Udana Bandara is the vice manager of Computational Interaction Group at the Rakuten Institute of Technology, is also the founder of Mindfulness Club at Rakuten.
As a child, he got introduced to basic mindfulness meditation practices (Anapanasathi Bhavana) in Sri Lanka. He also practiced zen meditation while being a university student in Tokyo. Most importantly, a ten-day Vipassana meditation course ([https://www.dhamma.org/]) that he attended in April 2010 inspired him to take mindfulness seriously. Since then, he has attended several more Vipassana courses and gradually incorporated a daily meditation practice into his life.
Prior to joining Rakuten, he has worked as a Technology Consultant at Ohtsuka Intellectual Property Law Firm; founded a location-aware social network called Serendi funded by Mitoh project and worked as a researcher for Mobile Networking Group in National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), Japan. He has authored several academic articles presented in top international conferences such as Ubicomp and CVPR. Further, he holds three US patents and twelve Japanese patents for his innovations in the field of mobile technology and O2O commerce. He obtained his B. Eng. in Computer Science from Tokyo Institute of Technology, M.Sc. from University of Tokyo. He left his PhD course at the University of Tokyo to pursue a stat-up career with Serendi. His research interest includes mobile & wearable technology, human computer interaction and online to offline commerce.