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Dr. R. B. Ekanayake, who was a pioneer in the introduction and proliferation of ICT in Sri Lanka, passed away last Friday. With a decorated relationship with the industry that spanned over 45 years, he strived to spread ICT all throughout the country and to establish professionalism and the utmost standards of working ethics in the ICT industry.

He is widely respected as one of the founders of Computer Society of Sri Lanka (CSSL).  Dr. R. B. Ekanayake was also the first president of CSSL, which was established in 1976. Sri Lanka ICT Association (SLICTA) bestowed him the “Lifetime Achievement Award”, for his unparalleled contribution for the field of Information Communication Technology in Sri Lanka.

According to Daily Nation and Lanka Business Today, CSSL President Ajith Salgado has appreciated the immense service of late  Dr. R. B. Ekanayake. He has stated that “this is a great loss to Sri Lankan ICT industry as well the entire nation. We all should be thankful for the service Dr Ekanayake did for Sri Lanka over many decades”.

Source: Daily Nation and Lanka Business Today

Image courtesy of SLCERT

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International Conference on Advances in ICT for Emerging Regions (ICTer) is the successor to the seminal International Information Technology Conference (IITC) held in Sri Lanka since 1998. It provides a platform where research done in ICT is presented by both local and foreign Computer Scientists and IT Professionals. This year we have participants from Germany, Australia, Sweden, Japan, New Zealand, Taiwan, United Kingdom, Singapore and India.

In order to get wider international participation and to promote computing research in the fast emerging regions of the world especially in Asia-Pacific, it was decided to partner with Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The proceeding of the conference are distributed both in print and electronic form. The articles are published throw IEEE explorer and linked to Google scholar and selected papers are published in a special edition of the ICTer Journal with a global audience.

This year the conference will take place at BMICH, Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 07, Sri Lanka on 12th and 13th December 2013. In addition to the presentation of selected papers, several Keynote Addresses and Invited Speeches by leading personalities in the IT world will be made. The conference will also include pre-conference (11th) and post-conference (14th) high quality tutorials/workshops in areas of current interest in Information and Communication Technology.

Out of 112 Submissions of papers to ICTer2013, the organizing committee has now selected 18 as full paper submissions, 24 short papers and 18 poster papers. There will be 8 keynote speeches from senior professors from United States, Japan, Taiwan, Sweden, Australia and India. There will be approximately 8 workshops and tutorials will be held as pre and post conference activities. Registration for ICTer2013 is now open – http://www.icter.org/conference/register

 

 

 

Workshops and Tutorials

Following is the list of workshops and Tutorials on the 11th and 14th of December 2013. Please use the “W#” system when you register for workshops and tutorials. 

 

W1.   Medical Informatics
(Full Day Workshop on the 11-Dec-2013 from 09.00 to 16.30)

Resource person: Dr. Chamidu Atupelage, Dr. Ruwan Ranaweera, Dr. Mohan Jayathilake, Dr. Roshan Yapa, Dr. Amalka Pinidiyaarachchi and Dr. Anuja Dharmarathne.

During last few decades, medical experts massively collaborate with the engineers to develop advanced techniques and tools for improving the significances of medical diagnosing techniques. Especially, with the development of high-resolution imaging devices and high-spec computers modeling the medical specialists’ knowledge into mathematical methods has become real-time practical problems.  This workshop aims to introduce and hands on cutting-edge medical informatics technologies.

Specially suitable for Medical doctors, bioinformaticians, post-graduate medical informaticians, etc.

 

W2.   e-Waste and Green Computing 

(Full Day Symposium on the 11-Dec-2013 from 09.00 to 16.30)

Resource Persons: Mr. Harsha Wijewardana, Mr. A. M. S. C. M. B. Attanayake, Mr. Kuganathan and Mr. F. Hudah

The Government of Sri Lanka announced not long ago that general populace of Sri Lanka is in possession of more than twenty million mobile phones; in other words the number of phones had surpassed the population of this tiny nation. Although this was hailed as a remarkable achievement keeping pace with other nations in Asia in mobile communication, it also poses threat to our fragile environment as these phones reach their End of Life (EOL) if it is not addressed properly. These tiny digital devices have short life span and some will reach their EOL in less than three years. These devices including computers are made of toxic materials such as lead, copper and mercury. As they reach EOL they become eWaste and haphazard dumping of these will harm our eco system polluting our water and soil. When these toxic materials are in our water and soil, they will also enter into our food chain and many of these toxic materials are carcinogens and cause many other diseases.

Green Computing is defined as the practice of environmentally sustainable Computing or IT. Green computing covers whole life cycle of computers and digital devices which include use of less energy to disposing of servers, computers, network accessories etc.

As mentioned previously, using less energy or less electricity to power computers has become a major part of Green Computing and industrialized world has contributed much of the emission of carbon into the environment as a result of generation of energy using fossil fuel and many other nations such as China, Brazil and India are joining the ranks of high users of fossil fuel as they industrialized at a faster pace. It is said that rise of CO2 has contributed to the raising of global environmental temperature in general; and it is expected with the melting of polar caps, the water levels of our oceans to rise submerging some of our low lying areas in our country; and some tiny island nations may disappear from the world map altogether. Some scientists attribute change in our climate to the rise of temperature worldwide and it will have a huge impact on our food sources threatening worldwide food shortage in a few years.

