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My name is George Azzopardi and I am tenure track assistant professor in the Information Systems group of the Bernoulli Institute for Mathematics, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence, Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Groningen, the Netherlands.

Associate editor of 1. Pattern Recognition, 2. Pattern Recognition Letters, 3. SN Computer Science, & 4. Frontiers in Robotics and AI – Robot and Machine Vision

Other affiliation: University of Malta Download CV

Open Positions: 1 Postdoc and 3 PhDs

The high energy efficiency and generalization abilities in processing sensory information achieved by a mammalian brain are among the gold nuggets of neuromorphic computing. In contrast to conventional super/cluster/grid computing centers which take very large spaces and consume a great deal of energy, a human brain weighs less than 1500g and requires only 20w of power to operate. Emulating these remarkable abilities of the brain represents the pursuit of neuromorphic computing in achieving more with less.

Sparsity is among the key factors that contribute to high energy efficient processing in the brain. Neuroscientists believe that inhibition is a crucial property that results in sparse and thus highly energy efficient representations. Sparsity and inhibition are the focus of the open positions described below. They will also be investigated with respect to generalisation abilities (i.e. determination of computational models that can generalize beyond the training distribution) and to robustness with respect to adversarial attacks.

Two complementary 4-year PhD positions funded by the CogniGron Center of the University of Groningen:

  1. Four-year PhD. Sparsity with Brain-inspired Inhibition (Required Background in Computer Science/Artificial Intelligence)
    • Main supervisor: Dr. George Azzopardi, Co-supervisors: Prof. Michael Biehl (University of Groningen), Dr. Nicola Strisciuglio (University of Twente)

  2. Four-year PhD. Sparsity with Statistical Physics Analysis (Required Background in Physics)
    • Main supervisor: Prof. Michael Biehl , Co-supervisors: Dr. George Azzopardi and Prof. Kerstin Bunte (University of Groningen)
Click here for more details and application procedure
Other two positions:

  1. Two-year post-doc. The selected candidate will be enrolled with the Information Systems group, University of Groningen, and will collaborate with ongoing PhD students on the topic of brain-inspired robust deep architectures. The ideal candidate must have a solid foundation in developing deep learning architectures for vision applications and a proven record of publishing high-quality papers.
    • Click here for more details and application procedure
    • Supervisor: Dr. George Azzopardi (University of Groningen)

  2. Four-year (double-doctorate) PhD. The selected candidate will be enrolled with the Information Systems group, University of Groningen, and the Department of Information and Electrical Engineering and Applied Mathematics, University of Salerno (Prof. Mario Vento). The candidate would need to spend 2 years at each university, and will focus on investigating how inspiration from the visual system of the brain can be used to develop more robust deep learning architectures with application to computer vision (e.g. face analysis)
    • Supervisors: Prof. Mario Vento (University of Salerno) and Dr. George Azzopardi (University of Groningen)
    • Interest can be expressed via this form
Research Interests
Core
  • Brain-inspired visual pattern recognition
  • Information retrieval
  • Predictive analysis
  • Anomaly detection
Applications
  • Medical, forensic, radio-astronomy and first-person image analysis
  • Smart farming
  • Sport science
  • Blockchain
Career
    2021 - to date: Tenure track assistant professor (1FTE), University of Groningen
    2017 - 2021: Joined appointment
      Tenure track assistant professor (0.8FTE), University of Groningen
      2019 - 2021: Senior AI Scientist (0.2FTE), Ziel NL, Groningen
      2017 - 2019: Senior AI Scientist (0.2FTE), KAIOS, Groningen
    2015 - 2017: Lecturer (1FTE), University of Malta (Malta)

    2012 - 2015: Joined appointment
      Researcher (0.2FTE), University of Groningen
      Scientific Innovator (0.8FTE), TNO
    2013: PhD cum laude in Computer Science, University of Groningen. Download thesis
    2008: MSc Advanced Methods in Computer Science, Queen Mary, University of London (UK)
    2007 - 2008: Algorithmic developer, Iteanova (Malta)
    2006: BSc (Hons) Computer Science and Information Systems, Goldsmiths College, University of London (UK)
    2004: Certificate in Banking and Financial Services, Chartered Institute of Bankers (Malta)
    2000 - 2007: Software developer, Bank of Valletta (Malta)