Prof. V.K. Samaranayake Memorial Oration

Prof. V.K. Samaranayake Memorial Oration 2019

Support Profile Leads To a Pattern among Natural Languages

Prof. Mahendran Velauthapillai, McBride Professor of Computer Science, Georgetown University, Washington DC

Date: 02nd September 2019

Venue: Venue: Vidya Jyothi Prof. V. K. Samaranayaka Auditorium, University of Colombo School of Computing, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Mahendran Velauthapillai joined Georgetown University in fall’ 86 after obtaining his Ph.D. in Computer Science from University of Maryland, College Park. His area of specialization was Learning Theory. He also holds two Masters Degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science from Ohio University and Purdue University respectively. His undergraduate education was in Mathematics from the University of Sri Lanka, Colombo. He currently holds the McBride family endowed chair and was the chair of the Computer Science Department at Georgetown University from Sep.1997 to June 2001. Mahendran has many publications in the areas of Computational Learning Theory and has presented his work at many conferences around the world. He has also worked in the area of Computer Networks for which he has four US Patents. He has also been a consultant for IBM, Bell Atlantic, and AT&T. His work on mobile wireless networks has resulted in many published papers for which in which he has two patents jointly with CISCO. His current research focus is in the areas of sensor networks, Computational Linguistics and Communication Complexity.

Prof. V.K. Samaranayake Memorial Oration 2018

A Journey from Applied Statistics to Data Science and beyond

Dr. Kevin Seneviratne,  Senior Database Administrator and Consultant at Data Services Group, Australia

Date: 26th September 2018

Venue: Venue: Vidya Jyothi Prof. V. K. Samaranayaka Auditorium, University of Colombo School of Computing, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Kevin was a Senior Lecturer at the Dept of Statistics and Computer Science, University of Colombo for 14 years. He abandoned academia after migrating to Melbourne Australia in 1995. He is currently an Oracle DBA for a leading retailer in Australia and has over 18 years experience working with Oracle Database Technologies. He has been the technical lead on a number of large scale Data Warehouse projects and a key technical resource on Database Security. His current interests include Neural Networks and Cloud Services.

Prof. V.K. Samaranayake Memorial Oration 2017

Improving the Climate for Statics

Professor Roger Stern. Professor of Applied Statics (Emeritus), University of Reading.

Date: 06th September 2017

Venue: Vidya Jyothi Prof. V. K. Samaranayaka Auditorium, University of Colombo School of Computing, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Roger Stern, is a professor of Applied Statistics at Statistical Services Centre in the University of Reading, United Kingdom. He obtained his MSc in Statistics from University of Sussex, England and PhD in Statistics from the University of Reading. He worked as a lecturer in statistics at the same University and also have worked overseas for 10 years, particularly in Sri Lanka, Nigeria and Niger, both in Universities and in Agricultural Research institutes.

His main areas of research have been on developing methods for processing historical climatic data, particularly rainfall data, in ways that are of direct relevance to users. He is also particularly concerned with the development of effective methods for training in applied statistical methods in general, and statistics in applied climatology in particular. His current role in the Statistical Services Centre is largely that of offering support to research activities in many fields, but particularly in agricultural research and in issues concerning climate variability and climate change.

He can provide expert opinion on Data Analytics, Statistical applications, i.e. planning of experiments, data organization analysis and reporting, statistical software, statistical climatology, analysis of historical climatic data, training in research methods support and in statistical climatology.

Prof. V.K. Samaranayake Memorial Oration 2016

Big Myths and Big Opportunities in Big Data Analytics: A Data Engineering Perspective

Professor Saman Halgamuge. Optimization and Pattern Recognition Group, The University of Melbourne.

