Danula Hettiachchi

Melbourne · Australia · contact [at] danulahettiachchi.com

I am a PhD candidate at the School of Computing and Information Systems, The University of Melbourne, where I am part of the Interaction Design Lab. I have previously worked as a Full-Stack Software Engineer, primarily focused on data engineering and analytics.

I recently worked at Amazon (AWS) as an Applied Scientist Intern. I also work as a tutor at the School of Computing and Information Systems and previously as the Manager of User Experience Lab at the Interaction Design Lab, where I supported a wide range of HCI research projects.


Applied Scientist Intern,
Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Working with Amazon GroundTruth, MTurk and Augmented AI (A2I) team.

June 2020 - Present
Casual Academic,
The University of Melbourne

Work as a tutor at School of Computing & Information Systems, Melbourne School of Engineering.

July 2018 - Present
Manager - User Experience Lab,
The University of Melbourne

User Experience Lab is a research facility at the Interaction Design Lab, School of Computing & Information Systems. I supported a wide range of HCI research projects under my role.

July 2018 - February 2020
Software Engineer,
Sysco Labs

Worked in the data and analytics team. Principal engineer of customer profiling project, a solution to gather customer insights from over 2000 restaurants. Also engaged with a real time ETL built using Apache Storm, a data warehouse for reports and data archival project.

April 2016 - February 2018
Visiting​ ​Instructor,
University of Moratuwa

Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Faculty of Engineering.

April 2015 - February 2016
Google​ ​Summer​ ​of​ ​Code​ ​Intern,

Integrated a data cleaning tool to WSO2 Machine Learner by creating data transformations in Apache Spark to enhance the data preprocessing capabilities of the platform.

May 2015 - September 2015
Software Engineering Intern,

Built an R extension for WSO2 Machine Learner to generate and execute machine learning algorithms in R. Created an application to monitor Jenkins build failures using WSO2 Complex Event Processor.

October 2014 - April 2015


University of Melbourne

PhD in Engineering
Computing and Information Systems

Supervised by Dr. Jorge Goncalves and Prof. Vassilis Kostakos

February 2018 - Present

University of Moratuwa

B.Sc. (Hons) in Engineering

First Class. Specialized in Computer Science and Engineering

October 2011 - April 2016

Royal College, Colombo

Secondary Education
January 2002 - August 2010



D. Hettiachchi, N. van Berkel, V. Kostakos, J. Goncalves (2020). CrowdCog: A Cognitive Skill based System for Heterogeneous Task Assignment and Recommendation in Crowdsourcing. Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction, 4 (CSCW2), 110:1-110:22. [doi] [pdf] [code] [talk]

D. Hettiachchi, S. Wijenayake, S. Hosio, V. Kostakos, J. Goncalves (2020). How Context Influences Cross-Device Task Acceptance in Crowd Work. In Proceedings of the Eighth AAAI Conference on Human Computation and Crowdsourcing (HCOMP’20). 53-62. [doi] [pdf]

D. Hettiachchi, Z. Sarsenbayeva, F. Allison, N. van Berkel, T. Dingler, G. Marini, V. Kostakos, J. Goncalves (2020). "Hi! I am the Crowd Tasker" Crowdsourcing through Digital Voice Assistants. In Proceedings of the ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2020 (CHI’20). [doi] [pdf] [media]

D. Hettiachchi, N. van Berkel, S. Hosio, M. B. Lopez, V. Kostakos, J. Goncalves (2020). Augmenting Automated Kinship Verification with Targeted Human Input. In Proceedings of the Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems 2020 (PACIS’20). [doi] [pdf]

S. Wijenayake, D. Hettiachchi, S. Hosio, V. Kostakos, J. Goncalves (2020). Effect of Conformity on Perceived Trustworthiness of News in Social Media. IEEE Internet Computing. [doi] [pdf]


D. Hettiachchi, N. van Berkel, S. Hosio, V. Kostakos, J. Goncalves (2019). Effect of Cognitive Abilities on Crowdsourcing Task Performance. Human-Computer Interaction (INTERACT’19). Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 11746. Springer, Cham. [doi] [pdf]

D. Hettiachchi, J. Goncalves (2019). Towards Effective Crowd-Powered Online Content Moderation. In Proceedings of the 31st Australian Conference on Computer-Human Interaction (OzCHI '19). ACM. [doi] [pdf]

