Asoka S Karunananda

Work place: Department of Computational Mathematics, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka



Research Interests: Computer systems and computational processes, Artificial Intelligence, Computational Learning Theory, Natural Language Processing, Systems Architecture, Theoretical Computer Science, Mathematics of Computing


Asoka S Karunananda obtained his Doctoral Degree in Computer Science (Artificial Intelligence) from the University of Keele, UK. His research interests include ontological modeling, multi agent systems, machine learning, artificial cognitive systems, natural language processing, theoretical computing and mindfulness interventions in educational settings.
He is the former Dean of Faculty of Information Technology, University of Moratuwa, and currently working as the Dean of Research and Developments and the Dean of Faculty of Computing of Kotelawala Defence University, Sri Lanka.
He has a particular interest in exploiting eastern philosophical perspectives for modeling of human mind. Recently, as a part of a collaborative project, he has launched, the first ever mind simulator, BMind, which is based on an eastern model of mind. He has secured more than 150 publications in International Journals and Conferences. So far he has produced 8 MPhil/PhD students and has currently been supervising 5 doctoral candidates.
He is a Senior Professor at University of Moratuwa. Prof. Karunananda is a member of IEEE, life member of Sri Lanka Association for Advancement of Sciences, and Founder member of Sri Lanka Association for Artificial Intelligence. He is a commonwealth scholar and won many awards for promoting computing education and research in Sri Lanka.

Author Articles
Examining Mindfulness in Education

By Asoka S Karunananda Philippe R Goldin P D Talagala

DOI:, Pub. Date: 8 Dec. 2016

Despite the availability of numerous learning opportunities ranging from face-to-face to computer-based learning, there is need for better understanding of how to support the development of cognitive skills in students. Research has shown that cultivation of mindfulness skills help to develop cognitive skills such as retention, thinking, problem solving, and emotional balance. However, there is only limited research on the effect of mindfulness training in educational settings. We examined cognitive abilities of university students as identified in Bloom’s taxonomy and mindfulness skills during a single traditional face-to-face class room session. We hypothesized that mindfulness is a specific cognitive ability that supports the development of other cognitive skills. This pilot study included 148 students from undergraduate and postgraduate programs at two universities in Sri Lanka. The study assessed cognitive abilities, including retention, thinking, out-of-the-box thinking, note-taking and mindfulness at the end of a one-hour lecture. The results showed that students’ self-reported mindfulness following a lecture was significantly lower than other cognitive abilities. These results suggest conducting a more formal controlled experiment to investigate the effect of mindfulness training in education.

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