Date: 5th July 2016

Time: 4.00pm

Venue: Auditorium of the Department of National Archives, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Prof. Saman Halgamuge is currently a full Professor of University of Melbourne and the Prof V.K Samaranayake Endowed Visiting Professor of University of Colombo School of Computing,University of Colombo. He is the designated Director of Research School of Engineering of Australian National University, a prestigious appointment; he will take up in several months. He graduated with Dipl.-Ing and PhD degrees in Data Engineering (Datentechnik) from Technical University of
Darmstadt, Germany and B.Sc. Engineering from University of Moratuwa. He has held several academic leadership positions focusing on research training and International relations.

As former Associate Dean International and the Director of PhD Training Centre MIPP, he initiated the UGC-University of Melbourne PhD scholarship scheme for Sri Lankan students and the collaborative research training between major IITs and the University of Melbourne. As an UNDP-TOKTEN Fellow he previously visited University of Colombo School of Computing
(UCSC) and Institute of Fundamental Studies and appointed as a Visiting Professor of University of Peradeniya.

He has an outstanding research record in Data engineering, which includes Deep Learning, Big Data Analytics and Optimization focusing on applications in Mechatronics and Bioengineering. He holds membership of key research panels including Australian Research Council and the Research Advisory Council of University of Technology PETRONAS, Malaysia. He has been the supervisor of 45 PhD students with 30 PhD completions at University of Melbourne and others currently reading for PhD in his group. His past and present PhD students include 20 Sri Lankan scholars and among them 5 current academic staff in Sri Lankan state Universities. He has been a frequently invited public speaker with talks at IBEC Spain (2015), University of British Columbia (2014), Shanghai Jiao Tong University (2014), IITs in Kanpur, Kharagpur and Chennai, India (2012-14), Institute of Technology Bandung (2012), University Indonesia (2012), Robert Bosch Germany (2011), Academia Sinica Taipei (2011), Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, China (2010) and NASA JPL Labs in Pasadena (2008). He also delivered about 20 keynote speeches at research conferences including ICTer (2010), ICIAfS (2012), ICIIS (2014) and MERCON (2016) pioneered by Sri Lankan academics.

As a student of University of Moratuwa, he held the position of National Vice President of World University Service when Prof V. K. Samaranayake was the President in 1982-83. This association led him to become a frequent visitor of UCSC later as an academic. He also engaged himself in the Student Council of University of Moratuwa as the President of the External Relations Committee in 1983. As a student of Ananda College, Colombo, he pioneered the Energy Conservation Society and engaged in various student societies including public speaking at the School.

Prof. V.K. Samaranayake Memorial Oration 2015

The Quality of Education Issues of Technological Change and the Responsibilities of the Universities

Deshamanya M D D Pieris, an illustrious retired civil servant.

Date: 9th September 2015

Time: 4.00pm

Venue: BMICH, Committee Room A

Deshamanya Dharmasiri Pieris is a Graduate of the University of Ceylon (Peradeniya); Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute, UK and has been conferred the Degree of Doctor of Letters (Honoris Causa) by the University of Colombo and the title of Honorary Senior Fellow by the Postgraduate Institute of Medicine.

Deshamanya Pieris is an illustrious retired civil servant, who in the course of his distinguished career in the public service has held several important posts, including that of Secretary to the Prime Minister; Secretary, Ministry of Public Administration, Provincial Councils and Home Affairs; Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Co-operatives; Secretary, Ministry of Education and Higher Education and Chairman and Director General of Broadcasting.

He has also acted on several occasions in addition to his duties, in the posts of Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and External Affairs and Secretary to the Ministry of Trade and Shipping.

He has at various times been the Chairman of the National Institute of Education; Chairman – Board of Management of the Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration and Chairman of the Agrarian Research and Training Institute.

He has also served on the Governing Councils or Boards of Management of several Universities and Postgraduate Institutes.

He has been a Director of the People’s Bank, the People’s Merchant Bank and a member of the Rural Credit Advisory Committee of the Central Bank.

He has served as a member of the National Salaries Commission and as a member of the Presidential Commission on Finance and Banking.

Currently, he also serves as Deputy Chairman – Mercantile Merchant Bank Ltd. and Chairman, Board of Management of the Institute of Information Technology.

