2013 Turing Lecturer to reveal ‘What teachers didn’t teach me’

8 February 2013
James Hayes
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Formal portrait of Suranga Chandratillake FREng, founder and CSO of Internet search engine Blinkx

Learning curve: Blinkx founder and 2013 IET/BCS Turing Lecturer Suranga Chandratillake FREng 

It’s increasingly essential that technologists improve their understanding of non-technical skills to ensure that they progress their careers as far as they can, the founder and CSO of Internet search engine Blinkx, Suranga Chandratillake FREng, will argue in his 2013 IET/BCS Turing Lecture presentation on 18 February at Savoy Place, London.

Computer scientist Chandratillake will share the key insights that he has gained since deciding, 13 years ago, to turn his career direction away from academia to one fully-focused in the IT industry, and thereafter on the launch of his first successful company, the video and audio search website Blinkx, now established as a leading offering in a highly-competitive online environment.

Chandratillake’s Turing Lecture will also reveal how he coped with the surprise realisation of how little his formal education prepared him for the challenges of starting an ambitious commercial venture in 21st century hi-tech: such as creating and marketing innovative product offerings, and growing his organisation during a period of unprecedented global market volatility.

“Given the economic and social impact that such an endeavour can have, what could be done to better equip those starting down this path today?” is one of the critical questions Chandratillake’s Turing Lecture will address. He will also consider the trade-offs ambitious technologists face when deciding which route to steer their careers toward – as well as his approach to overcoming the dilemmas entrepreneurs from technology backgrounds encounter as they seek to balance the demands of ‘pure’ technology with commercial expediency.

Chandratillake’s lecture will also pay tribute to ‘Alan Turing's world’, and reflect on “the incredible, pervasive influence of computers on our lives”.

Following the 18 February inaugural event, his Turing Lecture will be repeated at three further venues – University of Manchester, 19 February; University of Glasgow, 20 February; Cardiff University, 21 February. The Turing Lecture 2013 will be streamed live as a webcast on IET.tv, and will be available to view later on the lecture webcast page. Audience members both online and at Savoy Place on 18 February will be able to participate in live interactive Q&A with Suranga Chandratillake as part of the lecture. This lecture is free to attend for members and non-members of the IET and BCS.

Further information (and online event registration details):

http://conferences.theiet.org/turing/

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