Get to know a Sri Lankan HCI Researcher — Indika Karunaratne
Name: Indika Karunaratne
Affiliation: University of Moratuwa
Tell us a bit of your background, how did you know about HCI and where did you start?
I first learnt HCI as a subject during my postgraduate studies at UCSC and was inspired by the three contexts of use: useful, usable, and used. This motivated me to explore further, and there I learned the diversity and the potential loomed behind this discipline. This was intuitively supported by my hidden instinct for understanding people, and since then I set my mind towards researching in the field of HCI. I have completed my MPhil at UCSC studying how to use behavioral parameters to identify the prevalence of psychological distress. Subsequently, I started and continuing my PhD, to investigate how technology can be used to recognize the attentional state of digital learners. I’m currently teaching and conducting research with undergraduate and postgraduate students at the Faculty of Information Technology, University of Moratuwa, in HCI related areas.
Can you share some of your research work?
I’m currently involved with research related to computer interaction and psychological factors, such as emotions, attention, stress, depression, and anxiety.
Some research publications can be found in https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=AjdR5dAAAAAJ&hl=en.
What motivates you to be in the field of HCI?
The multidisciplinary nature of this subject, and intuitive direction of the subject to understand people from a different viewpoint through diversified technologies.
If any student would be interested in HCI in Sri Lanka, what is your advice for them to navigate their path?
First, to be open and willing to accept HCI as a field, not merely UI and UX. It’s about designing for users. With the ubiquity of computers, the nature of interactions has been diversified. It has a wider spectrum now and can be seen and applied anywhere and everywhere.
Refer to research publications (or at least be aware of the tracks) of conferences such as CHI, CSCW, IUI, MobileHCI etc. to see what is happening in this discipline. You will be convinced that the world of HCI is bigger than you think. In it, you will find a place that fits your interests, skills, and abilities, without a fail.
How would anyone reach to collaborate on research projects?
I’m more interested in research on the impact of technology in people’s emotional state and behavior, and also to explore how to use technology to identify and regulate their emotional states.
You can contact me via email- firstname.lastname@example.org