Picture caption: Head of Transnational Education of the University of Westminster Stephen R D Wallis and Chairman of Informatics Dr. Gamini Wickramasinghe explore the innovating projects created by IIT students.
Informatics Institute of Technology (IIT), the pioneer in British higher education in Sri Lanka and the country’s premier IT and Business campus, provided a platform for their students to showcase their innovative IT and business solutions through the Cutting Edge 2019 exhibition held at IIT premises recently.
Cutting Edge 2019 is the latest edition of the annual exhibition of IIT that encourages digital entrepreneurship among the IIT students who are currently pursuing various undergraduate programmes of the University of Westminster. This year’s event, held under the theme of “Digital Transformation and Entrepreneurship”, witnessed the participation of hundreds of IIT students with over 150 IT and Business related projects developed by Software Engineering, Computer Science, Business Information Systems (BIS) and Business Management undergraduates from IIT on display. The Chief Guest at the opening ceremony was Stephen R D Wallis – Head of Transnational Education of the University of Westminster.
The innovative creations by the IIT students underscored their creativity and in-depth knowledge of some of the latest technology trends in ICT such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, Robotics, Cyber-security and Social Networks. The projects covered a wide variety of topics relevant to today’s fast-paced world, including hate speech, cricket, safe driving, railway safety, fraud, career search, healthcare, waste management, shopping, food delivery, travel and road traffic management, among many others. Over the years, IIT students who have participated in previous Cutting Edge exhibitions have successfully developed their projects to an extent where they have been recognized by some of Sri Lanka’s leading technology-oriented competitions and award shows such as National Best Quality ICT Awards (NBQSA) and e-Swabhimani, as well as regional competitions such as Microsoft Imagine Cup, mBillionth Award and Asia Pacific ICT Alliance (APICTA) Awards.
One of the highlights of the day was the distribution of awards to the most outstanding projects on display at Cutting Edge 2019 where the Chief Guest at the awards ceremony, Sanjaya De Silva – Managing Director of XGen Group, handed out the awards to the winners. The most notable winning projects of the day were in the “Software Engineering and Computer Science Projects” category for Final Year students, which were sponsored by Virtusa. Auto MLR – a project by Thiloshon Nagarajah – won the Gold Award, while the Silver Award was won by Tech Radar (Andrew Joeshanth) and the Bronze Award won by Intelligent Approach on Diagnosing Dementia (Gayakshika Gimhani). In the “Business Information System Projects” category for Final Year student projects also sponsored by Virtusa, Speakopedia, a project by Savani de Silva bagged the Gold Award, while the Silver Award was won by Rethink (Sudhara Karagampitiya) and the Bronze Award was taken home by Depression Care (Lakshana Vadivalagan). Additionally, first, second and third place awards were presented to both First Year and Second Year students for their projects in Software Engineering and Computer Science, Business Information System and Business Management.
Sharing her views on the event, Naomi Krishnarajah – Dean of IIT stated, “Cutting Edge provides an opportunity for students at IIT to portray their technical and creative skills in developing innovative state-of-the-art business and IT solutions. Over the years, it has continued to furnish the foundation for students to expand their horizons in their particular area of expertise. Further, it also nurtures important qualities in students such as determination, passion, dedication and resilience. It is also exciting to see how Cutting Edge projects have gone on to win local and international accolades over the years. We are confident that some of the outstanding projects of this year will lead to successful opportunities.”
Ihan Dilnath, an innovative and enterprising IIT undergraduate was participating at this year’s Cutting Edge competition for the third consecutive year. At this year’s event, he was spearheading the project Stepwise. “Stepwise is a mobile app for learning and career path guidance for IT and Software Engineering students like us. It helps us identify which technical skills are of high job market demand, where and how to learn them by giving personalized, and intelligent external learning resource recommendations, and support in finding jobs that fit our career specializations or interest areas and skill set. This app is useful as it helps build a competitive edge in today’s challenging IT job market, by offering guidance and support,” Ihan said.
Thariq Hamad, a final year IIT student spoke about his cricket-based project, stating, “My project is FieldR, a solution focusing on cricket coaches and analysers to help them understand how their players perform in fielding in any given match. I started off playing football for IIT as I am passionate about sports. During my internship period at a leading ICT company, I had the chance to interact with a person who was well-versed in cricket. That helped me to come up with this cricket-based application. The root cause of my successful journey so far was developed by IIT opportunities through events such as Cutting Edge and several others. Although I was not a tech-savvy person a few years ago, my experiences at IIT helped me to grow rapidly to the point where I could code the entire application myself.”
A team member from the Smartcount team stated, “Smartcount uses existing CCTV system to analyse through AI using image processing and neural networking for various business uses. For example, we can try to automate the entire traffic light system for efficient traffic management. Since I come from a business background, the modules I study at IIT have helped me understand the project better. The third-year internship helped me understand real-world challenges and find solutions to solve them.” IIT was established in 1990 as the first private higher education institute that awards reputed British degrees in the field of ICT and Business. IIT is an award-winning campus offering internal postgraduate and undergraduate degrees from the University of Westminster, UK and Robert Gordon University, UK. IIT has played a pivotal role in strengthening the IT and Business sectors in Sri Lanka over the years by producing world-class graduates. These graduates have gone on to become successful entrepreneurs and IT/Business professionals in both local and international corporate and government entities. Since its inception, IIT has produced thousands of graduates who have excelled in hundreds of organisations around the globe.