Tampere is the best city in the world to advance your career, raise your family and enjoy life, says Professor Moncef Gabbouj. With his team, he is developing machine learning, pattern recognition and signal processing algorithms – and expecting to have big effects in several application areas, notably in health and wellbeing.
What are the main focus areas of your research?
– We develop novel machine learning, pattern recognition and signal processing algorithms for different applications involving big data and analytics. We train young researchers in these important fields of science and engineering.
What are some of the challenges you are trying to solve?
– Decision-making environments are changing drastically due to the recent development in machine learning and artificial intelligence. We are solving challenges related to efficient design of such systems to find solutions to real-world problems.
What consequences will this have?
– In addition to efficiency and accuracy, we are proposing new and innovative solutions to challenging problems which could not be solved following the classical approaches.
– A large impact is expected from our research in several application areas, notably in health and wellbeing.
Tell us about your team at TUT?
– We have a young motivated and hard-working group of researchers who are pursuing their academic goals, that is MSc and PhD degrees. We also have postdocs who are being trained for the leading positions in academia and industry. Our group is culturally rich with more than ten different nationalities.
Examples of business research partners and projects?
– We work with several businesses in the Tampere Region, including Intel, Nokia, Tieto and Cargotec. We engage with them in several projects leading to new and innovative services in camera technology, big data analytics, as well as in healthcare and wellbeing.
Examples of cooperation with other universities?
– Our group is leading the first National Science Foundation IUCRC Center for Visual and Decision Informatics (since 2015) where we collaborate with several universities in the USA and companies both in USA and Finland. Our US university collaborators include University of Louisiana, Lafayette, Drexel University, Stony Brook University, University of Virginia and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Examples of favourite cutting edge projects and innovations:
– We developed innovatory color constancy correction for cameras in collaboration with Intel. We also developed state-of-the-art ECG classification for heart arrhythmia. We won the 2017 PhysioNet Challenge – among 75 world teams.
A little bit about your background…
– I originally come from Tunisia – and by the way, I’m the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Tunisia in Tampere. I graduated from Purdue University in the USA in 1989 with PhD in Electrical Engineering.
– I came to Tampere when I had a 6-month postdoc offer to visit TUT in order to help set up and teach the first international program in Digital Signal Processing in Finland.
How is life in Tampere?
– I have been living in Tampere for nearly three decades, so it is my home. Tampere is the best city in the world to advance your career, raise your family and enjoy life.
– Our kids were born and grew in Tampere and now they have grown out of Tampere, living in Kuopio and Helsinki, but they do come and visit often.
What is the fondest memory in your career?
– They are too many to list, but having supervised so many doctoral students who are now all over the world in various high-level positions makes me most proud.
How do you see the future?
– It is very promising for our field of research and for our young researchers.