Prof. V.K. Samaranayake Memorial Oration 2014

The Intelligent Future

Prof. Abhaya Induruwa, Professor V K Samaranayake Endowed Professor of Computing

Date: 23rd July 2014

Time: 4.00pm

Venue: Prof. V.K. Samaranayake Auditorium, UCSC

Born in 1950, schooled at Kahagolla Maha Vidyalaya, Diyatalawa and Nalanda Vidyalaya, Colombo, Professor Abhaya Induruwa became the first ever student to graduate with a First Class Honours in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Sri Lanka, Katubedda Campus, winning the Professor O P Kulshreshtha award for the Best Electrical and Electronic Engineering Graduate in 1975. After reading for his PhD at Imperial College London, with Emeritus Professor B J Cory as his research supervisor, he returned to Sri Lanka in 1980.

A founding member of the Computer Society of Sri Lanka, Professor Induruwa is a Chartered Engineer and a Chartered Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, UK; a Chartered Fellow of the Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka; and a Chartered Fellow of the British Computer Society. He is also a Founding Member of the Internet Society and a Member of the Internet Society, Sri Lanka Chapter.

In 1983 he served on the National Committee which formulated the Computer Policy for Sri Lanka. In 1984 he was appointed by H E the President of Sri Lanka to the inaugural board of the Computer and Information Technology Council (CINTEC). He served on the CINTEC Board until 1998, along with Professor Samaranayake who became the Chairman of the Board in 1985. He held the CINTEC portfolios for Computer Education and Data Communication & Computer Networking, and served as the Chairman of the respective CINTEC Working Committees. He also functioned as the Acting Chairman of CINTEC on many occasions.  He served the public sector organisations in various ICT advisory and consultancy roles. In 1992 he served on the Cabinet appointed committee that formulated the Data Communication and Computer Networking strategy for Sri Lanka. He served on the Council of the National Science Foundation (formerly NARESA) from 1992-1996.

He represented Sri Lanka at the UNESCO Advisory Group meetings on Computers in Education (Japan, 1984 and India, 1987) and the NSFSL at the Association of Science Co-operation in Asia (Japan, 1995).  He also represented Sri Lanka at the joint ADB-ITU meeting in Geneva, Switzerland in 1998. In 1994 he became a Director of the microprocessor based training activities for Physicists in developing countries of the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Italy.  During the last 20 years he has organised and delivered 17 programmes including regional activities in Vietnam (1997), Central and Eastern Europe (1997), Senegal (1999), Indonesia (2005), Chile (2008) and Malaysia (2012). More than 2000 scientists from over forty developing countries have benefitted from these training programmes.

He pioneered the teaching of Computer Science & Engineering in Sri Lanka and established the Department of Computer Science & Engineering of the University of Moratuwa in 1985, and served as its Head until 1998. He is currently the Professor V K Samaranayake Endowed Professor of Computing at the University of Colombo School of Computing, in addition to being the Joint Acting Head and Programme Director for Post Graduate Research in Computing at Canterbury Christ Church University.  He has published widely and his current research focuses on smart phone forensics and security of the Internet of Things.

He pioneered Academic and Research Networking and deployment of Internet in Sri Lanka and led the development of LEARN – Lanka Experimental Academic and Research Network – which today provides Internet connectivity to all Universities, Research Centres, and other Education and Higher Education Institutions in the country.

In recognition of his services to the ICT industry and to the advancement of computer education and professionalism in Sri Lanka the Computer Society of Sri Lanka awarded him the Honorary Fellowship in 2003. In recognition of his life time achievement in pioneering Internet deployment in Sri Lanka the Internet Society honoured Professor Induruwa by inducting him to the Internet Hall of Fame in 2014.

