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Ammar Qammaz

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I am among the top 50 most active github developers in Greece..!

Early life / Short Biography

I was born in 11/08/1986 and I started being interested in computers and electronics at the age of 9 when my parents bought me my first Personal Computer. Being fortunate enough to have the president of the Greek Linux User Group at that time as my teacher in a computer class, I was introduced to the Linux Operating System and learned my first programming language, FreePascal, at the age of 14. At the age of 18, I was chosen for the runner up Greek team at the International Olympiad of Informatics (IOI) after succeeding in a national programming contest for students.

Due to my IOI involvement, I received a personal invitation from the Athens University of Economics and Business to enroll at its Computer Science program. Unfortunately, the Computer Science program didn't live up to my expectations. I started a small startup computer software business offering database / e-mail / e-commerce services and some in-house developed products that are still used in production today. The whole effort naturally gravitated towards Open Source until I resumed my University studies leaving software development jobs as a part-time activity, but always providing support to all my existing projects and customers. In 2007, around the fifth semester of my studies, I encountered computer graphics and its reverse problem, computer vision, which I found to be the most fascinating computer science research field. I started to work on my BSc thesis on a small self-navigating robot called GuarddoG which utilized Stereoscopy to navigate in indoor environments. The robot was a success gaining awards in exhibitions and local TV coverage in Greece, the culmination of which was my participation in the International Fair of Thessaloniki 2011.

During the next year, I fulfilled my mandatory military service in Greece, serving as a communications system operator. I also contributed with writing software to automate some standard procedures. After a few months, I got transferred to HNDGS – NATO headquarters in Athens in a critical position handling sensitive classified signals until the end of my service. After my military service, I joined the Computer Vision and Robotics Laboratory (CVRL) at the Foundation For Research and Technology – Hellas (FORTH) were I have remained ever since. I have been involved in various challenging European Research Projects that primarily used computer vision in household robotics (listed in detail in a section below).

In order to further improve my knowledge and skills, I started a MSc degree in University of Crete in 2015 while also receiving a scholarship from FORTH-CVRL. The focus of my studies was computer vision, robot navigation, graphics and knowledge bases. My MSc thesis “A Hybrid Method for 3D Pose Estimation of Personalized Human Body Models” deals with the problem of 3D human tracking while also employing neural networks and state of the art human model reconstruction techniques. I recently enrolled in a PhD program that started in 2019 and is due in 2022.

I have a strong and diverse computer related background that extends from a full curriculum of computer science studies down to low-level electronics and hands-on technical experience and knowledge. I consider myself very lucky because what started out as a passionate hobby for me, as a self-taught programmer at age 14 trying to create virtual worlds inside my computer, has come full circle, allowing me to pursue my dreams through passionate research, making programs that can now perceive and act in the real world. Through events like the European researchers` night and school demos organized by the local municipality, I have had the chance to show my work to a new generation of young Greek students that have been brought up in times of great economical adversity, hopefully inspiring them to find their calling. Through my role as a teaching assistant in introductory programming and mathematics courses, I have had the chance of helping freshmen in the Computer Science department to build a solid foundation for their studies.