This workshop will introduce what eWaste and Green Computing is; and it is further expected to impart the best practices which have been adopted worldwide and in Sri Lanka to practice Green Computing with elaboration of worldwide standards. It will also try to introduce Carbon Trading which is practiced many of Sri Lankan Exporters. The organizers of workshop expect that this workshop will become a platform for initiating a dialog in eWaste and Green Computing in Sri Lanka.

W3.   Cloud Computing in Software Development 
(Full Day Workshop on the 11-Dec-2013 from 09.00 to 16.30)
Conducted by the 99x Technologies, Resource Persons: Mr.Samudra Kanankearachchi, Mr.Chatura De Silva, Mr.Geethanga Amarasinghe, Mr.Chathuranga Bandara and Mr.Kalanamith Mannapperuma

Keywords: Cloud Computing, Process distribution,  Multi-tenancy, Cloud Security 

Cloud computing is an emerging paradigm of the service based software industry which subjected to diverse research attempts for last few years. This long-held dream of software as a service is applied in various domains showcasing its strength and versatile applicability. This workshop will cover cloud computing considering, aforementioned great applicability and ability that it has imparted to software development employing various cutting edge technologies. As cloud computing is based on well-defined set of concepts, workshop will also provide better explanation of these concepts for those who like to seek and explore this trendsetting domain and state-of-the-art technologies. Nevertheless, workshop is designed in such a way to provide in-depth knowledge from the fundamental concepts to the hands on experience in cloud based technologies. Though the main focus of this workshop is on cloud computing, this will extend its coverage to related concepts and techniques as well which are associated with cloud computing. Therefore, security, scalability and layering in cloud based environment will also be considered and will be deeply discussed in this workshop. Moving few steps further, this workshop will provide practical exposure of architectural building blocks of cloud environment concerning cloud balancing, cloud bursting architectures and clustering techniques. With this coverage of advance topics in cloud computing, experience sharing sessions will also be held to contribute to the software community. Providing coverage for all above mentioned areas, workshop will be consisted of 8 sessions including a special session allocated to discuss future dimensions and directions of the cloud computing where industry experts will provide the exposure in a more interactive environment.

 

W4.   Low Cost Immersive VR Simulations for Industrial Applications and Serious Games
(Full Day Workshop on the 11-Dec-2013 from 09.00 to 16.30)

Resource Persons:  Prof. N. D. Kodikara, Prof. Rexy Rosa, Mr. Y Prabath Samarasinghe and Mr. Damitha Sandaruwan

The performance of computer hardware has improved tremendously over the past decade and the cost has also gone down.It is now possible to use commodity-off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware to model real world physics in real time with the accuracy required for VR based simulations.In addition, there are free and open source software (FOSS) packages that could be used to build physics simulators and rendering engines to create the virtualenvironments. Accordingly, low cost serious games equal to commercial high end simulators can be developed using off-the-shelf hardware and open source softwarecomponents.This discussion focuses on the design challenges in developing immersive virtual reality solutions for serious games using COTS hardware and FOSS.The term serious game is very broad; it is not  possible to address the design issues related to the broad spectrum of games covered by this term. In this discussion, we limit our focus on serious games usedfor training in handling vehicles, such as ships, flights, and cars in immersive virtual environments.In this workshop the  VR solutions developed by modeling and simulation group of UCSC which were built using the COTShardware and FOSS will be discussed.

 

W5.    Building Future Proof ERP
(Half Day Workshop on the 11-Dec-2013 from 09.00 to 12.30)
Conducted by IFS, Resource Persons: Mr. Amil Kumarasinghe, Mr. Buddika Hiripitiyage and Mr. Sukitha Magallege

Key words:  Big Data, In-memory Databases, Real Time Network Surveillance, Cloud Computing, Mobile Computing, Responsive ERP

Modern day ERPs are feature creeps. They have a wide variety of features to facilitate today’s endless requirements. They are used for all of the internal information systems of an organization and also connected to the external social networks, geospatial data services, mobile applications, third party systems, government tax information services, and the list follows. Every single code line added to the ERP must be added with all of those in mind plus the traditional checklist including performance, usability, clarity, user friendliness, security, scalability and so on.  On the other hand, ERP applications contain lot of data that users access through its user interface. Interactions between users are captured in formal flows such as the progress of a defined work activity. However formal flows capture only a small portion of the actual activity that occurs on an instance of an application. Users access data in patterns in real time and collaborate with each other without acting on an activity in many daily business actions. These kinds of access patterns can provide rich insight into emergent business requirements and problems if they are processed, categorized and presented in real time.  Handling of big data to derive decisions is possible by bringing together real time network traffic surveillance, in-memory databases and fast set based time segmentation of data in order to provide business insight to decision makers in real time. The workshop will discuss technical aspects of how to build future proof ERP while accomplishing the emerging market needs and simultaneously dealing with big data. Industry Experts will offer two unique interactive sessions that will cover the aforementioned aspects.

