Commemorating the 10th Anniversary of the Statistics Society of University of Sri Jayewardenepura, the board of officials for the office year 2018/2019 assumed duties on the 27th of March, 2019 before the very eyes of the honourable staff of the Department of Statistics.
With the hope of conquering the office year 2018/2019, the board commenced their yearly projects by organizing a knowledge filled technical talk on “Capture-Recapture studies and integrated population modelling under Statistics in Ecology” which extended to a Q & A session on “Higher Studies in North American Universities” conducted by Dr. W.A. Lasantha Premarathna of the Department of Statistics, University of British Columbia, Canada. Being it the first event, concluded with utmost success with the presence of many students of different faculties interested in the topic of talk.
We understood that many students have a vague understanding of the hidden magics of a calculator! Thus, as the next event, to inculcate the secrets of the advanced features of the calculator to boost in examinations and day-to-day problem solving, a workshop on “Basics using the Calculator” was organized for the students of USJ on the 15th of August, 2019. To our amazement, we observed students pouring into the workshop which clearly showed their enthusiasm and motivation to learn novel technical matters.
Amidst all the unexpected hurdles in the year 2019, with much difficulty, we held our head high and organized the paramount event of the society, the Annual Statistics Convention, “ESTADISTICA 2020” for the 4th consecutive year on the 21st of November, 2019 themed Beyond the Orthodox.
The agenda mainly comprised of three interactive sessions which spread wings to make the students aware of the array of paths where Statistics is being used. Since agriculture plays a crucial role in any country, becoming the source of food, income and employment, thus being a potent force of a growing economy, specially in developing countries, we included an interactive session on “Statistics in Agriculture” which was conducted by Dr. Pramuditha Waidyarathne, Senior Biometrician at Coconut Research Institute, Sri Lanka. In align with that, the next session was about “Industry 4.0 and the importance of Statisticians to the process” which was conducted by Mr. Chathuranga Abeysinghe, Lead Data Evangelist of MAS Capital Pvt. Ltd. The final session discussed about the importance of Statistics in Sports through “Statistics and Sports Analytics” by Dr.Sankha Muthu Poruthotage, Co-founder and CEO of Linear Squared (pvt) ltd. As the next significant event, the inter-university quiz competition was carried out to pit the best among the best in testing their statistical knowledge.
The event would not have been a success if not for the institutions that partnered up to power the event. As the bronze partners, Vizuamatix (pvt) ltd and MAS Capital (pvt) ltd joined with us while ROGO collaborated as the clothing partner and VEVRA as the photography partner. Furthermore, Linear Squared (pvt) ltd, 99x Technology and the National Lotteries Board also were valuable partners for the event.
The next most awaited event of the society calendar, which is the department night organized by the society, “Tilasto 2019” was held on the 13th of February 2020, at hotel Green Court, Homagama. The evening was filled with fun activities, enchantments and the most awaited pageant “Mr and Miss Tilasto”, and it ended off with a grand dinner and an informal dance.
By mid March, the university temporarily ceased operations in its premises due to the Coronavirus global pandemic. However, the society did not halt its activities. An online discussion and a Q&A session was organized under the topic “Higher Education to Build a Brighter Career” from 9.30 AM onwards on Sunday, the 31st of May, 2020. The live session was graced virtually by five panelists from academia as well as industry. The first panelist was Dr. Rajitha Silva, who is a Ph.D. holder from Simon Fraser University, Canada, and a Senior Lecturer of the Department of Statistics, University of Sri Jayewardenepura. Secondly, Dr. Harsha Perera, who is a Faculty member as well as a Ph.D. holder from the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science, Simon Fraser University, Canada joined us as another panelist from academia. As other panelists, Dr. D. K. Karunaratne, who is a Ph.D. holder from the University of South Florida, USA and an individual contributor in Intel Corporation USA, then Mr. Lasith Haputhanthri, a Master holder of the National University of Singapore, who currently works as a software engineer for Amazon joined us. The last panelist was Mr. Praneeth Weerasekara who is a Master Holder in Nanotechnology and currently works for Twinery in Sri Lanka.
The event was a very informative and successful session of two hours with more than 65 active participants.
Due to the pandemic situation prevailed in the country, the Annual General Meeting to appoint the new office had been postponed since March, 2019. Thus, concluding the responsibilities as the office bearers for the year 2018/2019, the new board of officials of the Statistics Society for the year 2020/2021 assumed duties in December 2020.
Vihanga Gunadasa – Secretary
Sachiki Chandradasa – Editor