Highlights and Milestones

Participation in European Research Projects

  • Mingei Project – H2020 grant no. 822336 - http://www.mingei-project.eu/ 2018-2020 3D pose estimation from videos of experts performing various historically important procedures for cultural heritage preservation
  • Co4Robots – H2020-ICT-2016-1-73186 - https://www.co4robots.eu/ 2017-2019 Preparing deliverables, human perception, platform video post production
  • RAPID Project – H2020-ICT-644312 - http://www.rapid-project.eu/ 2015-2017 Hand Tracking using heterogeneous computing for Low-Power Integrated Systems and Devices
  • Hobbit The Mutual Care Robot - FP7-ICT-288146 - http://hobbit.acin.tuwien.ac.at/ 2012 – 2015 Participation in Implementation /Project Review Meetings, Integration Work of FORTH Software with ROS, Emergency fallen user system development, System design/tuning, Load Balancing, Web interface/UI work using AmmarServer . A very challenging project and to the best of my knowledge, the first time in human history conducting live trials with autonomous robots in user homes.
  • Robohow.cog - FP7-ICT-288533 - http://robohow.eu/ 2012 – 2015 Participation in Systems Integration Meetings, Integration work for ROS/FORTH MBV SDK, Work on force sensing based on vision ( CVPR '15 Publciation ), Performance Improvements (See BMVC 15 submission).
  • S. Panagou, M. Sileo, K. Papoutsakis, F. Fruggiero, A. Qammaz and A.A. Argyros, "Complexity based investigation in collaborative assembly scenarios via non intrusive techniques", Procedia Computer Science, Special issue, 4th International Conference on Industry 4.0 and Smart Manufacturing (ISM 2022), Elsevier, vol. 217, pp. 478-485, 2023.
  • A. Qammaz and A. Argyros, "A Unified Approach for Occlusion Tolerant 3D Facial Pose Capture and Gaze Estimation using MocapNETs", In International Conference on Computer Vision Workshops (AMFG 2023 - ICCVW 2023), (to appear), IEEE, Paris, France, October 2023.
  • A. Qammaz and A. Argyros, "Compacting MocapNET-based 3D Human Pose Estimation via Dimensionality Reduction", In International Conference on Pervasive Technologies Related to Assistive Environments (PETRA 2023), ACM, pp. 306-312, Corfu, Greece, July 2023.
  • H. Hauser, C. Beisswenger, N. Partarakis, X. Zabulis, I. Adami, E. Zidianakis, A. Patakos, N. Patsiouras, E. Karuzaki, M. Foukarakis, A. Tsoli, A. Qammaz, A. Argyros, N. Cadi, E. Baka, N.M. Thalmann, B. Olivias, D. Makrygiannis, A. Glushkova, S. Manitsaris, V. Nitti and L. Panesse, "Multimodal Narratives for the Presentation of Silk Heritage in the Museum", MDPI, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 461-487, 2022.
  • A. Qammaz and A.A. Argyros, "Towards Holistic Real-time Human 3D Pose Estimation using MocapNETs", In British Machine Vision Conference (BMVC 2021), BMVA, Virtual, UK, November 2021.
  • A. Qammaz and A.A. Argyros, "Occlusion-tolerant and personalized 3D human pose estimation in RGB images", In IEEE International Conference on Pattern Recognition (ICPR 2020), January 2021.
  • M. Bajones, D. Fischinger, A. Weiss, P. Puente, D. Wolf, M. Vincze, T. Kortner, M. Weninger, K. Papoutsakis, D. Michel, A. Qammaz, P. Panteleris, M. Foukarakis, I. Adami, D. Ioannidi, A. Leonidis, M. Antona, A. Argyros, P. Mayer, P. Panek, H. Eftring, S. Frennert, "Results of Field Trials with a Mobile Service Robot for Older Adults in 16 Private Households" To Appear in ACM Transactions on Human-Robot Interaction, ACM 2019
  • A. Qammaz and A.A. Argyros, "MocapNET: Ensemble of SNN Encoders for 3D Human Pose Estimation in RGB Images", In British Machine Vision Conference (BMVC 2019), BMVA, Cardiff, UK, September 2019.
  • A. Qammaz, Sokol Kosta, Nikolaos Kyriazis, Antonis Argyros, “Demo: Distributed Real-Time Generative 3D Hand Tracking using Edge GPGPU Acceleration”, ACM International Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications, and Services 2018
  • A. Qammaz, Sokol Kosta, Nikolaos Kyriazis, Antonis Argyros, “On the Feasibility of Real-Time 3D Hand Tracking using Edge GPGPU Acceleration”, 2018 , arXiv:1804.11256
  • M. Bajones, D. Fischinger, A. Weiss, D. Wolf, T. Kortner, M. Weninger, K. Papoutsakis, D. Michel, A. Qammaz, P. Panteleris, M. Foukarakis, I. Adami, D. Ioannidi, A. Leonidis, M. Antona, A.A. Argyros, P.-M. Mayer, P. Panek, H. Eftring, S. Frennert, M. Vincze and P.D.L. Puente, "Hobbit - Providing Fall Detection and Prevention for the Elderly in the Real World", Journal of Robotics, Hindawi, March 2018.
  • A. Qammaz, D. Michel and A.A. Argyros, "A Hybrid Method for 3D Pose Estimation of Personalized Human Body Models", In Proceedings of the IEEE Workshop on the Applications of Computer Vision (WACV), March 2018
  • D. Michel, A. Qammaz and A.A. Argyros, "Markerless 3D Human Pose Estimation and Tracking based on RGBD Cameras: an Experimental Evaluation", In International Conference on Pervasive Technologies Related to Assistive Environments (PETRA 2017), ACM, pp. 115-122, Rhodes, Greece, June 2017.
  • M. Foukarakis, I. Adami, D. Ioannidi, A. Leonidis, D. Michel, A. Qammaz, K. Papoutsakis, M. Antona and A.A. Argyros, "A Robot-based Application for Physical Exercise Training", In International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies for Ageing Well and e-Health (ICT4AWE 2016), Scitepress, pp. 45-52, Rome, Italy, April 2016.
  • T.-H. Pham, A. Kheddar, A. Qammaz and A.A. Argyros, "Capturing and Reproducing Hand-Object Interactions Through Vision-Based Force Sensing", In IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision Workshops (OUI 2015 - ICCVW 2015), IEEE, Santiago, Chile, November 2015.
  • N. Kyriazis, I. Oikonomidis, P. Panteleris, D. Michel, A. Qammaz, A. Makris, K. Tzevanidis, P. Douvantzis, K. Roditakis and A.A. Argyros, "A Generative Approach to Tracking Hands and Their Interaction with Objects", In Man-Machine Interactions 4 - International Conference on Man-Machine Interactions (ICMMI 2015), Springer, pp. 19-28, Kocierz, Poland, October 2015.
  • A. Qammaz, N. Kyriazis and A.A. Argyros, "Boosting the Performance of Model-based 3D Tracking by Employing Low Level Motion Cues", In British Machine Vision Conference (BMVC 2015), BMVA, pp. 144-1, Swansea, UK, September 2015.
  • T.-H. Pham, A. Kheddar, A. Qammaz and A.A. Argyros, "Towards force sensing from vision: Observing hand-object interactions to infer manipulation forces", In IEEE Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR 2015), IEEE, pp. 2810-2819, Boston, USA, June 2015.