Prof. V.K. Samaranayake Memorial Oration 2013

Hurdles and Successes in Academic Life

Vidya Jothi Prof. Eric Karunanayake, Emeritus Professor of Bio Chemistry & Chairman, National Research Council

Date: 10th June 2013

Time: 4.00pm

Venue: Prof. V.K. Samaranayake Auditorium, UCSC

Prof. V.K. Samaranayake Memorial Oration 2012

Ramblings in Mathematics

Prof. J.B. Disanayaka, Emeritus Professor of Sinhala

Date: 12th June 2012

Time: 4.30pm

Venue: Prof. V.K. Samaranayake Auditorium, UCSC.

Emeritus Professor of Sinhala, Desamānya J. B. Disanayaka, occupies a prominent place among the Sinhala scholars in contemporary Sri Lanka.  Prof. Disanayaka retired from the University of Colombo in 2002, after a long and distinguished career as the Senior Professor of Sinhala. In 2007, he was appointed as the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Thailand and served as a diplomat for four years.  Throughout his professional career – first as Professor of Sinhala, and then as an Ambassador — Prof. Disanayaka’s renown in  linguistics attracted the attention of academic and public domains.  He has had a major influence on Sinhala language and grammar, and a significant effect on a range of other areas from culture to journalism, children’s literature to language technology.
Born on 16th April 1937, in Rambukkana, Kegalle District he had his secondary education at the Dharmaraja College, Kandy and later at the Ananda College Colombo. In 1957, he gained admission to the University of Ceylon, Peradeniaya, where he was tutored by some of the best scholar’s of the country in the field of Sinhala language and literature, such as Prof. D.E. Hettiarachichi, Prof. Ediriweera Sarachachandra, Dr. M.W. Sugathapala De Silva and Dr. Siri Gunasinghe. The academic and cultural atmosphere prevailed in the university and his ardent love for the Sinhala language and culture paved the way for his subsequent academic and professional achievements.
In 1961, Prof. Disanayaka graduated from the University of Ceylon securing a First Class honours degree winning many prizes for academic excellence. Soon after his graduation he began his academic career as a lecturer in the Dept of Sinhala. As a young lecturer he chose the field of Modern Linguistics for his postgraduate studies. He received his MA in Linguistics from the University of California, Berkeley where he spent two years (1963-65) as a Fulbright Scholar. Â He spent another year at the University College, London studying Theoretical Linguistics. During his postgraduate life he was influenced by a number of leading linguists, notably Professors Dell Hymes , John Gumperz and Michalel Halliday. Â As a professional linguist, Prof. Disanayaka is a product of both American and British school of linguistic thought. His doctoral dissertation on The Word in Modern Literary Sinhala was submitted to the University of Colombo in 1980.
Professor Disanayaka was instrumental in establishing the Department of Linguistics in the University of Colombo, the first fully-fledged department of Linguistics in a Sri Lankan university. It was then that his major contribution to the development of Sinhala linguistics commenced with full vigor. He became the Head of the newly-established Department of Linguistics, until 1973, when it was relocated in another university. He continued to teach Sinhala language at the University of Colombo and played a leading role in popularizing the new subject — the modern linguistics. After years of dedicated service he rose to the grade of Senior Professor of Sinhala in the University of Colombo bringing honour and fame to the institution.
As a university academic, Professor Disanayaka has made a lasting contribution to advance the knowledge on Sinhala grammar, language and culture. He has published extensively in these fields of study totaling to more than 100 books in Sinhala and English and several scholarly articles of exceptional academic value. In his own field of expertise, he worked towards bridging the gap between traditional Sinhala grammatical studies  and modern linguistics. His first two books written in Sinhala – Bhashāvaka Rata Samudaya (1969) and Bhāshāvaka Bhāvitaya hā Vigrahaya (1970) considered as a pioneering effort to introduce the concepts of modern linguistic analysis to the Sinhala readership. His innovative ideas on Sinhala grammar sparked many controversies in the Sinhala linguistic circles, and provided new insights to the study of language.  As a modern grammarian, Prof. Disanayaka took the initiative to write a new grammar for contemporary Sinhala and to analyze Sinhala usage in keeping with the different aims of modern linguistics and grammar. His new series of Sinhala grammar titled Basaka Mahima (2001) attempts to analyze the Sinhala written usage from a linguistic perspective and makes a novel approach to study Sinhala grammar.  In addition to his vast number of Sinhala publications on Sinhala language and grammar, Prof. Disanayaka’s other publications in English include, Language and Commonsense (1973) Say it in Sinhala (1974) The Structure of Spoken Sinhala: Sounds and their Patterns (1991), A Unique Indo-Aryan Language (1994), Let’s Learn Sinhala (2004). This present volume Sinhala: Saga of an Island Language (2012) gives a comprehensive and an accessible account on the history, structure and development of the Sinhala language.
