A few days back, we made our way to the Department of Computer Science at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura. It’s been a while since we were last here. So what brought us here you ask? The answer to that question would be Aurora 2K16. In case you’re lost, Aurora 2K16 is a conference on computer science organized by the Computer Science students at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura. The goal of Aurora is to give both school students and undergraduates practical exposure to popular industrial technologies. So what did we find at Aurora 2K16? Let’s take a look.
The event opened with Dr. Ananda Gamage introducing us to what the department of computer science does. Following his speech, Dr. Sankalpa Gamage from Zone 24×7 takes the stage and introduced us to what SLASSCOM is. Currently, the IT BPO industry is worth 1bn and SLASSCOM want it to be 5bn by 2022. This goal will be achieved by training and motivating our local talent.
He briefed a few examples of SLASSCOM initiatives to do so such as the Jaffna IT week and the SLASSCOM tech forum. He goes on to say that much of Sri Lanka’s economy runs on the income generated by women working in the Middle East, garment factories and tea estates. SLASSCOM wants to change this to a knowledge based model. The other two ways of achieving the $5bn goal and changing this economic model are by product engineering and supporting startups.
He then took the example of the STF defeating the LTTE to show how Sri Lanka can win on the world stage. Dr. Sankalpa then goes on to say for our engineers to be like STF forces, they need to spend 15 hours a day on brain exercises and know the basics like a prayer. The only thing more important than your skills is your value system. This he says is the main thing we need to fix to be at the top of the world. He concluded by encouraging students to have technopreneur values and focus on customer-centric research.
Following Dr. Sankalpa’s speech, Adhisha Gammanpila – chief organizer of Aurora 2K16 took the stage to give us a brief introduction to the conference. After his introduction, Dr. Ravindra De Silva from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura took the stage to introduce us to social robotics. He opens his video by sharing a video of a small robot learning from the famous Pixar robot. This was an example of machine to machine interactions, which is where a robot learns from another robot. Afterwards, he shared a commercial of voice commands on Apple’s original iMacs and a more recent one. This is an example of Human – Machine interactions. In such interactions, the robot imitates anything a human does.
A social robot is one that is a combination of both examples. By definition, it is one that is autonomous and interacts with humans along with other autonomous robots/physical objects. The idea of social robots isn’t new. We’ve had them since the 90’s and an example would be Asimo by Honda. When developing a social robot there are 3 factors we need to consider:
So where can social robots be used in? Quite a few areas actually. From hotel assistants to learning companions to elderly cares, there’s a wide range of areas a social robot can be used in. However, there are challenges. For starters, designing such a robot is not easy. Secondly, changing human perceptions of such robots and modelling human behaviors is no easy task. Dr. Ravindra concludes by introducing us to two examples of social robots: the Social trash box and the Talking ally.
After Dr. Ravindra, we saw Kalana Wijesekera, Technical Lead from 99X Technology take the stage. He begins by introducing us to what UX is. In case you’re lost, User Experience is UX and it’s all about the experience your users get when users use your software. Most people assume User Interface (how your application looks) is the same as UX. However, this is far from the truth. UI is only one part of the UX formula. So who needs to use UX? Every single person in a software development team.
Kalana then shared his UX story, which started off with him as a web developer. One day he was asked to develop a mobile app for a website. He needed to provide all the features of his website on the tiny screen of a mobile app. And so he created the mobile app by putting the different functionalities of the web app on the different screen of the mobile app. Kalana then introduces us to personas which are a method of identifying the common traits between users and help develop a great user experience for all users.
Kalana went on to say that if you want to guarantee good UX, don’t create your entire website in one go. Rather create an MVP and test it out with your customers. If you don’t build an MVP, it’s all too easy for you to end up wasting 10 weeks on building an application only to find that nobody wants it. This is Lean UX. He concludes his introduction to UX by sharing a few tools to help you measure how good your UX is such as google analytics.
After introducing us to the basics of UX, Kalana spoke to us as to how UX can be used to disrupt. He begins this section by defining what we mean by disruption with a few examples such as Uber and PickMe. So what’s behind all this disruption? Good UX. If you can properly identify and understand a problem the users face, then you can build software that can change the lives of users. He concludes by asking the audience to have a UX eye and focus on finding solutions to problems, this is how Sri Lanka’s IT industry would grow.
Following Kalana’s presentation and a lunch break, it was time for the on-stage quiz. This was the other side of Aurora 2K16: the competition. In the morning, all the teams from the many schools that registered took part in an MCQ exam. The top 6 teams from this MCQ exam advanced to a practical challenge. From this practical challenge, the top two teams were to face each other at this final on-stage quiz to crown the winner.
The on-stage quiz had two rounds. In the first round, the teams got 16 questions with 20 seconds to answers with 10 points for each answer. In the second round, the teams got 10 questions where they had to hit the buzzer if they know the answer. However, the second round had a twist: each correct answer was worth 10 points but an incorrect one would cost the team 30 points. With that being said, both teams from Nalanda College and Wesely College fought hard.