 

W6.  Video Forgery and Motion Editing
(Full Day Workshop on the 14-Dec-2013 from 09.00 to 16.30)
Resource Person: Prof. Timothy K. Shih National Central University, Taiwan

Video Forgery is a technique for generating fake video by altering, combining, or creating new video contents. We change the behavior of actors in a video. For instance, the outcome of a 100-meter race in the Olympic Game can be falsified. We track objects and segment motions using a modified mean shift mechanism. The resulting video layers can be played in different speeds and at different reference points with respect to the original video. In order to obtain a smooth movement of target objects, a motion interpolation mechanism is proposed based on reference stick figures (i.e., a structure of human skeleton) and video inpainting mechanism. The video inpainting mechanism is performed in a quasi-3D space via guided 3D patch matching. Interpolated target objects and background layers are fused. It is hard to tell whether a falsified video is the original. In addition, in this talk, we demonstrate a new technique to allow users to change the dynamic texture used in a video background for special effect production. For instance, the dynamic texture of fire, smoke, water, cloud, and others can be edited through a series of automatic algorithms. Motion estimations of global and local textures are used. Video blending techniques are used in conjunction with a color balancing technique. The editing procedure will search for suitable patches in irregular shape blocks, to reproduce a realistic dynamic background, such as large waterfall, fire scene, or smoky background. The technique is suitable for making science fiction movies. We demonstrate the original and the falsified videos in our website at http://www.csie.ncu.edu.tw/~tshih. Although video falsifying may create a moral problem, our intension is to create special effects in movie industry.

 

W7.   Mining Unstructured Text

(Full Day Tutorial on the 14-Dec-2013 from 09.00 to 16.30)

Resource Persons: Dr. A. Ruvan Weerasinghe and Mr. VirajWelgama

Many real world applications require us to try and figure out the meaning of words and phrases in unstructured texts. While complex machine readable dictionaries may help, they require man years of work to compile and so are not available for many languages. This tutorial will cover text mining techniques that can be used to make sense of words and phrases occurring in natural text using an open source toolkit (NLTK). It will give the participant a grasp of how to set about processing large unstructured texts in order to find out information contained in them.  While many examples used in the tutorial will be in English, attention will also be given to issues surrounding the processing of Sinhala and Tamil data.
Organized by the Language Technology Research Laboratory (LTRL), University of Colombo School of Computing (UCSC)

 

W8. Computational Biology

(Full Day Totorial on the 14-Dec-2013 from 09.00 to 16.30)

Resource Persons: Prof. Mahesan Niranjan and Mrs. Rupika Wijesinghe

This tutorial will review computational algorithms that are used in extracting useful information from complex biological datasets. We will start with an introduction to biology from an information perspective and outline the computational challenges. We will look at algorithms for sequence analysis such as dynamic programming and hidden Markov models; inference from high throughput experimental data via cluster analysis, classification and matrix factorization; and present an overview of parameter inference for systems biology models.

We will also use this opportunity to discuss how research activity in the topics of bioinformatics and computational biology may be triggered and sustained in the Sri Lankan environment with impact on biological, medical and agricultural sectors.

 

W9. One head, many hats: Cross disciplinary technological interventions

(Half Day Workshop on the 14-Dec-2013 from 09.00 to 12.30)

Resource Persons: Dr. Santosh Vijaykumar, Dr. Owen Noel Newton Fernando and Mr. Vajira Sampath Rathnayake

The past decade has witnessed a rapid profusion of information and communication technology (ICT) based interventions in developing countries across domains such as public health, agriculture and education. The very nature of such interventions commands collaborations between people from a range of sectors (academia, industry, policymaking, etc.) sectors and disciplinary backgrounds (clinical sciences, social sciences, technology studies, etc.). While well intentioned, such collaborations can pose constant challenges in terms of optimizing the richness, and balancing the contributions of, each discipline. The purpose of this workshop is to offer ICTer practitioners and researchers an in-depth view of collaborative processes that involve a range of disciplines and brainstorm ideas on overcoming the key challenges in such situations. In doing so, a conceptual differentiation of three approaches – interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary – will be discussed. This will be followed by real-life case studies in executing such approaches based on projects at the Center of Social Media Innovations for Communities (COSMIC) at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University. The workshop will culminate with a team project comprising delegates from different disciplinary backgrounds who will construct a solution to a chronic developing world problem.

