Activities and Events
The Inauguration Ceremony
The inauguration of the Center was held on the 16th December 2015 at the FGS Auditorium, College House, University of Colombo. The Acting Vice Chancellor and the Dean, Faculty of Science, Prof. Ranjith Mahanama graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. The website of the Center was launched by the Chief Guest signifying the launching of the center. The event was graced by around hundred guests from universities and industry.
One of the Key events of the day included a keynote speech by Prof. John Emerson of Department of Statistics at Yale University USA. His talk offered an invaluable insight in to Data Science its applications and how anyone should approach this emerging field. The last event of the day was the panel discussion convened by Dr. Ruvan Weerasinghe, Senior Lecturer of the University of Colombo School of Computing under the theme “Making Data Talk”. The panel consisted of Dr. Liwan Liyanage (Senior Lecturer, University of Western Sydney, Australia), Dr. Kevin Seneviratne (Senior Database Administrator and Consultant at Data Services Group, Coles Supermarkets, Australia), Dr. Dhammika Amaratunaga (Retired Senior Director at Johnson & Johnson's Research and Development Unit), Dr. Srinath Perera (Vice President – Research, WSO2, Sri Lanka), Dr. Rasika Withanawasam (Associate Software Architect, MilleniumIT Software Ltd) and Mr. Peter D'Almeida (Managing Director/Chief Executive, N*able (Pvt) Ltd). The ideas discussed at the panel were both interesting and insightful for not only to the academics but also to the industrial personnel who attended the event. The Inauguration Ceremony was sponsored by MilleniumIT Software Ltd and CEAT Sri Lanka as Platinum sponsors, N*able (Pvt) Ltd, National Savings Bank and Sri Lanka Apparels as Gold sponsors and Stax as silver sponsor.
A Talk on "Big Data and Data Science: The Technologies Shaping Our Lives"
A public talk on “Big Data and Data Science: The Technologies Shaping Our Lives" presented by Dr. Rukshan Batuwita (Senior Data Scientist, Ambiata (pvt) Ltd, Australia) was held on 3rd May 2016 from 3:00 p.m. to 5.00 p.m. at the Main Library Auditorium.
Abstract of the Talk
Big Data and Data Science have become increasingly imperative areas in both industry and academia to the extent that every company wants to hire a Data Scientist and every university wants to start dedicated degree programs and centres of excellence in Data Science. Big Data and Data Science have led to technologies that have already shaped different aspects of our lives such as learning, working, travelling, purchasing, social relationships, entertainments, physical activities, medical treatments, etc. This talk will attempt to cover the landscape of some of the important topics in these exponentially growing areas of Data Science and Big Data including the state-of-the-art processes, commercial and open-source platforms, data processing and analytics algorithms (specially large scale Machine Learning), application areas in academia and industry, the best industry practices, business challenges and what it takes to become a Data Scientist.
About the Speaker
Rukshan Batuwita completed his BSc in Computer Science from University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, in 2005, and then his PhD from University of Oxford, UK in 2010 in the areas of Machine Learning and Bioinformatics. Then he continued his academic research as a Postdoctoral Researcher at Imperial College London on applied Machine Learning in Bioinformatics, and then at MIT Research Centre (SMART) in Singapore on applied Machine Learning in transportation data analysis. In 2013 he joined the Statistical Machine Learning group at National ICT Australia (NICTA) as a Researcher, where he worked on scaling up Machine Learning methods applied for Big Data Analytics. He left NICTA in 2014 with his research team members to spin out Ambiata, a company focusing on applying Machine Learning/Big Data Analytics to optimise customer interventions, where he is currently working as the Senior Data Scientist.
Training Programme in Fundamentals of Data Science
The Center for Data Science, in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Association of Software and Service Companies (SLASSCOM) developed the short-term Training Programme in Fundamentals of Data Science. For this program the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (SLEDB) in agreement with the Government of Sri Lanka under the IT initiative of the 2018 Budget provided with financial support by providing 50% of the cost of the programme. The inauguration ceremony was held at the Senate Hall, University of Colombo on 29th of October 2018 and senior professor Lakshman Dissanayake graced the event as the chief guest.
The Inauguration Ceremony