Prof. Disanayaka has spent several years studying languages and cultures of many communities. In 1976, he spent a year in the Umbrian mountains of Perugia, studying Italian languages and culture. In 1985, another year was spent in Scotland as a Commonwealth Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, UK studying Applied Linguistics. He was one of the two Sri Lankan scholars to be invited in in 1981 by the Republic of Maldives to read and translate into English, for the first time, the 12th century Lomafānu copper plates, the oldest historical documents of the Maldives. His interest in modern Maldivian finds expression in Say it in Maldivian (1990) which he co-authored with H.A. Maniku, a Maldivian scholar.
In the field of Sinhala language studies, Prof. Disanayaka’s main focus was on the documenting of Sinhala folk usage. As a scholar he was fascinated by the beauty and romance of Sinhala village, and devoted much of his time to collect the Sinhala folk usage. He considered spoken Sinhala as a vital part of the Sinhala language study and developed a new way of looking at Sinhala folk speech.  His publication Sinhala Jana Vahara (1976) helped to pioneer the documentation of Sinhala folk usage from a linguistic point of view. Though he has gained a reputation as a linguist by profession, his love for the Sinhala village and its people – the monks, and the peasants – inspired him to write on Sinhala culture. His major works on Sinhala culture and folklore such as Aspects of Sinhala Folklore (1984) Water in Culture: The Sri Lankan Heritage (1992), Mihintale: Cradle of Sinhala Buddhist Civilization (1987) The Monk and the Peasant (1993), Understanding the Sinhalese (1998) provide a large corpus of knowledge about the different aspects of Sinhala culture, and arts. In 1996, he also started to write series of Sinhala booklets titled Rataka Mahima in a simple style, using the spoken idiom, to provide information on Buddhist pilgrimage sites in Sri Lanka.   In addition to his professional linguistic interests, Prof. Disanayaka’s knowledge of Sinhala culture and arts is deep and varied.
As a linguist Prof. Disanayaka also took a leading role in the empowerment of local languages in the Sri Lankan ICT field, joining hands with his computer science colleagues. He was one of the Sri Lankan scholars participated in a conference held at Crete, Greece in 1998, to standardize the Sinhala alphabet for Unicode. Further, he served as an expert on Sinhala language for many language technology projects in the ICT field.
In recent years, moving away from his academic scholarship, Prof. Disanayaka ventured into the field of Sinhala children’s literature. His booklet series titled ‘Once upon a Time’ narrates some of the more popular folk tales of the Sinhalese for children. The ‘Wisdom of the Folk’ is another series of booklets that explain for children the wisdom of their forefathers as found in their proverbs. Prof. Disanayaka has also written another popular series of books titled ‘Akuru Mihira’ in order bring the first taste of Sinhala letters (akuru) and patterns of the Sinhala language for children.
With his versatile and numerous interests, Prof. Disanayaka has been a key figure in Sri Lankan media. In 1986, he was given the additional responsibility of coordinating the newly-established Journalism Unit of the University of Colombo. His academic vistas then expanded further in the field of Journalism education. He possessed the richness of vision to commence anundergraduate and diploma course of study of Journalism at the University of Colombo. Further, Prof. Disanayaka’s activities were not confined to university lecture rooms. He took an avid interest in various linguistic and cultural affairs of the country. In many occasions, he shared his vast linguistic knowledge with a wider audience. He has been a consultant, contributor or presenter on several television and radio programmes on language and culture.  Prof. Disanayaka’s wit, his love of laughter and his sense of humor often hid his erudite, serious and keen mind. However, most of his students will not forget his lively lectures on language and grammar.
Apart from his university activities, Prof. Disanayaka has played a major role, in the advancement of scholarship, Buddhism and culture by taking an active part in many international conferences, seminars and institutions concerned with such pursuits.  He has delivered many guest lectures and endowed orations. As a scholar Prof. Disanayaka has gained both national and international recognition and prestige too, for his excellent scholarship and academic contributions. The international positions offered to him include: Senior Fellow in the Department of Indology, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), UK (1992-93); Visiting Professor, Wako University, Japan (1998); Ambassador of Sri Lanka in Thailand (2007-2011). He has also won four State Literary Awards for his academic publications by the government of Sri Lanka. In 1996, he received the National Award of Sarvodaya Trust Fund for the advancement of humanity, peace and development. In recognition of the eminence he has attained in the field of linguistics and Sinhala grammar, and his distinguished contributions to the advancement of knowledge, in 2003, the University of Colombo conferred the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters (D.Litt). He received the title of Kirti Sri from the University of Sabragamuwa.  In 2005, he was awarded the coveted presidential honorary title Desamānya from the Government of Sri Lanka, in recognition of his services to the country.
Prof. Disanayaka now lives in Kohuwela, Nugegoda a suburb in Colombo district, where he continues to work as writer and consultant on language, grammar and culture. He is married with two children.

