The Department of Statistics (DST) is the first Statistics Department formed within a Faculty of Science in the present university system in Sri Lanka.
It was formed in June 2001. Although DST is a young department, it offers many undergraduate and postgraduate statistics courses that are at the forefront of current knowledge and practice. The department originated as a Statistical unit which was first under the Department of Mathematics. The link between this Unit and the Department of Applied Statistics, University of Reading, UK, during the period 1974-1984 led to the major development of Statistics courses in 1985. The vision of the DST is to be a center of excellence in Statistics in Sri Lanka. Statistics plays an important and ever-increasing role in many fields and specializations. The mission of the department is to develop and offer programmes that will produce quality graduates who are highly employable excelling both in the academia and industry, contributing towards the field of statistics. The department currently offers diverse and flexible tracks and/or double majors that will make its students highly competitive in the job market.
The DST offers Statistics subjects from the first year onwards to students in Physical Science in the Faculty and the UCSC. It also offers the degree programme Industrial Statistics & Mathematical Finance (IS&MF) jointly with the Department of Mathematics, for a direct intake of 90 students. The Department offers around 70 course modules for a given year and interacts with around 1200 students.
BSc Honours Degrees:
DST currently conducts THREE research-oriented BSc Honours Degree programmes namely “Statistics" (ST), “Statistics with Computer Science" (ST+CS) and “Industrial Statistics" (IS) catering both academia and industry. Focusing on the demand by the industry for graduates with a sound knowledge of Statistics, together with computing, management and numerical skills, the DST offers ONE more industry-oriented BSc Honours degree programme in Applied Statistics from the year 2015.
The DST has been conducting the Postgraduate Diploma/M.Sc. in Applied Statistics since 1974.
The DST also offers a two-year part-time course leading to an M.Sc. Actuarial Science. This programme is conducted with the guidance from the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries of the United Kingdom.
The Department also has an M.Phil. / Ph.D. programme with around 10 students currently pursuing research in different areas of Statistics.
The DST enjoys several areas of strength in research. It has expertise in areas such as Medical Statistics, Operational Research, Sample Surveys, Linear Models & Multivariate Methods, Statistical Modelling, Data Mining, and Quality Control. DST academics have published many research articles in peer-reviewed journals and have made several presentations at international / local fora.
Center for Data Science
The Center for Data Science is established as the research and development unit of the Department of Statistics to engage in and facilitate research and development in Data Science tools and techniques and to bridge the gap between academics and industry in the field of Data Science.
It facilitates collaboration between academics and industry, both foreign and local, through research, enhancement programmes and consultancy projects. Further it provides opportunities to undergraduates and postgraduates to pursue careers as data scientists who are currently in high demand locally and internationally.