UCSC marks 25th anniversary
The University of Colombo School of Computing (UCSC), a pioneer in the field of ICT higher education in Sri Lanka, is celebrating its 25th anniversary. To celebrate this important occasion, the UCSC is carrying out several programs throughout the year.
UCSC Director Prof Gihan Wikramanayake said, “The Colombo University started the Department of Statistics and Computer Science (DSCS) in 1985. A year later it offered the first postgraduate program in computer applications.
The Institute of Computer Technology was set up in 1987 to offer postgraduate programs. First Master’s program was started in 1990 and the first graduation of the Computer Science batch was in 1992. The Bachelor of Information Technology (BIT) External Degree Program was launched in 2000 and the Department of Computer Science was created 2001 by splitting the DSCS into two departments.”
Speaking of the background that prompted the establishment of the UCSC, Prof Wikramanayake said, “By about the year 2000, ICT driven economies began to make a big impact on the global economy and a great demand was created globally to produce ICT graduates.
We saw the necessity of making preparations as a nation to this emerging global trend. The UCSC was established in 2002 to fulfil that necessity by merging the Department of Computer Science which was established in 2001 with the Institute of Computer Technology established in 1987. UCSC is the first Sri Lankan higher education institute to offer computer science programs at all levels. This includes internal and external undergraduate programs, online courses and degrees, and postgraduate programs.
“When speaking about the UCSC, we can never forget the late Prof. V.K. Samaranayake, the “Father of IT” in Sri Lanka and the founder Director of UCSC. He was responsible in introducing computing at the Colombo University way back as 1967 and setting up the DSCS, ICT and UCSC,” he said.
The UCSC is fully equipped with nine student laboratories, two multimedia laboratories, two research laboratories, two video conferencing units and a digital studio. It is equipped with a wide fibre network, with the entire UCSC building complex fully wired for Internet access. UCSC has a state-of-the-art network-operating centre, wire-less internet connectivity and the library is well equipped with books, journals, CDs and provides Internet access to e-journals.
The UCSC is involved in many research areas such as Natural and Local Language Processing, Human Computer Interfaces, Image Processing and Vision, Cryptographic Systems, Multi Media, Virtual Reality, Intelligent Agent Systems, Pattern Recognition, Distributed Systems, Information Retrieval and Data Mining, Process Broker Modelling Systems, Web Based Business Services, Multi Media Database Systems, e-Learning, Strategic Planning and Management of IT, IT Policy and Multi Database Systems. UCSC also manage international conferences and an international journal.
The major goal of the UCSC is to prepare students for careers in Information and Communication Technology as Software Developers, Systems Analysts, Network Administrators, Database Administrators, Web Developers, IT Managers, IT Strategic Planners and IT Policymakers.
At present, the UCSC conducts five undergraduate programs, three Master’s degree programs in Computer Science, Information Technology and Information Security, research degree programs leading to MPhil and PhD degrees and over 20 short term certificate courses.
Among the various activities planned for, and already being activated to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the University of Colombo School of Computing are the IFO++ IT Exhibition from 28-30 October, ICTer (September/October) and REALWSN (December) international conferences, and monthly public lectures.