Prof. V.K. Samaranayake Memorial Oration 2011

Vision in IT

Prof. Arjuna Aluwihara, Emeritus Professor of Surgery

Date: 26th August 2011

Time: 3.30pm

Venue: Prof. V.K. Samaranayake Auditorium, UCSC.

The orator, a National of Sri Lanka, is now Emeritus Professor of Surgery at the University of Peradeniya was born in 1939 and marrying in 1966, he has four children.

He schooled at Trinity College in Kandy, and did his basic medical degree at Kings College, Cambridge and the London Hospital (UK) in 1963. He received many prizes and scholarships in school and universities, and extracurricular interests- especially playing the Cello, and sports (earlier athletics, rugby and tennis and latterly water skiing and white water rafting).

His postgraduate work was done in Sri Lanka and England with the FRCS in 1966, and the M.Chir (Cambridge) in 1970 at the Royal College of Surgeons of London and St. Marks Hospital. He joined the University in 1971. After this he has concurrently held many medical and then surgical posts in Sri Lanka, England, Kuwait etc and many visits to hospitals in over 25 countries. Locum Consultant work in England in 1979, 1995, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003 ,2004-2006. Professor of Surgery at the University of Peradeniya from 1985 to 2004.

He was at one time Vice Chancellor of his University (1988-89), Chairman of the University Grants Commission of Sri Lanka (1989-93), member of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (1997-2000), and member of the Regional and Global Advisory Committee of Health Research of the WHO (1992-2000). As Chairman of the Board of Study in Surgery of the Postgraduate Institute of Medicine in Colombo (1995 to 2004)- he had an oversight of the Surgical Training in the whole country. He has examined in the Final Fellowships in London, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangla Desh, in addition to Sri Lanka. He was a member of the Editorial Board of the British Journal of Surgery for many years. He was founder President of the SAARC Surgical Care Society and Past President of the Medical Section of the Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science, South East Asian Regional Association of Medical Education, and of the College of Surgeons of Sri Lanka. He has a Trinity Lion for Educational Services.