 

W10. Document Image Analysis and Recognition

(Half Day Totorial on the 14-Dec-2013 from 09.00 to 12.30)

Resource Persons: Professor Umapada Pal

Document Image Analysis (DIA) is the process that performs the overall interpretation of document images.  Along with the existing applications like reading aid for the blind, postal automation, bank check automation, nowadays document analysis techniques has been used in many new areas. For example, currently companies are interested in implementing digital mailrooms to improve the efficiency of paper-intensive workflows and to reduce the burden of information processing of incoming mails, faxes, forms, invoices, reports, employee records, etc. Multi-script document recognition, Historical document transcription, Word spotting, Video document analysis and recognition, etc. are other challenging areas. This tutorial talk will give overview in all important aspects of document image analysis and recognition areas to the participants. Also for better understanding the subjects, demonstrations of some DIA systems will be given to the audience. Finally, some open and new challenging problems will be discussed.

 

 

Keynote Speakers.

Video Forgery and Motion Editing

Professor Timothy K. ShihNational Central University, Taiwan

Video Forgery is a technique for generating fake video by altering, combining, or creating new video contents. We change the behavior of actors in a video. For instance, the outcome of a 100-meter race in the Olympic Game can be falsified. We track objects and segment motions using a modified mean shift mechanism. The resulting video layers can be played in different speeds and at different reference points with respect to the original video. In order to obtain a smooth movement of target objects, a motion interpolation mechanism is proposed based on reference stick figures (i.e., a structure of human skeleton) and video inpainting mechanism. The video inpainting mechanism is performed in a quasi-3D space via guided 3D patch matching. Interpolated target objects and background layers are fused. It is hard to tell whether a falsified video is the original. In addition, in this talk, we demonstrate a new technique to allow users to change the dynamic texture used in a video background for special effect production. For instance, the dynamic texture of fire, smoke, water, cloud, and others can be edited through a series of automatic algorithms. Motion estimations of global and local textures are used. Video blending techniques are used in conjunction with a color balancing technique. The editing procedure will search for suitable patches in irregular shape blocks, to reproduce a realistic dynamic background, such as large waterfall, fire scene, or smoky background. The technique is suitable for making science fiction movies. We demonstrate the original and the falsified videos in our website at http://www.csie.ncu.edu.tw/~tshih. Although video falsifying may create a moral problem, our intension is to create special effects in movie industry.


Multimodality + Multimedia + Sensors = Pleasant Interfaces

Professor Masahito HirakawaInterdisciplinary Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Shimane University, Nishikawatsu 1060, Matsue 690-8504, Japan

Knowing the computer is a machine to help people achieve their tasks with less effort, its functions should be fully usable. Otherwise, the machine, or the computer, doesn’t make sense even if a lot of powerful functions are provided. This is why user interface development is a key technology in these days. While the notion of invisible interface has been recognized as a goal of its development, we say a pleasant interface is much preferable, which is beyond the invisible interface so that interfaces of future computers should make people fun and comfortable as well as usable without any special effort in advance of their use, that is, invisibleness. Meanwhile, some may claim that mind uploading is an ultimate user interface that is referred to as the process of transferring the totality or considerable majority of the mental contents from a particular human brain into a computer [1]. Our approach of pleasant interfaces is quite different from mind uploading in the sense that we are interested in humans alive.
We discuss trials which have been carried out in our laboratory as a step toward development of pleasant interfaces, which include multi-dip aqua interface, spatial auditory system, and footstep-based body motion analysis system.

[1] B. Goertzel and M. Ikle, “Special Issue on Mind Uploading,” International Journal of Machine Consciousness, Vol.4, No.1, pp.1-3, 2012; DOI: 10.1142/S1793843012020015.


Design-based Mobile Learning Research: Results and reflections on communication and sustainability

Prof. Robert RambergStockholm University, Sweden.

In the last decades design-based research has grown in application within the learning sciences. Key to design-based research within Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL), is that researchers, users and practitioner’s work together to produce a meaningful change in contexts of practice. Much research within mobile learning has however come under criticism for being technology-driven with a large portion of studies lacking explicit educational foundations (eg. Kukulska-Hulme et al., 2011, Traxler & Kukulska-Hulme, 2005). I.e., lacking at least one of the key characteristics of design-based research in general and design-based research within TEL in particular. Elaborated views of mobile learning have been articulated and these have constituted a significant step in the evolution of mobile learning, characterized by a shift of focus, from an imprecise and inadequate foregrounding of technology, towards a conceptualization of mobile learning that emphasizes social practices mediated by mobile technology. Crucial to design-based research in general and perhaps particularly to design-based research within TEL and mobile learning is that results from research are usable also to others than the research community. I.e.  to practitioners and other stakeholders involved in designing for a particular learning context or activity. Further, design solutions that have been collaboratively developed with stakeholders need to be usable also by others outside of the immediate collaboration. How else would these results become usable to a wider audience of practitioners?

Building on a design-based research approach, in the past five years a number of studies pertaining to mobile learning and design of out-door and in-door learning activities have been carried out in collaboration with a primary school in a suburb to Stockholm, Sweden. Results from these studies have among other things shown the importance of scaffolding and support across out-door and in-door learning activities. In my talk, I will present and discuss our design-based research process and results from studies conducted on out-door learning activities (for instance Nouri et al., 2011,and Nouri, 2011). I will also discuss and present different ways of trying to conceptualize and communicate results from the design-based research process in terms of guidelines for design and evaluation (for instance Eliasson et al., 2011, Eliasson et al., 2012, Eliasson et al., submitted).


