UNCG Magazine

New look ahead

Photo of Kopper

UNCG was approved to launch a new doctoral program in computer science. Slated to start next fall, it will help fill a statewide need for a rapidly growing area of scholarship. 

The five North Carolina universities that offer similar doctoral programs – N.C. State, N.C. A&T, Duke University, UNC Chapel Hill, and UNC Charlotte – received nearly 1,000 applications last year. There were only 261 available slots.

“The doctoral program is really important for us to be able to maintain our high-level research, and to increase it,” noted UNCG Computer Science Professor Dr. Regis Kopper. “With a doctoral program we will be able to give students opportunities to do high-level research, and that will increase the overall research activity at the University.”

UNCG plans to offer several research specialties, including artificial intelligence, database systems, extended reality, and security.

“With a doctoral program, we will be able to give students opportunities to do high-level research, and that will increase the overall research presence of the University.”

Dr. Regis Kopper

Kopper’s area of interest is human-computer interaction, especially as it relates to virtual reality (VR) and extended reality (XR) systems. On the horizon, he has plans to partner with Johnson C. Smith University on their recently announced virtual reality project: reconstructing Black neighborhoods in Charlotte that were destroyed by urban renewal projects.

Urban renewal demolished the predominantly Black neighborhoods of Brooklyn and Greenville in the 1960s-70s. This project will help shed light on how that displacement played out – and take you back in time.

“The idea is to recreate an experience of those neighborhoods. We will basically create a virtual tour, where people can walk along the streets and go into buildings of the past,” said Kopper.

By Brittany Cameron
Photography of Dr. Kopper by Martin W. Kane

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