Following the on-stage quiz, Saminda Kularathne – a former student of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura took the stage to introduce an app he built. This app was The Ambula, a food social network. This is a place for you to learn and share any recipes for tasty meals you have.
With the conclusion of Saminda’s presentation, Ganindu Nanayakkara took the stage to share with everyone on how to the innovator. To be an innovator Ganindu says, we need to be builders. If you can’t code or build stuff then you can’t be an innovator. In this aspect, it’s important to always remember the fundamentals. At the same time, you need to know what is going around you.
The most important thing to master as an innovator is to be a great presenter. Even if you create the greatest product in the world, if you can’t communicate it then it’s useless. Make sure people remember you and your product when they see it. He concludes by saying another skill an innovator need is finance management skills. So if you get any profit, put that cash back into your business.
With the conclusion of Ganindu’s presentation, it was time to announce the winners of the competition. And the winners of the Aurora 2K16 Competition were:
Additionally, a student from Methodist College won a 3D printed sculpture for answering a surprise question by quiz master. With the awards having been given out, the vote of thanks was delivered which marked the end of Aurora 2K16. From 3D printers to robotics to UX, Aurora 2K16 brought many exciting new things from last year. Yet, the basic formula is still very familiar from last year. We congratulate the winners and will be looking forward to Aurora 2K17.
Financial Crime over the last
Financial Crime over the last 30 years has increasingly become a concern to governments throughout the world. This concern arises from a variety of issues because the impact of financial crimes varies in different contexts. It is today widely recognised that the prevalence of economically motivated crime in many societies is a substantial threat to the development of economies and their stability.
Banks worldwide have been struggling in the battle against financial crime. Recent high-profile examples demonstrate that the rate of anti-money laundering compliance enforcement is continuing to rise – Gavin Neilson & Will Furneaux of PA Consulting Group
Registrations Contact : 0114349556 / 0114422490 or email@example.com
(Tuesday) 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm SLST
Royal College Union Skills Centre
Rajakeeya Mawatha, Colombo 00700
ISACA Sri Lanka Chapter
The annual Great Place to
The annual Great Place to Work ® Conference is a premier event, where over 300 professionals convene to network and learn from leaders at recognized Best Workplaces.
(Friday) 8:30 am - 5:30 pm SLST
Dialog is calling all mobile
Dialog is calling all mobile gamers and champions of ‘Clash of Clans’ to participate at the ‘Dialog Gaming Clash-On! Sri Lanka 2016’, the first-ever Clash of Clans convention taking place in Sri Lanka, on 9 th July 2016. Clash-On will feature a battle for supremacy with the most popular mobile game, ‘Clash of Clans’, plus a duel with ‘Clash Royale’ for all enthusiastic mobile gamers and fans.
Participants can also get into character with Cosplay, and dress up as their favourite character in Clash of Clans, plus, lend their views and learn about game mechanics, techniques at the first and biggest gathering of Clash fans in Sri Lanka. Prizes and surprises are in store for the best dressed stars.
Clash-On! will take place at the BMICH, and participants could register by visiting www.dialog.lk/clashon. The Dialog Gaming Clash-On is the first such event of this nature in the South Asian region, with Sri Lanka’s fastest network once again demonstrating its commitment to up lift the country’s gaming community. The Sri Lankan Gamers’ Leaderboard is also an initiative by Dialog to rank the best gamers island wide.
(Saturday) 12:01 pm - 9:00 pm SLST
Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo
Social Media Day Colombo –
Social Media Day Colombo – Conference creates a platform to meet industry experts and learn great insights about the rapidly changing Digital Media industry. Attendees are exposed to meeting an array of individuals from different industries, which adds value to their learning experience.
For more details : http://socialmediacolombo.com/
(Saturday) 8:30 am - 11:45 am
Be a part of the
Be a part of the most awaited social media event in Colombo. Join the offline social media conversation along with your fellow social media enthusiasts for an engaging and entertaining evening of fun and learning!
(Saturday) 2:30 pm - 6:00 pm
The global economy is seeing
The global economy is seeing a disruptive force changing its landscape in a much bigger way than the blue chip; the tech startups of the world. Over the past three years, Sri Lanka has seen an immense growth in its Startup ecosystem. Disrupt Asia will be the first of its kind event held in the country in which the startup ecosystem of Sri Lanka will gather in one gracious occasion. This includes investors, mentors, Government agencies, media and of course the startups.
Follow the event on Facebook : Disrupt Asia 2016
(Thursday) 8:00 am - 8:00 pm SLST
Change is a constant process
Change is a constant process that affects us as a society and as an individual. It can cut across different fields and disciplines, impacting human lives in multiple areas. Sri Lanka has seen an increased development in infrastructure, connecting diverse people from across the island.
Simultaneously, there is a boom in different industries with startups and small industries mushrooming across the country. Therefore, it is now more important than ever to engage with this phenomena of change in everyday life.
Await details on schedules and tickets!
Speakers for 2016
(Sunday) 3:00 pm - 8:00 pm SLST
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