He is currently Professor Emeritus of Computer Science and Engineering, and Affiliated Professor Emeritus of Linguistics and of Philosophy at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, where he was Chair of the Department of Computer Science from 1984 to 1990, and from 1996 to 1998. He was the founding Chair of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering in 1998-1999, and Director of the Center for Cognitive Science from 2004 to 2008. In 1971, he was a Lecturer in Computer Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Between then and going to Buffalo in 1977, he was at the Computer Science Department of Indiana University, where he held positions of Assistant and Associate Professor. In summer, 1974, he was a Visiting Research Assistant Professor at the Department of Computer Science of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He spent the 1987-88 academic year on sabbatical at the University of Southern California / Information Sciences Institute.
Prof. Shapiro's research interests are in artificial intelligence, specifically, knowledge representation, reasoning, cognitive robotics and natural language processing. His PhD dissertation is considered to be one of the seminal works in the development of semantic networks as a representation of knowledge. He and his then student, Howard Smith, created the first SCRABBLE Crossword Game-playing program. With various colleagues and students, he also did pioneering research in natural language help systems, natural language generation, intelligent multi-modal interfaces, and assumption-based truth maintenance systems. He is the principal designer of the SNePS knowledge representation, reasoning, and acting system.
Prof. Shapiro is: editor-in-chief of The Encyclopedia of Artificial Intelligence (John Wiley & Sons, First Edition, 1987 Japanese Edition 1991, Second Edition 1992), named Best New Book in Technology and Engineering for 1987 by the Association of American Publishers Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division and Outstanding Reference Source of 1989 by the American Library Association-Reference Book Bulletin; co-editor of Natural Language Processing and Knowledge Representation: Language for Knowledge and Knowledge for Language, (AAAI Press/The MIT Press, 2000); author of Techniques of Artificial Intelligence (D. Van Nostrand 1979, Japanese Edition 1985); LISP: An Interactive Approach (Computer Science Press 1986, Japanese Edition 1988); Common Lisp: An Interactive Approach (Computer Science Press, 1992); and author or coauthor of over 250 technical articles and reports. He has served on several National Research Council review panels, as a consultant on Artificial Intelligence for several companies, as department editor of the journal, Cognition and Brain Theory for Artificial Intelligence, has served on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Computational Linguistics, and the International Journal of Applied Software Technology (IJAST), on the Advisory Board of intelligence: New Visions of AI in Practice and as guest editor of special issues of Minds and Machines, and of the International Journal of Expert Systems.
Prof. Shapiro is a member of the Advisory Board of Directors of the Kavinoky Theatre, the Board of Trustees of Congregation Shir Shalom, and has served on the Town of Amherst Information Technology Advisory Committee and on the Board of Directors of the Amherst Industrial Development Agency. He is a member of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the Cognitive Science Society, a Life Senior Member of the IEEE, an ACM Distinguished Scientist, and a Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence. He has served as Chair of ACM's Special Interest Group on Artificial Intelligence, and President of Principles of Knowledge Representation and Reasoning, Incorporated. He is listed in Marquis Who's Who in the World, Marquis Who's Who in America, Marquis Who's Who in the East, Marquis Who's Who in Science and Engineering, Marquis Who's Who in American Education, Marquis Who's Who in the Media and Communications, American Men and Women of Science, Contemporary Authors, Directory of American Scholars, Who's Who in Technology and Who's Who in Artificial Intelligence.