He is Ex President of the National Academy of Sciences of Sri Lanka and Chairman of Pugwash- Sri Lanka section; he has an Honorary Fellowship of the Bangla Desh College of Physicians and Surgeons, and the Ad Hominem Fellowship of the College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, and of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons on England, an Honorary DSc of the University of Sabaragamuwa, an Honorary Fellowship of the Institute of Chemistry, and a Hon. Fellowship of the International Medical Sciences Academy. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the International Network for Human Rights of Academies and Scholarly Societies based at the National Academies of Sciences in Washington.

He has written widely on electron microscopy, surgical matters (including new operations), community, education, and human rights topics. Particularly interesting is the interaction between surgical matters in developing countries- work and training, new technologies, development, and Health in general. including a Chapter in recent Oxford Text Book of Surgery, and a Disc Book updating the London FRCS STEP course in collaboration with the RCS, London, and COL Vancouver and the development of the ISS program of the RCS England including a Chapter in recent Oxford Text Book of Surgery, and a Disc Book updating the London FRCS STEP course in collaboration with the RCS, London, and COL Vancouver
He has traveled widely in connection with University, Human Rights, and Health matters, examining, delivering prestigious lectures, and participating in decision-making committees, in many countries in the East and West (including a Hunterian Professorship Lecture on a new operation for Imperforate Anus at the Royal College of Surgeons in London, and several orations in India, BanglaDesh, England and Sri Lanka).

He has visited hospitals and medical schools in Asia, Europe, sub Saharan Africa. South and North America, and Australia. The Sri Lanka Government honored him in 1998 with the Title Vidya Jothi for outstanding contributions to Science.

Prof. V.K. Samaranayake Memorial Oration 2010

Robotics Exploration of Solar System and Beyond

Dr. Sarath D. Gunapala, Senior Research Scientist of NASA

Date: 07th May 2010

Prof. V.K. Samaranayake Memorial Oration 2009

Unravelling the Origin of mass

Prof. L.C.R. Wijewardhana, Professor of Theoretical Physics, University of Cincinnati, USA.

Date: 15th September 2009

Prof. V.K. Samaranayake Memorial Oration 2008

Tackling Climate Change and Sustainable Development Problems Together

Prof. Mohan Munasinghe, 2007 Nobel Co-Laureate

Date: 05th June 2008

Time: 9:30 AM

Vanue: Prof. V. K. Samaranayake Auditorium, UCSC

The first Vidya Jyothi Prof. V. K. Samaranayake Memorial Oration will be delivered by the 2007 Nobel Co-LaureateProf. Mohan Munasinghe at the Prof. V. K. Samaranayake Auditorium of the University of Colombo School of Computing (UCSC) from 9.30 to 11 a.m. on Thursday, 5th June 2008.

Prof. Mohan Munasinghe will deliver the memorial lecture on the topic “Tackling Climate Change and Sustainable Development Problems Together“.

Friends, colleagues and well-wishers are welcome.

Prof. V. K. Samaranayake served the university system and in particular the University of Colombo in many capacities, but is best known as the “Father of Computing” in Sri Lanka. He was the Founder Director of the Institute of Computer Technology and its successor the University of Colombo School of Computing. He retired from the university in 2004 but was honoured by being conferred the Emeritus Professorship at the UCSC. Prof. Samaranayake was the 2nd Chairman of CINTEC, taking over from Prof. Mohan Munasinghe in 1985. He was the Chairman of the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka at the time of his untimely demise in 2007.

Prof. Mohan Munasinghe is Chairman, Munasinghe Institute of Development (MIND); Vice Chair, U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Geneva; Energy Advisor to the Govt. of Sri Lanka; and Visiting Professor, United Nations Univ., Tokyo. He has served as the Senior Energy Advisor to the President of Sri Lanka (1982-87), and the Advisor to the US President’s Council on Environmental Quality (1990-92). Until 2002, he served in the World Bank as a Senior Manager and Senior Advisor on Sustainable Development. He has won a number of international prizes and medals for his research, and authored over 85 books and three hundred technical papers on sustainable development, environment, information technology, energy, water resources, transport, and economics.