University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka, Keele University, UK
BSc in IT and Mangement, PhD in Computer Science
Software Engineeer, Lecturer
University of Aberdeen
I use computer models to turn data into text.
In my current work, I program computers to write stories about lives of red kites using GPS locations sent by satellite tags attached to their wings. For example; the sentence “On Thursday morning Wyvis was spotted in heather near Loch Ness perhaps searching for voles.” was created using GPS location, date, time, terrain features, and knowledge about red kite behaviour. BTW Wyvis is the name given to one of the red kites.
My Typical Day
It is diverse.
I write Java programs, talk to colleagues about research, help students in tutorials and practical sessions.
What I'd do with the prize money
I would build a mock red kite with sensor devices to demonstrate the technology to school children.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Positive, curious, helpful
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Get people involved in environmental conservation by telling stories about satellite tagged animals.
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
A famous scientist from my home town with my namsake (Cyril Ponnamperuma)
Were you ever in trouble at school?
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
A programmer, developing commercial applications instead of scientific.
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Amaradeva. Have you heard of him? He is a Sri Lankan Singer.
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Hiking and camping through Horton plains, a beautiful mountain plateau in Sri Lanka.
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
A grant to continue my research, make Scotland bit more sunny, stay healthy