18 Engineering Faculty students bring global acclaim
Moratuwa University: Top of the world
In a signal honour for Sri Lanka’s tertiary education, the University
of Moratuwa has been placed as the best University worldwide at the
Google Summer of Code 2008 (GSoC 2008) competition.
Sri Lanka has emerged first where it competed with the other nine
giants among the first ten- the United States, France Germany, India,
China, Canada, Brazil, Hungary and Poland.
University of Moratuwa
The top ten universities which participated in the competition have
been: University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka, the Wroklaw University in
Poland, University of Campinas in Brazil, Graduate School of the Chinese
Academy of Sciences, China, the prestigious Indian Institute of
Technology of Karagpur, India, The Budapest University of Technology and
Economics, Hungary, the University of Toronto in Canada, the Michigan
University of USA, the Carleton University of Canada and Poland’s Warsaw
This is indeed a landmark for Sri Lanka’s tertiary education. This is
extremely noteworthy as the dominance was both in terms of the number of
creative proposals submitted by students and the number of awards
received among all participating Universities worldwide, an elated
Moratuwa University Vice Chancellor Prof. Malik Ranasinghe told the
Prof. Ranasinghe who is also the first Engineering Graduate of the
Moratuwa University to rise to the office of Vice Chancellor of the same
University, explained that despite total number seem farfetched due to
the small population of University students in ICT, Sri Lanka still
managed to be in the top ten in 2008 with respect to the number of
submission of innovative and creative proposals.
The most noteworthy feature was that although the USA, India and
China secured the first three positions in respect of the total number
of proposals submitted to GSoC 2008, none of the Universities in those
countries or in any other country for that matter could record 93 as the
number of proposal submitted from one single University, which the
University of Moratuwa achieved surpassing every other University
worldwide by a large margin.
The University of Campinas, Brazil with 29 applicants was the closest
institution in terms of the number of proposals submitted. This
demonstrates high level of creativity and innovation of the students in
the fields of Computer Science and Information Technology at the
University of Moratuwa when compared with the rest of the world, Prof
The GSoC programme is a global software development competition
organised by the open-source software promoting and search engine giant
Google. Students from Universities all over the world are invited to
apply for the competition, where successful applicants are awarded
stipends of US$ 4500 each to write code for various open source software
projects of renowned organisations.
Google, in collaboration with several free and open source software
and technology-related groups, identifies and funds projects over a
three- month period. Since its inception in 2005, the GSoC programme has
brought together over 1,500 students from all parts of the world with
over 130 open source projects to create millions of lines of code. Since
its inception in 2005, countries such as USA, India, Canada, China and
Germany, which are in the pinnacle of programming expertise, have been
key players in the GSoC programme.
There were 1,125 proposals accepted from University students
worldwide in 2008 with awards of US$ 4500 each to write code for various
open source software projects of renowned organisations.
The USA, India and Germany secured the first three positions of the
total number of awards from GSoC 2008, while Sri Lanka was again placed
ninth with 29 awards.
With 24 awards, University of Moratuwa had a large majority over the
Wroclaw University of Technology, Poland and University of Campinas,
Brazil who shared second place with 10 accepted proposals each. The
University of Michigan, USA, University of Toronto and Carleton
University of Canada with 7 accepted awards were the highest in the USA
The 29 students from Sri Lanka, and the 24 students from the
University of Moratuwa who had their proposals accepted at the GSoC
2008, have every reason to be proud of themselves, as it is their
creativity, innovation, courage and undying passion for technology and
Open Source that earned the credit for themselves, their University as
well as their country.
A praiseworthy fact is that 18 students from the Department of
Computer Science and Engineering from the Faculty of Engineering,
University of Moratuwa were award winners. The University of Moratuwa
took part in the first GSoC competition which kicked-off in 2005 with
the participation of four students from the Department of Computer
Science and Engineering.
With this performance, it is evident that the University of Moratuwa
and the Faculty of Engineering is a fountain for opportunity, knowledge
and professionalism. Over the years since its inception, University of
Moratuwa has produced world-class graduates who could compete, challenge
and beat the best in the world.
It is praiseworthy that the contribution of the Department of
Computer Science & Engineering of the Faculty of Engineering to the open
source community has been remarkable and many students have turned out
to be key personalities in the Free and Open Source arena like Apache
The promotion of Open Source development has provided ample
opportunities for the students to gain valuable experience for
innovation, creativity and global exposure. Furthermore, it is
statistically shown that Sri Lanka is the country with the highest Open
Source contribution per contributor ratio in the whole world, and
students of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering make up a
considerable proportion of it.
The success at the GSoC 2008 programme has affirmed the fact that the
University of Moratuwa and the Faculty of Engineering is the trendsetter
for its innovative approach to undergraduate education which is aimed at
producing not merely employable, but globally competitive graduates.
Its efforts in maintaining excellent standards in academic activities
while placing much emphasis on the leadership, entrepreneurial and soft
skills development, has resulted in University of Moratuwa producing
‘world class graduates’ who are academically sound, self confident,
flexible, internationally recognised, and able to ‘hit the ground
running’ from day one.
Prof Ranasinghe said that what was not realized by most is that the
University of Moratuwa produced a highly employable “world class”
quality graduate in engineering, architecture, quantity surveying,
design, town and country planning and information technology at a cost
of less than US$ 5000, which is less than the annual salary of most of
our new graduates.
The commitment and the ‘can do’ spirit of the dynamic staff and the
students of the University of Moratuwa assure that this is the beginning
of many more world’s firsts to be expected from the best University in
Sri Lanka, he said.