PhD Graduate Spotlight: Dr Dakshi Kapugama Geeganage

Dr Dakshi Kapugama Geeganage is a postdoctoral research fellow at QUT and an Associate Investigator with our Centre. Dakshi recently graduated from QUT with her PhD. She shared her journey with us in this conversation:

Dakshi with Assoc Prof Yue Xu

How did you come to do a PhD at QUT?

I completed my Bachelor’s degree (BSc (Hons) in Information Technology) at the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology with a first-class and Master’s degree (MSc in Artificial Intelligence) at the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka. I started my career as an academic at the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology. After completing my Master’s degree, I wanted to pursue a PhD. My husband also wanted to start a PhD, and we had heard about QUT because of its reputation for research excellence in Science and Engineering. We both applied to QUT and both of us got PhD offers at the same time! Associate professor Yue Xu was my principal supervisor, and Prof. Yuefeng Li was my associate supervisor.

What was your research about? Did things change along the way?

Initially, I wanted to continue a branch of my Master’s research and explore an automatic learning approach to capture text. But two months before the stage-2 submission, we decided to change the research topic. Finally, my research focused on introducing a concept-embedded topic modelling approach that can capture the semantics of the text in topic generation. I made four important contributions to text mining, specifically to topic modelling and information filtering domains.

What else did you do at QUT besides your PhD?

I was involved in tutoring for various Computer Science and Data Science units at QUT. Additionally, I supervised Master’s research projects at QUT. For the last two years, I worked as a sessional lecturer at Federation University, Brisbane Campus. I achieved the status of FHEA (Fellow of Higher Education Academy) awarded by Advance HE, UK.

Dakshi with husband & parents

Any surprises along the way?

It was a challenging journey. My husband and I commenced our PhDs at the same time, which always made our lives busy. Having milestones coming at the same time was challenging as well as exciting.  Fortunately, both of us worked with great supervisory teams.

How has your experience with the Data Science Centre been?

I was a member of the Data Science HDR Academy and gave a speech at last July’s event about, “How you are using Data science in your research”.¬† I am now a member of the Centre’s Applied Data Science group, which provides insights and connects fundamental data science with real-world applications.

What are you doing now?

I am now a postdoctoral research fellow in Process Science in the Process Science Research Group at QUT. In my current research, I exploit unstructured text to improve the data quality, and I am collaboratively working with the Digital Health Initiative and Hastings Deering.

Congratulations, Dakshi!

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