Reported by: D.T.S. Coralage

It was such a great pleasure for the staff and the students of the Computer Engineering Department to welcome the new entrants from the E/19 batch to the department with an induction program which was a successful blend of nine different events in total. This induction program, while celebrating the hard work, commitment, and passion of the students joining the department after achieving the highest grades throughout their first year of studies, guided them to jump-start and pave the way toward their goals in the field of computer engineering.

The first session was an Introduction to Computer Engineering at PeraCom. It was held on the 04th of October from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the E.O.E. Pereira Theatre and was organized by the academic staff of the department. During the session, Prof. Roshan Ragel, Head of the department welcomed the new students to the department and the resource persons briefed the students about the academic program and the role of a PeraCom student. They discussed how to shape the path toward career prospects which could be either industry, entrepreneurship, or academia, and guided them on how to prepare for whatever path they may choose, covering a wide range of topics such as projects, competitions, publications, responsibilities, skills, and experience.

The next two events were planned to assist the new batch to get to know PeraCom better which was named “Getting to know PeraCom”. The first session took place on Thursday, 06th October, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Computer Engineering Department. This was a tour of the department, facilitated by Dr. Mahanama Wickramasinghe and guided by some volunteers from the E/17 batch. During this tour, students walked around freely learning about the facilities available such as labs, server rooms, discussion areas, and the fully equipped ESCAL makerspace. They also had amicable conversations with the staff members. The session concluded with fun activities and refreshments, doffing off the novelty and making the new faces no longer new. The next session was was to educate E/19 students about the online resources available such as the Github organization, Discord, local servers and accounts, freely available resources from eng accounts, people/project pages, FAQ pages, department seminars and the youtube channel. This was held on 11th October from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Computer Engineering Department. Dr.Upul Jayasinghe, Dr.Isuru Nawinne, Dr.Mahanam Wickramasinghe, Dr.Dmayanthi Herath, and the development team were the resource persons for the event. 

Students at the department are always encouraged to think outside of the box to apply and build upon the basic foundations and advanced topics they have learned covering a broader scope in their degree program to solve real-world problems. Students of all batches are given the privilege of contributing to ongoing projects to further enhance their skills. The next session was targeted to educate the new batch about the ongoing projects and research in the department and how they could locate the resources to participate in them, which took place on the 13th of October from 1 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the faculty premises. The event was facilitated by Dr.Damayanthi Herath with the assistance of Dr.Isuru Nawinne and some students from the E/16 and E/17 batches. In addition, the department also focuses on developing the soft skills of students helping them to cultivate a personal brand and self-position to grow as a unique person. Dr. Asitha Bandaranayake with the assistance of all the staff members took the initiative to conduct a portfolio-building session which happened on the 16th of October at the faculty premises with many hands-on activities. 

The sixth session was an online panel discussion on career prospects on the 18th of October from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. which was facilitated by Mrs.Nadeesha Adikari. The panel consisted of Dr.Dhammika Elkaduwa from the academic staff as the moderator, Mr. Keshara Weerasinghe (Ph.D. candidate – University of Virginia), Mr. Sanjeewa Malalgoda (Director Engineering – WSO2), Mr. Tharindu Dassanayaka (Founder – ShoutOUT), Dr. Hiranya Jayakody (Ph.D. University of New South Wales, Co-founder – HEO Robotics), Dr. Isuru Herath (Ph.D. University of Manchester, CPU performance modeling engineer – ARM) and Dr. Hasindu Gamaarachchi (Ph.D. University of New South Wales, Research Scientist – Garvan Institute of Medical Research). The panel shared their experiences on what career prospects are accessible upon graduation in the local industry, foreign industry, entrepreneurship, research, and further studies. Following this was a physical wellness session that took place on the 20th of October from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the faculty premises. This event was facilitated by Dr. Damayanthi Herath and was conducted by Mr. Mayooran Sithravelayuthan who’s a lecturer from the department of physiotherapy.

The Association of Computer Engineering Students or in-short ACES cannot be left unspoken about as it plays a major role in the department. The ACES alumni led by the former president Dr. Isuru Herath has been one of the biggest strengths of the department. The next event was organized with the motive of introducing ACES to the new batch and it was held on the 25th of October from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the E.O.E. Pereira Theatre. Ms. Isuri Devindi and Mr. Denuka Jayaweera from the E/17 batch discussed the history and the role of ACES, what events and programs are organized by them such as ESCaPe, CODERS, Nenathambara and Spark social projects. They also guided the students on how they can prepare for the competitions. Mr. Sanjeewa Malalgoda from the ACES alumni also joined online to address the gathering.  

Finally, a warm welcome party was organized by ACES and it was held on the 28th of October from 7.30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the faculty premises. Prof. Roshan Ragel, Head of the department addressed the gathering on the progress of the department so far. He also mentioned how capable the students are and what should be done by the students to keep it going. All the students and staff members engaged in various fun games and had lots of fun. The night was filled with wonderful singing items showing the talents of the students. With that, the Computer Engineering Students Induction Program 2022 came to an end filling all the hearts with happiness and wonderful memories that will be cherished forever.

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