The Fulton Watson Copp Chair was established with a gift from Mr. Copp's estate. The Copp Chair was established to recognize a faculty member who is internationally renown leader in computer science, has an ongoing research program central to the mission of the department, and is a prominent educator with a reputation for outstanding, innovative teaching.
Fulton Copp earned his BS in electrical engineering in 1925. He was a member of the ROTC and served in the Calvary. Early in his career he managed a gold mine in the Sierras. During World War II, he served in the Corps of Engineers and was involved in the construction of Army hospitals and airfields in this country and the Pacific. He retired as a Lt. Col. from the reserves in 1962.
After the war, Mr. Copp was involved in the construction and management of natural gas pipelines in the U.S., Australia, and Canada. He was also worked on oil extraction from shale. He retired in 1972 from the Bechtel Corporation. Mr. Copp died in 1990.
Emeritus Professor Michael T. Heath was the first to hold the Fulton Watson Copp Chair in Computer Science, from 2003 to 2012. Heath received his PhD from Stanford University in 1978. His main research areas are in scientific and parallel computing. Before his retirement in 2012, Heath was the Director of Computational Science and Engineering Program and the Director of the Center for Simulation of Advanced Rockets. Heath served as interim head of the Department of Computer Science from 2007 to 2009. An ACM and SIAM Fellow, his honors include the IEEE Computer Society's Taylor L. Booth Education Award, the Apple Award for Innovation in Science, and the Campus Award for Excellence in Graduate and Professional Teaching.