Programming Εxperience ( Automated OpenSource tracker here )

Languages : C, C++, Python , Shell scripting (BASH, Csh, Perl ), Java, PHP, MySQL, FreePascal, Matlab

Operating Systems : GNU/Linux, Android, Windows, Embedded systems (ATMEL, PICAXE, AVR, Arduino etc..)

Frameworks : ROS, wxWidgets, OpenGL, GLSL, OpenAL, OpenCV, CUDA, Tensorflow, Keras, Git, Numpy

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Research Interests

Computer Vision, Image Processing, Computer Graphics, Robotics, HCI, Deep Neural Networks, Machine Learining, Artificial Intelligence, Embedded/Ubiquitous Computing.

Other Information/Interests

I have an INTJ Myers-Briggs personality type indicator. In my spare time I like flying my custom built Quadcopter, maintaining my open source repositories, watching documentaries, amateur photography and amateur astronomy, sailing, latin dance, traveling and gaming.

Nationality/Languages

I have a Greek Nationality, I speak Greek (native speaker), English (FCE, CPE Cambridge diplomas) and I have rudimentary knowledge of the German language.

Links

WWW, OpenHub, Google Scholar, Github, YouTube, Linked-In, HackerRank, Instagram, Spotify, Deviant-Art

Donations

Most of the code in my github repository is open-source, if you find it useful and feel like it you can help me maintain it by donating to the following cryptocurrency adresses.

BTC: 1Jt9qByDdkb8awS7D5mx3BHSSuToL2NYHK

Ethereum ERC20: 0xbcf9bd014a454d6c3a6870b0da84e09ce91d3443

XMR: 88yp6tXRXZZDZdhKnr3mAq3zS11j2H6zo817DkUZQ968Z7djoUEQhiCT88mFt3yUGXgndJmxNyPThJyU8pbSskNaByp2ocQ

For more old-school donations here is my paypal :

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