Enhancing Health Communication using Digital Media: Trends and Experiences

Assoc Prof May Oo LwinNanyang Technological University, Singapore.

For decades, health authorities have utilized traditional media to reach various publics. Public health communication has depended primarily on dissemination of messages which originate from health organization to communities and individual public. These communication strategies utilized traditional media such as television, radios and mailers which lack individual reach. Recent developments in digital technology offer unprecedented communication opportunities via mobile and social media. Through strategies such as tailoring and crowdsourcing, health messages can now be targeted to individuals or groups, and further shared among their larger social networks. This talk will identify discuss key trends in the utilization of digital technology for heath communication to address public health issues. Case studies related to innovative digital solutions are presented. Each of these studies are conceptually bound (comprise alert, care and education) but address different health issues through a distinct integration of social media functions.


Architecture for Digital Knowledge Ecosystems

Prof. Athula Ginige, Professor of Information Technology – School of Computing, Engineering & Mathematics, University of Western Sydney – Australia

Ability to access required knowledge in a timely manner has been a major contributory factor for enhancing the productivity and empowerment of an individual, organisation, country and the society as a whole. To achieve this first the knowledge needs to be captured, organized and stored in repositories at a suitable granularity with appropriate meta-data and associations. The knowledge that needs to be captured could already exit in some other form or need to capture in real time as events are happening.
Development of the printing press greatly enhanced the unidirectional flow of knowledge; ie from author to thousands of readers. Electronic broadcast mediums; radio and Television and Web 1:0 further enhanced this unidirectional flow of knowledge. Web 2.0 technologies enabled every user to create and share content; text, images, photos, audio and video with an individual, group or with everybody. This bidirectional flow of information empowered the passive information consumers to become information producers. This resulted in new applications such as Facebook, twitter, YouTube, flickr etc. The number of users using these applications is growing very fast. This empowerment of users is now enabling the creation of Digital Knowledge ecosystems. In these systems users that consume the information also contributes to generating new knowledge through user actions. Such systems require suitable information architectures, effective information capture and access methods, new algorithms and approaches to discover new knowledge from user inputs and ways to identify user context to provide relevant information.
We are currently working on few projects to provide information to users in the right context especially using mobile devices. In these projects we had to address the above mentioned research challenges. Based on these project scenarios and solutions that we found for the research challengeswe are now developing a generic architecture for digital knowledge ecosystems which I will present in this talk.


Document Image Analysis: Past, Present and Future

Professor Umapada PalComputer Vision and Pattern Recognition Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, 203 B T Road, Kolkata-108, India

Document Image Analysis (DIA) is the process that performs the overall interpretation of document images.  It is one of the most fascinating and challenging areas of Pattern Recognition with various practical applications like: Reading aid for the blind, Postal mail sorting, Bank  check processing, Forensic data analysis, Seal or logo based document indexing etc.  Origin of this area can be found in 1870 when Carey invented a ratina scanner and at present many sophisticated techniques of this area can be found in the literatures.  In this talk, we will briefly discuss the state of the art techniques staring from the beginning to present days including current trends and recent advances of DIA. Also some open and new challenging problems of DIA area will be discussed towards its future research for the benefit of the audience. Finally, for better understanding of the different DIA techniques, demonstrations of some DIA systems will be shown to the audience.


Statistical Relational Learning – Different formalisms and representations

Dr. Sushil KulkarniJai Hind College, University Of Mumbai, Mumbai, India.

Traditionally machine learning deals with homogeneous data taken from an entity and assumed to be independently and identically distributed (iid). Each entity corresponds to a single relation contains number of attributes. However in real life, data are assumed to be heterogeneous, unstructured, contains noise and uncertainty. Real life data taken from set of entities are related to each other. Moreover, it can be stored in different multiple relations, which are complex to understand and attributes of these relations are dependent on each other. The need to model such dependencies between entities has led to the emergence of a subarea in machine learning called Statistical Relational Learning (SRL). In SRL, it is assumed to forget i.i.d. assumption for data, which is made almost throughout in machine learning research. Combination of statistical learning and relational learning give SRL. Statistical learning deals with data uncertainty and relational learning address complex relational structures. SRL is a powerful tool to represent, model and learn complex relational structures. There are various methods available in SRL for representation or formalism, learning and inference.

In this talk, we first introduce graphical structures of SRL.  We examine different formalisms and representations developed in SRL. For specific study, we first investigate logical and relational extensions of Baysian networks that include Bayesian logic programs and probabilistic relational models. Lastly we upgraded Markov networks to get Markov logic network.

 


From Bioinformatics to Systems Biology

Prof. Mahesan NiranjanUniversity of Southampton, United Kingdom.

