50 Years of Computing at the University of Colombo
The computing education in the University of Colombo started in 1967 as a new section of the Science Faculty at the beginning of the Department of Statistics. This huge step towards the establishment of University of Colombo School of Computing was taken by late Vidya Jyothi Professor V.K.Samaranayake. In the beginning, the computer education was limited to theoretical studies due to lack of necessary equipment.
After 10 years of establishment in 1977, University of Colombo was able to get a computer for the practical studies with the support of United Kingdom. In the following years, the University of Colombo was able to gain several computers with the support of foreign governments and institutes. The Presidential election held on November 1982 can be considered as the next benchmark of UCSC. For the first time in Sri Lankan history, the election results were calculated and broadcasted using computer technology completely lead by the Department of Statistics and the Computer Science. By the time of 1984, the Computer Science unit of the University of Colombo had gained some reputation island wide for the manipulation and services related to computers. With the increasing usage of computer technology in 1985, the Department of Statistics and Computer Science developed by broadening its scope according to the vision of late Vidya Jyothi Professor V.K.Samaranayake. The results of this gradual developments were clearly visible in 2001 when the Department of Computer Science got separated from the Department of Statistics and started going forward on a separate journey.
1st of September 2002 marked a special day for the University of Colombo as it was the beginning of University of Colombo School of Computing. Vidya Jyothi Professor V.K.Samaranayake started working as the first director of UCSC. In the year of 2004, Dr. A.R.Weerasinghe became the second director and handed over the position to Professor G. Wickramanayake in 2010. The present director of UCSC is Professor K.P. Hewagamage. Since the beginning in 2002, the University of Colombo School of Computing has produced 11 batches of graduates in the field of Information Technology. Also, UCSC has enlightened the path for many students throughout its glorious history. Currently, it has several laboratory facilities with modern technology to support the students with their activities. Within the past years, UCSC has marked its place not only in Sri Lanka but also internationally. Several undergraduates of UCSC currently work in some prestigious organizations around the world. Hackathons, meet-ups and many other events are organized by the student body of the UCSC, uplifting its name to greater heights.
With a proud history, University of Colombo is celebrating its 50th anniversary of Computing on 6th of September 2017. This long journey towards success may not become a possibility if it wasn’t for the undeniable effort of late Vidya Jyothi Professor V.K.Samaranayake.
Parallel to the 50th Anniversary of Computing in UoC, UCSC will be opening its novel building premises to the students on the same day. With 50 years of prestigious history, it will be a fact that the UCSC will lead the computer education of Sri Lanka for the years to come.