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Untimely Passing Away of Senior Professor Gihan Wikramanayake

It is with deep regret that we announce the demise of Senior Professor Gihan Nilendra Wikramanayake, BSc. MSc, PhD, FBCS, CITP, SMIEEE, MCS(SL), MNASSL (born January 17, 1960) who was the Director of the University of Colombo School of Computing (UCSC) from 24th May 2010 to 31st May 2016. Before that, he served as the Head of the Department of Information Systems Engineering from 2002-2005 and also as the Deputy Director of the UCSC from 2004-2006.


Educated at St. Aloysius' College Galle and Royal College Colombo, Professor Wikramanayake graduated from the University of Colombo with a BSc in Statistics & Mathematics with First Class Honours in 1984 and went on to gain an MSc and PhD in Computer Science from the University of Wales, College of Cardiff, UK in 1989 and 1996 respectively.


He began his career by joining the Computer Centre of the University of Colombo in 1987 as a trainee programmer, and then moved to the Department of Statistics and Computer Science as a researcher before becoming an Assistant Lecturer. In 1990 he became a Lecturer and then a Senior Lecturer in 1996. After moving to the new Department of Computer Science in 2000 he became its acting Head in 2002.


In 2002 Professor Wikramanayake became the Head of the Department of Information Systems Engineering, of the newly established UCSC and became its Deputy Director in 2004. From 2007 to 2008 he was also the acting Head of the Department of Communication and Media Technologies. In 2010 he became the Director of the UCSC and a Professor of Computer Science. He served two 3-year terms as Director UCSC until May 2016. During this time, he served as the Chairman of the Theekshana Company (from 2010 to 2016).


He was a visiting scholar at the University of New Mexico, USA and Stockholm University and Umeå University in Sweden in the area of e-Learning. He also served as a board member of the Lanka Education and Research Network (LEARN) from 2010 to 2016. Late Senior Professor Wikramanayake who was a Fellow of the British Computer Society (BCS), served as the Chairman of the BCS, Sri Lanka Section for five years between 2007 and 2015. He also served Computer Society of Sri Lanka (CSSL) as an executive council member.


He was a member of the Sri Lanka Informatics Olympiad since 1998 and was involved in organizing International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI) training since then. He took part as the Deputy Team Leader of the Sri Lankan team at IOI 1999 in Turkey and as Team Leader at several Olympiads in which Sri Lanka took part between 2001 and 2016. He served as a judge at the Asia Pacific ICT Alliance Awards (APICTA) in several occasions between 2003 and 2016 and was the Chief Judge at APICTA in 2015.


He leaves behind his wife, Kishani, daughter Ishika and son Sherantha, as well as many of his colleagues at the University of Colombo School of Computing, the overall university community and the IT industry.


His remains will lie at his residence at 530/8, Havelock Road, Colombo 06from the evening of 5th January 2018. On Saturday 6th January 2018 his body will lie in state at the University of Colombo between 3.30 and 4.15 pm, after which the cremation will take place at 5.00 pm at the Borella General Cemetery.



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