In recent years, we have seen rapid growth in the amount of biological data available to us. Rapid advances in instrumentation coupled with increasing ability to archive and distribute such data over the World Wide Web, and the systematic efforts going into collecting meta-data have contributed to this.  Such data relate to the nucleotide sequences of thousands of organisms as well as individual humans, amino acid sequences of proteins, macromolecular structures, high throughput experimental measurements of gene and protein expression, and curated annotations of cellular functions curated from literature. It is widely acknowledged that extracting useful information from such datasets will involve extensive mathematical and computational modelling. Whereas past effort in the area of bioinformatics has primarily focused on the storage and distribution of data, modelling to understand cellular functions at the systems level is seeing increasing research activity. In this talk, I will review some basic principles and challenges faced in current research activity in the area. I will also describe in detail three problems of interest to my group: morphogene propagation in development, estimation of parameters for systems biology models and the regulation of cellular protein concentration.
 

Registration Fees
Category Dates Local (Rs) International (US$)
Full Package 11-14 Dec 20,000 200
Two-Day Conference Participation 12-13 Dec 15,000 150
One-Day Conference Participation 12 or 13 Dec 10,000 100
Full-Day Tutorial/Workshop 11 or 14 Dec 5,000 50
Half-Day Tutorial/Workshop 11 or 14 Dec 3,000 30
Conference Dinner Ticket 12th Dec 5,000 50
Conference Tour Ticket 15th Dec 8,000 80

 

You can get the registration form and submit here.

 

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(Speech by Dr. Madhu Fernando, at the CSSL – Women in ICT Forum 26th November 2013)

Success depends on how big our dreams are.  Whether we are men or women if we don’t dream big, we will not achieve anything bigger than what we achieve in our ordinary lives. From my early childhood days, I used to dream big. I saw successful people from my eyes as I used to read every book or every paper I could get hold of. The world was not the same those days. It was long three decades back. But I knew success is something we all can achieve.

As a child I have achieved many of my goals successfully. I worked hard to get through year 5 scholarship and pass all the Colombo School entry programs and was lucky to select Colombo Visakha Vidyalaya (College) for secondary education and to slowly move in to the big world I live today in the City. I don’t call having a luxury life is a success. Success is being able to live a balance life and while staying at the top of everything you do at work.

How do you achieve career goals while living a balanced life?

  • Set Clear Goals

Set clear goals to achieve your personal and work goals appreciating that both are equally important. Work success depends on how happy you are, as an individual. Happiness in the family is also influenced by how happy you are at work. Think ahead, and set goals for your life, drawing your very own mission statement.

  • Draft an Action Plan

When you know your goals, next step is to work on those goals you have set for yourself. Using techniques like Mind Mappingdraft an action plan on how to get there from where you are right now.

  • Live in the Present

Establishing your goals does not mean that you have to think about them every minute of the day. Knowing what your goals are and when you have an action plan to achieve your goals are the foundation for success. Don’t get stressed about the log journey you plan to walk. Just think about what you should be doing right now, to get there.

  • Be flexible with the Change

Don’t forget that change is inevitable in life and be flexible with the changes. Don’t forget your dreams with the challenges you face. Get back on your feet as soon as possible and start walking again. No one will be there to motivate you when you fail. Think about how successful people survived the worst in their lives, and re-start your life again. Set or adjust goals and enjoy success in every step you take.

Barriers in Achieving Goals for Women

A question was raised whether achieving career goals are more challenging for Women, with the observation that there were very few ladies at the top in the IT industry.

To promote ICT as a great career choice for women, CSSL Women in ICT was established recently, and still concerns were raised how to get more women in to the Board Room. One suggestion always come to the table in women’s forums, having a significant number of women at the top, just to encourage gender diversity in the board room; will never be a solution for a company who wants to achieve success in their business. If you are a successful company, whether you hire a man or a woman, that person has to be the best, to drive your organizations to the future. How women prove they are the best can be the only challenge they might face in this instance, compared to the men. Creating the awareness that women can balance their work and life will take them a long way, in achieving the corporate success, as the general observation is that they are unable to do it so, with the majority of women take family as a big obstacle they have in building a successful career.

Whether you are a man or woman, who want to achieve corporate success, managing perception is one big task, because it’s not what you really do get you to the top, and its how you do it what takes you there.

One Last thing: Education!

Specially in the ICT industry where things change in a blink of an eye, continuous learning will keep you at the top of the world. Acquire new knowledge; be familiar with what’s happening in the industry and around, if you are planning to take a step forward in your life.

Be alert, learn new, and keep moving.

