a process of adaptation. Once they overcome the language barrier and adapt to the mode of learning in school, everyone will make rapid progress. May every WKUer can find the most suitable pace of learning, embrace the wonderful moments in life, become excellent scholars in the future and have an absolutely bright future, as Dr. Gupta hopes.

Writer: TAN Ruixi, ZHU Yuhan, HE Yu

Proofreader: XIANG Wenwei