RACP - 2018

Research & Academic Collaboration Program (RACP) - 2018, organized by the Department of Statistics & Computer Science (DSCS), Faculty of Science, University of Kelaniya was held from 26th of June 2018 to 13th July 2018 under the theme “Recent Trends in Data Science”.

Data science is an interdisciplinary field of scientific methods, processes, algorithms and systems to extract knowledge or insights from data in various forms, either structured or unstructured. Data science has exploded in almost all the fields and is one of the fastest growing job areas in the world, drawing demand from a variety of industries including technology, manufacturing, retail, government, and finance. Therefore, under the guidance and support of the Visiting Fellowship Program of the University of Kelaniya, RACP 2018 was organized to discuss and share the knowledge in Data Science and its applications. Objectively, RACP is a collection of events that utilize the synergy of academia and industry for the sustainable development of the country.

Dr. L.H. Liyanage, Senior Lecturer in Mathematics and Statistics from School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics, Western Sydney University, Australia was the Key Resource Person of the RACP 2018. She has a strong passion to integrate statistics, operations research, mathematics with database,data management & computing skills to develop real time solutions for real world applications with a focus on providing decision support for decision making. She is an experienced full time academic who commenced university level teaching and research in 1976. Prior appointments include University of Wollongong, Macquarie University, Australia; University of Colombo, University of Sri-Jayawardenapura, Sri Lanka; University of California Berkeley, USA and King Saud University, Saudi Arabia.

The main coordinator of the RACP 2018 was Ms. N. V. Chandrasekara, Lecturer of Department of Statistics & Computer Science, University of Kelaniya and the assistant coordinator was Ms. A. D. De Silva, Lecturer of Department of Statistics & Computer Science, University of Kelaniya. This event has been a great success to the department which was organized with the help of Head of the department Dr. D.D.M. Jayasundara, all academic staff members, academic support staff members, non academic staff members and students attached to the Department of Statistics & Computer Science. RACP is a major annual event organized by the Department of Statistics & Computer Science and planning to organize RACP 2019 in the next year.

The Inauguration ceremony of RACP-2018 was held on 26th of June 2018 with the presence of the Prof. B.M. Jayawardene, Dean, Faculty of Science, Dr. L.H. Liyanage, the key resource person, Dr. D.D.M. Jayasundara, Head, Department of Statistics & Computer Science, resource persons of the Data Science Marathon, academic and non-academic staff members of the Department of Statistics & Computer Science and the undergraduates who are attached to the DSCS.

With the dedication to the expanding the horizon of research excellence, in particularly under the theme of Recent Trends in Data Science, RACP conducted a series of workshops for undergraduates, graduates, researchers, academia and industrial professionals. These workshops were conducted by the panel of expertise who have years of experiences in Data Science on industrial applications. The key resource person of the RACP, Dr. L.H. Liyanage together with expertise from Sri Lankan universities, prominent companies and research institutions collaboratively conducted the workshops. Thus, the workshop atmosphere was a fertile ground not only for widening knowledge but also for establishing contacts and collaborations toward enhancing themes of multidisciplinary areas of study and applications. Additionally, all workshops conducted as interactive hands on workshops towards granting the maximum benefit to the participants by providing an effective environment for learning concepts meanwhile performing them in practice. By attending for these workshops, the participants were able to enhance their knowledge in understanding research problem, identifying appropriate techniques and using industrial software. A valuable certificate was awarded for participants of workshops.

Six workshops were conducted with different topics which are related to the theme of RACP 2018.

Workshop on Data Science using R

It was held on 2nd and 3rd July 2018 and conducted by Dr. L.H. Liyanage, Key Resource Person of RACP 2018. Twenty one participants were participated for the workshop.

Workshop on Big Data Analytics & Applications

It was held on 4th July 2018 and conducted by Dr. A.T.P. Silva, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Information Technology, University of Moratuwa. Fifty one participants were participated for the workshop.

Workshop on Natural Language Processing

It was held on 5th July 2018 and conducted by Dr. A.R. Weerasinghe, Senior Lecturer, University of Colombo School of Computing. Twenty five participants were participated for the workshop.

Workshop on Artificial Neural Networks

It was held on 10th July 2018 and conducted by Dr. C.D. Thilakarathne, Senior Lecturer, Department of Statistics, Faculty of Science, University of Colombo. Forty six participants were participated for the workshop.

Workshop on Practical Machine Learning

It was held on 11th July 2018 and conducted by Dr. S.P. Pitigala, Senior Lecturer, Department of Statistics & Computer Science, Faculty of Science, University of Kelaniya. Thirty eight participants were participated for the workshop.

Workshop on Databases and Data Warehousing

It was held on 13th July 2018 and conducted by Mr. Alroy Mascrenghe, Informatics Institute of Technology. Twenty four participants were participated for the workshop.

In order to give hands on experience of applications of Data Science, a Data Science Marathon was conducted during the RACP 2018 with the assistance of local and international experts in both academia and industry. This was focused at third and fourth year undergraduates following honours degree in Statistics, Computer Science, Computer Studies or Mathematics with Statistics of University of Kelaniya to give hands on experience through real world applications. Professionals from the industry and senior academics provided some problems related to actual applications and students worked in small groups for finding feasible solutions. Resource persons/experts guided the students throughout ten days to solve the problem. Data Science Marathon was started on 26th June 2018 and ended on 6th July 2018 with the presentations of the proposed solutions for the given problems by the resource persons. Dr. S.P. Pitigala, Senior Lecturer, Department of Statistics & Computer Science, Faculty of Science, University of Kelaniya, Dr. S.G.V.S. Jayalal, Senior Lecturer, Department of Industrial Management, Faculty of Science, University of Kelaniya, Dr. R.A.C.P. Rajapakshe, Senior Lecturer, Department of Industrial Management, Faculty of Science, University of Kelaniya, Dr. S.D. Viswakula, Senior Lecturer, Department of Statistics, Faculty of Science, University of Colombo, Mr. Gaya Premachandra, Lead Consultant, Business Analytics at N-Able Pvt Ltd. and Mr. Amalka Isaranja, Consultant, Data Scientist at N-Able Pvt Ltd. were the resource persons of the Data Science Marathon. The main objective of the Data Science Marathon was to train students to solve real word problems using suitable techniques, allow them to work with experts from both industry and academia, help them choose research topics related to applications of Data Science and to promote the use of knowledge and software of Data Science appropriately in future endurance. A valuable certificate was awarded to all participants of the six groups nearly forty-two participants as well as members of the winning team of the Data Science Marathon. There were two winning teams at the Data Science Marathon. The members of the two winning teams are Dr. S.D. Viswakula (Resource Person), G.M.P.N.T.Y. Gunasinghe, R.H.M. Wickramarathne, K.M.D.A. Fernando, L.G.C. Vithakshana, M.R.M. Umair, P.M.S.C. Jayalath and Dr. S.G.V.S. Jayalal (Resource Person), P.D.A. Perera, W.H.H. Fernando, W.W.P.M.T.M. Karunasena, B.K.A. Erandi, M.L. Weerarathna, W.M.C.J.T. Kithulwatta, M.N.M. Rukshan, W.A.Y. Kavinda.

 

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