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The Academy of ICT Essentials for Government Leaders was launched last week as part of the Government’s efforts to improve IT literacy in the country and governance.
The launch of the academy followed by a four-day workshop (3-6 September) on two modules of the academy constituted a great step forward, the Deputy Speaker asserted. Forty Government officers actively engaged in e-governance and members of the academia selected for participation in the workshop will be trainers of colleagues in their respective offices/areas of work.
This launch enables Sri Lanka to receive the benefits of the academy of the Asia Pacific Training Centre for Communication and Technology for Development (APCICT).
The APCICT, a regional institute of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), set up the academy in 2006. True to its name, the Academy of ICT Essentials for Government Leaders has facilitated and promoted ICT among UN ESCAP economies, which now totals 62. Sri Lanka is the 27th country to set up the academy.
The APCICT academy has developed 11 training modules for Government leaders which have been translated into 12 languages. Two of these modules, namely, Module 3 e-Government Applications and Module 6 Network Information Security and Privacy, were selected as the themes for the four-day workshop.
Chief Guest at the event Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody said every Government servant is called upon to do his best to serve the public – this is one of the core messages of the ‘Mahinda Chinthana – Vision for the Future’ – and it is the duty of every Government employee to make people’s lives comfortable by carrying out his duties conscientiously, making smart and morally-sound best use of available tools.
As ICT is recognised as the best and smart tool for development, a conscientious Government employee should do his best to learn and apply its benefits to serve the people, he noted. “However, one must not forget that along with the benefits of ICT, there are also its ill effects. ICT without guidance and regulation could bring disaster to society, though through a small percentage of the population. To combat this it is necessary that ICT is coupled with appropriate human skills and moral values,” Weerakkody said.
Deputy Speaker said that the launch of Academy of ICT Essentials for Government Leaders was a great step forward.
Stressing that initiatives like this could create great benefits, the Deputy Speaker pointed out how the far-sighted vision of President Mahinda Rajapaksa had brought about great positive changes.
Such an epoch-making change for the better came about as the fruition of the initiative the President took in 2004 to use ICT for development. As part of this initiative it was the President’s concept to take the dividends of ICT to the village. At the beginning of the said far-sighted initiative the benefits of ICT were the prerogative of a small urbane elite population.
Thanks to the foresight of the President nearly a decade ago, today ICT literacy has reached 40% from the 4% mark of 2004. Similarly Sri Lanka’s Networked Readiness Index which was 83 out of 115 countries in 2006 reached the 71st mark in 2012 out of 142 countries and improved to the 69th position in 2013 out of 144 countries.
The launch and workshop are the results of the collaborative effort s of ICTA and the Asia Pacific Training Centre for Information and Communication Technology for Development (APCICT).
ICTA’s Chairman, Senior Presidential Advisor and Peradeniya University Chancellor Prof. P. W. Epasinghe, Board Member Earle Fernando CEO Reshan Dewapura, Program Director and Legal Advisor Jayantha Fernando and Re-engineering Government Program Director Wasantha Deshapriya also participated in the event. UNESCAP/APCICT Director Dr. Hyeun-Suk Rhee and Program Manager Robert de Jesus and resource persons including Philippines Idea Corp CEO Dr. Emmanuel Lallana also took part.

Source: DailyFT

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The annual CSSL Excellence in ICT Awards was inaugurated recently at the SEARCC International Conference held in Colombo. These awards intend to encourage, recognise and celebrate the excellence in ICT practice by rewarding the best and the finest of ICT professionals.
The Computer Society of Sri Lanka (CSSL) is the premier organisation dedicated to promoting and improving professional standards in the information communication technology sector.
In its inaugural year, the CSSL awarded three awards for ‘Emerging ICT Leader of the Year’, ‘Female ICT Leader of the Year’ and ‘ICT Leader of the Year’.
The Emerging ICT Leader of the Year award was won by Chamira Prasad Jayasinghe, a serial entrepreneur, innovator and an avid programmer. Having obtained a Bachelor of Science (Hons) degree in information technology from the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology, he established a company of his own, Arimac Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. Currently, Arimac consists of 15 full time creative crew committing their effort for National and International Enterprises.
Upamalika Ratnayake became the Female ICT Leader of the Year. She is the CIO / Senior Deputy General Manager – ICT at Ceylinco Insurance PLC, Life Division. Upamalika counts nearly three decades of experience in the ICT industry. Her forte being the Information Systems and IS Audit.
The ICT Leader of the Year was Sanjiva Weerawarana. Sanjiva founded WSO2 in 2005 in order to reinvent the way enterprise middleware is developed, sold, delivered and supported through an open source model.
The awards presentation happened during the SEARCC International Conference.

