Manujinda Wathugala

PhD Student
Office: N/A
Interests: Machine Learning, Computer Vision, Natural Language Processing and Distributed Systems
Advisor: Dr. Kobus Barnard


Manujinda grew up in a city called Galle, a southern coastal city in Sri Lanka. After completing his schooling at the Richmond College, Galle, he read for his Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. There, he majored in Computer Science and performed at the top of his class earning four medals (Best Computer Science student, Best Computer Science project, Best Physical Science student and The student having the highest average marks) at his commencement. Just after graduation, he joined the Department of Computer Science, University of Colombo as a junior lecturer and taught college level Computer Science classes. Later, the department got converted to its own institute: University of Colombo School of Computing (, where he continued to lecture. Manujinda earned his Master of Science in Computer Science from the University of Oregon, USA. Now he is reading for his PhD at the University of Arizona.

​​​​​Research Interests

As his Master's thesis, Manujinda analyzed a distributed mutual exclusion algorithm for self driving vehicles to safely pass through an intersection (Thesis: He pointed out problems of the algorithm and provided suggestions to rectify them. For his PhD he is moving into the Machine Learning / Computer Vision field.

What long-term project do you want to work on?

This (fall 2018) is Manujinda's first semester at the University of Arizona and he is still exploring the field he is moving into. Therefore, the long-term project he wants to spend his time and energy is yet to be decided.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

Manujinda enjoys making a machine (computer) perform/behave the way he wants by programming it. He also enjoys tackling a fuzzy problem, researching on it and coming up with results and an increased level of understanding. He further enjoys disseminating his knowledge to others and witnessing the joy of understanding something on the faces of others (mainly his students).

What are your career goals?

Immediately after graduation, Manujinda loves to join the industry and apply his knowledge and experience in a industry setting for some years gaining industry experience. In the long run, he is passionate about becoming a university professor where he can disseminate both his academic and industry experience to the generations to come guiding them toward success in their lives, while conducing more academic/industry research.

​​​​Tell us something interesting about yourself!

Manujinda loves to meditate. If you are interested in finding more details you can either visit or email him. He also loves theater, both watching stage dramas and acting on them. He has played some minor roles in some minor plays.