The Professor Valentine Joseph Memorial Gold Medal for the Best Student in Mathematics was awarded to Lasith Senarathne during the 2022 Convocation held on September 06, 2023. Lasith Senarathne is the fifth winner of this Gold medal funded by CUFSAA-NA.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Ukuwela, Matale district, and received my school education at St. Thomas’ College, Matale.
Why did you decide to major in mathematics?
Since my childhood, I have harbored a strong passion for mathematics. Mathematical concepts have consistently made sense to me, and I’ve always aspired to expand my mathematical knowledge beyond the confines of school. During one of the Olympiad mathematics awards ceremonies I attended, held at the University of Colombo, one of the guest speakers articulated why joining the Faculty of Science was pivotal for excelling in mathematics. This revelation led me to conclude that the best environment to nurture my passion was within the Science Faculty. Consequently, after successfully completing my A/L exams, I enrolled in the University of Colombo’s Faculty of Science, where I pursued an honors degree in mathematics.
Out of all the subjects you learned at UoC, what is your favorite course?
Complex Analysis, despite involving the use of imaginary numbers, is one of the areas in mathematics that is closest to nature. I also had a fondness for the Algebra courses. One of my favorite applied mathematics courses was Optimization.
What do you know about the late Prof. Joseph?
I have heard that he is a prominent mathematician in Sri Lanka and one of the brilliant experts in general relativity. I have never seen him in person, but I was able to watch one of his lectures on YouTube titled ‘Einstein: The Wunderkind’. Also when I was searching for about him I found that he was the was Chief Examiner for the GCE Advanced level examinations in mathematics for over twenty years and his exam questions are known to be very creative.
What are your plans for graduate studies ?
I am planning to apply for graduate studies at U.S. universities. I have not yet decided on the exact subject area I will pursue, but I have a stronger inclination towards algebra.
What is your future career ambition ?
To become a proficient researcher in mathematics and contribute to the advancement of mathematics, as I firmly believe that the progress of all fields depends on the progress of mathematics.