Source : DailyFT

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The launch of the National Best Quality Awards for 2013 was announced recently at a press briefing held at the Galadari, Colombo. The competition is open to organisations, groups and individuals in Sri Lanka for locally designed and developed ICT products and will be held on 17 October 2013.
The primary objectives of the competition as revealed at the briefing are to provide recognition for outstanding achievements of individuals and organisations in Sri Lanka that have contributed to the development of ICT, to create a window to gain international recognition for locally developed ICT products and to improve the standards and quality of local ICT products and services to be able to compete in the international marketplace.
The competition is open in 21 categories, and will for the first time, include a public sector ICT achievement award that will look to recognise State entities that have effectively improved their services with the use of ICT over the last few years.
In addition, BCS has taken the initiative to honour the best products developed using open source products as a special award.
The tertiary category is open to students from Sri Lankan tertiary education institutions and this year the award for the best tertiary project will be awarded to two students who have shown exceptional achievements in technology usage and business potential. Gold, silver and bronze awards will be presented in all categories.
BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, United Kingdom, has come forward as the competition’s main sponsor and chief organiser, while ICTA, the competition’s national partner since 2009, will once again provide its support. In addition, IFS and Hatton National Bank have joined in as silver sponsors, along with 3M and Fentons as bronze sponsors. Individual award categories have been sponsored as well, with open source application development software company WSO2 sponsoring the open source awards category, independent non-profit organisation Domain LK Registry sponsoring the special award for the best application with local content and IT industry body SLASSCOM sponsoring a special award for ICT entrepreneurship.
NBQSA winners will also become automatically eligible for the Asia Pacific ICT Awards (APICTA), an international awards program initiated to increase ICT awareness in the community and assist in bridging the digital divide.
The awards categories are as follows: Tools and application infrastructure, security, financial, industrial, healthcare, communications, media and entertainment, tourism and hospitality, general, research and development, tertiary student project (business), tertiary student project (technology), education and training, e-government and services, start-up, in-house, e-inclusion and e-community, e-logistics and supply chain management, green it, post graduate student project and media and entertainment.
Applications and further information can be obtained from the National Best Quality ICT Awards, BCS Secretariat, located at No. 410/35, Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 7, by calling 1124422490 or can be downloaded from www.nbqsasrilanka.org.

Source: DailyFT By David Ebert

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The National Best Quality Software Awards (NBQSA) help to keep Sri Lanka in the forefront of the ICT sphere, says ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) Reshan Dewapura.
Dewapura said so while participating at a press conference held in Colombo recently to mark the 15th National Best Quality Software Awards (NBQSA) 2013 launch.
Referring to the role of the awards in promoting development, Dewapura said: “Year in year out, NBQSA has recognised the cream of the local software industry, and the greatest of the local software products, and felicitated them. This kind of recognition has motivated the industry as well as individuals to continue to innovate and bring-out exceptional products that keep Sri Lanka in the forefront of the ICT sphere.”
Speaking further on the occasion, the ICTA CEO pinpointed the importance of the two awards: “ICTA is happy to be engaged with the event not only as the National Partner, but also with the ‘Lifetime Achiever Award’ and the ‘Outstanding Contributor to ICT’ award. These awards have been great in recognising and paying tribute to exceptional individuals who have contributed to the industry, to the growth of the industry and to the country in general, over the years.”
Elaborating further on the ‘Outstanding Contribution to ICT in the Public Sector’ award, Dewapura said: “This year, the ICT Agency is delighted to partner BCS, to present a new award to the most outstanding contributions to ICT in the public sector. Looking at the various transformation projects and endeavours undertaken by many Government entities and their successes, it is high time that such an award was introduced. Hence in this year’s awards ceremony an outstanding public sector organisation will receive this special award for the contribution it has made to ICT led development.”This is the fifth consecutive year that ICTA is the National Partner of the British Computer Society (BCS) in NBASA, aimed at giving recognition to local software development. The award presentation ceremony of NBQSA 2013 will be held on 17 October 2013. Further information about the relevant competition could be obtained via http://www.nbqsasrilanka.org or telephone number 011-4422490.
While BCS the Chartered Institute for IT, UK is the main sponsor of NBQSA, the event is annually organised by the BCS the Chartered Institute for IT Sri Lanka Section (BCSSL).
The main objectives of NBQSA are to provide recognition for outstanding achievements of individuals and organisations in Sri Lanka who/which have contributed to the development of ICT, to create a window to gain international recognition for locally developed ICT products and to improve standards and the quality of local ICT products and services, to be able to compete in the international marketplace.

Source: DailyFT

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The ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) organised Expat Networking Forums in Sydney and Melbourne for the fourth consecutive time to coincide with CeBIT Australia 2013 recently with much success.
The Networking Forums gave the opportunity to the Sri Lankan expats to be apprised of the recent developments in the IT/BPO industry. They also offered the opportunity for 15 Sri Lankan IT/BPO companies to be introduced to Australia.
Nine of these companies explored the Australian market for the first time. The delegation inclu-ded DesignSoft Technologies, Eyepax, Fidenz, Fossmart, hSenid Bu-siness Solutions, i-Context, Just In Time Group, JKCS, Mylinex Inte-rnational, Peercore IT, SAKS, Sterling BPO Solutions, tekMAZ, Zaizi and zMessenger.
In Sydney, an Expat Networking Forum which included senior level Sri Lankans working in Australian companies and a Business Networking Forum which included CXO level Australians were held recently. Both the events were successfully concluded with participation exceeding 80. The networking forums provided the platform for companies to explore opportunities for establishing partnerships, business introductions and possible ventures.
A similar exercise was also organised in Melbourne where the participation exceeded expectations and recorded the highest number of participants totalling 70.
The expat community was highly impressed by the developments and the growth of the IT/BPO industry which ICTA CEO Reshan Dewapura recounted to them. They were particularly pleased to note the their motherland’s development indicators such as international rankings including NRI, Global Competitiveness Rank, and Global Innovation Index contained in Dewapura’s expose.

Source: DailyFT