Overwhelming response to UCSC’s 25th anniversary celebrations - Prof Gihan Wikramanayake

The was an overwhelming response from the public, students and professionals to the programs organized in connection with the 25th anniversary celebrations of the University of Colombo School of Computing (UCSC), Professor Gihan Wikramanayake said.

Prof. Wikramanayake made these observations after reviewing UCSC’s activities in 2010 and the programs carried out for its 25th anniversary.

Speaking further, he said: "From early 2010, we continuously carried out a number of programs for the 25th anniversary of the UCSC. We organized an information technology exhibition and a national and international conference. Seminars to educate the public and for information technology teachers and students took pride of place among the programs. Participating in national and international competitions, introducing new computing courses, conducting research, publication of books and research reports, carrying out various projects with international institutions, commemorating the founder of the UCSC and conducting internal, external and post graduate degree programs were some of the main activities of the UCSC in 2010."

The Ifo++ exhibition organized as part of the 25th anniversary celebrations attracted over 15,000 school children from different parts of the country. During the year, UCSC produced 478 high quality graduates to the ICT industry from the internal (228), external (161) and postgraduate (89) programs. UCSC also produced 739 diploma holders and 935 certificate awardees. UCSC staff published 69 referred research papers and an academic won the Presidential Award for scientific research. Seventeen co-authors were international counterparts from eight countries.

The year also marked the third death anniversary of the founder Director of the UCSC, Prof V. K. Samaranayake with the Annual Memorial Oration delivered by Dr. Sarath Gunapala, Senior Research Scientist of NASA, USA.

During the year, the UCSC introduced its third Master’s program on Information Security to meet the industry needs. 173 new postgraduate students were admitted for the three Master’s programs. Five new postgraduate students joined UCSC’s MPhil program.

The year also saw the successful completion of three SIDA funded projects, namely National eLearning Centre (NeLC), PhD and Networking projects. The JICA funded Third Country Training Programs (TCTP) in e-Learning and the IDRC funded PAN Localization projects were also completed. With the help of the UCSC, NAITA continued to provide an e-Testing service to streamline its e-Sri Lanka (IT awareness) and the Sri Lanka Computer Driving License (Office Applications) certifications. Discussions were held with the Ministry of Higher Education to extend this service to promote IT among university students.

Eight innovative projects of the UCSC received national and international recognition. Among these projects, three were from e-Learning, two from e-Health, two from Language Technology and one from Theekshana. The National Best Quality Software Awards of the BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT recognized five UCSC products as Gold, Silver, Bronze and two Merits, one of which won the overall Bronze.

Two of these products were nominated for the Asia Pacific ICT Awards held in Malaysia of which Vidusayura (A virtual learning and training environment for maritime education) won a Merit award. The UCSC also won five awards at the e-Swabhimani awards organized by the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka of which Shikshaka (A framework for bridging the language gap) was recognized at the Manthan Awards held in India.

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