D. Hettiachchi, N. van Berkel, T. Dingler, F. Allison, V. Kostakos, J. Goncalves (2019). Enabling Creative Crowd Work through Smart Speakers. In International Workshop on Designing Crowd-powered Creativity Support Systems (CHI’19 Workshop), 1-5. [doi] [pdf]

Z. Sarsenbayeva, N. van Berkel, D. Hettiachchi, W. Jiang, T. Dingler, E. Velloso, V. Kostakos, J. Goncalves (2019). Measuring the Effects of Stress on Mobile Interaction. Proceedings of the ACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies (IMWUT), 3(1), 24:1-24:18. [doi] [pdf]

N. van Berkel, J. Goncalves , D. Hettiachchi, S. Wijenayake, R. M. Kelly, V. Kostakos (2019). Crowdsourcing Perceptions of Fair Predictors for Machine Learning: A Recidivism Case Study. Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction, 3 (CSCW), 28:1-28:21.[doi] [pdf] [code]

Z. Sarsenbayeva, N. van Berkel, W. Jiang, D. Hettiachchi, V. Kostakos, J. Goncalves (2019). Effect of Ambient Light on Mobile Interaction. Human-Computer Interaction (INTERACT’19). Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 11748. Springer, Cham. [doi] [pdf]


Eranjith, H. M. D., Fernando, I. D., Fernando, G. K. S., Soysa, W. C. M., Jayasena, V. S. D. (2016). A visualization and analysis platform for performance tuning. In 2016 Moratuwa Engineering Research Conference (MERCon) (pp. 72–77). [doi] [pdf]


The University of Melbourne
  • Tutor for Machine Learning (COMP 30027), Social Computing (INFO 90007), Knowledge Technologies (COMP 90049) and Fundamentals of Interaction Design (INFO 10003).
  • Teaching Support for Evaluating the User Experience (INFO 90004), Usability Engineering (INFO 30004), Usability Evaluation Methods (INFO 20004).
  • Completed several teaching training programmes including Melbourne Teaching Certificate for Graduate Researchers, Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education, The University of Melbourne, 2019
University of Moratuwa
  • Teaching Assistant for Database Systems (CS 3042) and Presentation Skills (CS 2963)

Academic Services

  • Reviewer for CHI, CSCW, WWW, INTERACT, IMWUT, and OzCHI.
  • Technical Programme Committee Member (Data Chair) at CHI 2019.
  • Programme Committee Member at AAAI HCOMP 2020, OzCHI 2019.
  • Student Volunteer at CHI 2019, OzCHI 2018.
  • Student Volunteer Chair at CHI Down Under 2020.


  • Best Paper Award, CIS Doctoral Colloquium, School of Computing and Information Systems, The University of Melbourne, 2018
  • Intrapreneur Award, Sysco Labs, 2017
  • Dean’s List, Faculty of Engineering, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka, 2011-2016 (Semester 1,7 and 8)
  • Runners up, Hall of Fame for Engineering Excellence, Sysco Labs, 2016
  • Process and Quality Compliance Award, Sysco Labs, 2016
  • Inclusive Student Leader, Unilever Youth Forum, Sri Lanka, 2015
  • Cecil Perera Memorial Scholarship for academic excellence, 162nd Prize Giving, Royal College, Colombo, 2010. (received 9 awards at Royal College Prize Givings, 2002-2010)
  • Sri Lanka Mathematics Olympiad, High Distinction, 2008, 2009 and 2010

  • Google Travel Scholarship, School of Computing and Information Systems, The University of Melbourne, Australia, 2019.
  • Melbourne Research Scholarship for graduate studies at the University of Melbourne, Australia. 2018-2021.
  • Mahapola Higher Education (Merit) Scholarship for undergraduate studies at the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka. Sponsor: University Grants Commission (UGC) of Sri Lanka, 2011-2015.
  • Eagle Higher Education scholarship for secondary education and undergraduate studies. Awarded for obtaining highest marks in Puttalam District in Grade Five Scholarship Examination, 2007-2016.

  • Spiralation Hackathon - Runners up, World Conference on Youth, 2014
  • Ranked 52nd globally, IEEEXtreme 7.0 programming competition, 2013
  • Ranked 57th globally, Bitwise 2013 programming competition, 2013
  • Ranked 93rd globally, IEEEXtreme 6.0 programming competition, 2012

Volunteering and Leadership

About Me

My wife, Maneesha is also pursuing a PhD in Time Series Forecasting at The University of Melbourne and IBM Research Australia.

When I am not in front of my computer, I enjoy hiking, running, board games and good food.

My longest run so far!