Home

 

Welcome to my personal website. The opinions expressed here are solely mine and not those of my employer and/or volunteer affiliations.

I am Academic Resident (Lecturer) at the Intelligent Computer Systems department of the ICT Faculty in the University of Malta. I am involved in lecturing courses about intelligent interfaces, pattern recognition, machine learning and computer vision. I am also affiliated with the University of Groningen in the Netherlands where I co-supervise PhD students. Before my current position in Malta I was research innovator at TNO (4 days/week) and a post-doc researcher/lecturer at the University of Groningen (one day/week), in the Netherlands. At TNO I was involved in optimization, signal processing, predictive modeling and computer vision projects. 

I received PhD cum laude in Computer Science from the University of Groningen on April 26, 2013. I carried out my PhD studies at the Johann Bernoulli Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science under the supervision of Prof. dr. Nicolai Petkov, who is the head of the Intelligent Systems group. The research topic of my studies was visual pattern recognition including computational modelling of the visual system of the brain. In my studies, I proposed innovative brain-inspired algorithms for machine vision applications, which among others, include contour detection, segmentation, feature detection, shape recognition and retinal image analysis. My PhD thesis is called COSFIRE (Combination of Shifted Filter Responses): A Trainable Filter Approach to Visual Pattern Recognition.

Before my PhD studies, I received a BSc degree (first class honours) in Computer Science and an MSc degree with distinction in Computer Vision, both from the University of London. For the BSc degree I received an academic award for an outstanding achievement and for the MSc degree I ranked first. 

In Malta, I gained more than six years experience as a software developer (Java) at the Bank of Valletta and more than three years experience as a scientific developer (SAP-ABAP) at Iteanova Ltd. 

I co-chaired the 16th Intern. Conf. on Computer Analysis of Images and Patterns (CAIP 2015), 2-4 Sept. 2015, Valletta, Malta. 

Research interests: data science, pattern recognition, predictive modelling, image processing, computer vision, machine learning, medical image analysis

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

 		
I met George in 2012 when he supervised my master thesis project, which I worked on as an exchange student at the University of Groningen from February 2012 until June 2012. At that time he transmitted to me his passion for research and his systematic approach to solve problems.Now, I'm a PhD candidate at the "Intelligent Systems Group" of University of Groningen. This is the same group where George also works and we are collaborating on many research ideas. George has excellent research skills and broad problem solving abilities. Working with him, discussing about research methodologies and approaches, sharing and commenting ideas is always stimulating and fruitful for my work.I learned many things from George: how to be focused and committed on my targets, develop an eye for detail, the passion and curiosity as a driving force in research, improving my scientific writing skills and communicating my ideas to an audience.
I met Dr. Azzopardi on the last year his PhD. He struck me as an interesting and smart candidate with many new ideas. We started a collaboration that one year later led to the publication of a PLOS ONE paper on the subject of modeling Visual Cortex simple cells, a subject that is both interesting and very challenging.During this collaboration, I realized that not only Dr. Azzopardi can generate hypothesis and ideas that are very much worth of study, but also that he is very excited about Computational Neuroscience and Computer Viision. For this reason, he is willing to work hard in new hypothesis of study, not just to extend his knowledge, but to provide the scientific community with that knowledge himself.During this collaboration I also had the opportunity to know Dr. Azzopardi personally, and showed me that he is a great collaborator to work with. His excitement in Science is quite contagious, and this drives the people that work with him to work hard as well.
I have done my research internship under the supervision of Dr. Azzopardi at the University of Groningen in 2013.George is very intelligent, organised, diligent researcher, has solid domain knowledge and possesses innovative research abilities which can be seen in his outstanding publications. Beyond his high professional qualities and success, he is very decent, understanding and personable gentleman.He led me during my first steps into the research world with patience and grace even though I was a 3rd year Bachelor student with basic English level and domain knowledge. From academic writing skills to problem solving abilities, he transmitted every kind of information and experience to me with pleasure. Our meetings were not only very informative and fruitful but also very motivational and inspiring such that I recall whenever I feel desperate about our research. I must say that he has had a huge impact on my academic path and I am very grateful and feel fortunate for having the opportunity to work with such a dedicated mentor.
George is an extremely bright person. Not only did he always have a great overview of new developments of the state of the art, but he also had a vision to future innovations. Combined with his skill to develop new algorithms he was a great asset to the GOOSE project team.
George has been collaborating with my PhD studies about object detection using invariant local features since September 2012. He is a real supervisor for me. Not only he comments my work when I am visiting RuG in Groningen but he keeps mentoring me when I am in Spain as well.He always comes up with brilliant ideas during our fruitful meetings and he keeps thinking about new suggestions to offer after them. Research is his passion and he has excellent skills for it, he is intelligent, thorough, meticulous, organized and hardworking. In addition, he is always encouraging and motivating me to keep on working and trying new things. He cares about my work, asks for progress and provides feedback at the same time that he lets me explore my own path.Not least, his good interpersonal skills, for example during lunches or workshops, help to create a healthy atmosphere.
George was my supervisor during my internship at TNO Groningen. He is an excellent mentor that gave me support and confidence to pursue my own research path, but also guided me whenever needed. We've spent hours discussing computer vision and machine learning topics, but, most importantly, he explained me how the scientific community works and stimulated me to aim as high as possible. I admire his positive spirit which always made our meetings fun and his eye for detail that significantly improved my scientific writing skills. I believe our collaboration is a good example of his persistence and technical skills; Almost a year later we are still in touch and our work will be published in an international conference on data mining.
André XerriAndré Xerri
I have had the privilege to work with George as my B.Sc.’s thesis project supervisor between 2014 and 2015 titled “Prediction of EUR/USD exchange price direction: A comparison of GMLVQ and SVM classification models”. George is a passionate academic with admirable problem solving capabilities and outstanding research skills. Moreover, he is a dedicated mentor providing critical feedback and thought stimulating guidance whilst maintaining a healthy, friendly and professional environment. George’s academic passion has inspired me to further my studies in the field and look forward to have the opportunity to collaborate with George again.​
Dr. Azzopardi  has been supervising my PhD project focused on brain-inspired computer vision for more than two years.Besides possessing excellent research skills, he is an admirable teacher as he loves transmitting his knowledge to students. He is reliable, meticulous, very patient and extremely personable man. He is one of those rare inspiring mentors who can not only help me to solve many technical problems but also point my research direction. He successfully organized many group meetings and workshops during the past two years and helped us to collaborate with other universities including University of Leon, University of California and University of Twente. I am very grateful.
I've had the honour of having Dr. Azzopardi as my mentor through out the analysis, planning, and development of my dissertation despite the fact that he was not part of the institution I was studying with. Dr. Azzopardi is a passionate and dedicated academic with a very systematic approach; and his expertise, understanding, patience, and unrelenting drive coupled with his vast knowledge on his subject contribute a great deal of quality to what ever project he focuses on. He encourages constantly by example and by delivering constructive and critical feedback no matter how polished the project at hand might be, striving always for a better result.I consider my self very lucky to have had his guidance and drive through out my dissertation; which I am sure contributed greatly to the end result.
Vincenzo CapozzoliVincenzo Capozzoli(October 23, 2014)
I met George in 2012 at the University of Groningen during the last year of his PhD studies. He was the supervisor of my master thesis project. George is a very good teacher, it is evident that he brings passion into his work. I learnt many things from George, not only technical things. Most of all he taught me how to break a problem into smaller pieces, and how to write scientific findings in a clear manner. I am very happy that I had the opportunity to work with George.