A former Director of the University of Colombo School of Computing, I have also served as a Visiting Professor at the Management & Science University of Malaysia (MSU) in 2010-2011, visiting Faculty at the Umea University of Sweden in the Fall of 2013 and Dean of the Informatics Institute of Technology, Sri Lanka in 2015/2016. In 2001 I was an ERCIM Fellow at France’s INRIA Labs and in 2002, a Fulbright Senior Visiting Scholar at Carnegie-Mellon University’s Language Technology Institute in Pittsburgh, USA.
I have served on various committees and boards at the University Grants Commission (UGC), Ministries of Education and Higher Education (MoE and MoHE), the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Information & Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) over the years. I was part of the Sri Lankan negotiating team with the World Bank on the e-Sri Lanka Project in 2003, and the Chairman of the Education Ministry Task Force for establishing a dedicated National College of Education for ICT in 2008/9. I was also part of the original group involved in introducing Internet and email connectivity to the universities and the country as a whole through the Lanka Education And Research Network (LEARN). From 1997 to 2001, I was an Instructor with the Internet Society’s (ISOC) International Network Training (INET) Workshops around the world, and a Team Leader in 1997/2000 of the International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI) team of Sri Lanka. I serve as a member of the ICT Advisory Committee of the Export Development Board (EDB) and the Sectoral Committee on ICT of the Sri Lanka Standards Institute (SLSI). I am also a founder member of the Lanka Software Foundation (LSF), a prime mover of open source software in Sri Lanka and a subscriber of the Lanka Domain Registry (LKNIC). I serve as a member of the Board of Sri Lanka CERT and the Advisory Board of the Sri Lanka Association of Software and Services Companies (SLASSCOM).
Most recently, I am on national committees for upscaling the talent pool in data science through the National Human Resource Development Council (NHRDC), for setting up of a Biotechnology park through the Ministry of Science Technology and Research (MoSTR), for designing a National Export Strategy in Sri Lanka through the Export Development Board (EDB) and for developing a policy for promoting Knowledge Services through the National Science and Technology Commission (NASTEC).
My research interests are in Computational Linguistics including Machine Translation, and particularly in techniques employing statistical methods and machine learning using large data sets. I led a group of 6-8 researchers involved in Language Technology at the UCSC’s Language Technology Research Lab (LTRL) from 2004 till 2018. My research interests expand naturally to Artificial Intelligence and more recently Bioinformatics.