ISBI Daily - Thursday

Maria, when did you finish your PhD? I finished my PhD in 2017. Where? From Greece. From National Technical University of Athens. You’re Greek. Yes, from Athens. How was it to grow up as a young scientist in Athens? When I was young I don’t think I had an urge to be a scientist. I think we have good institutions in Greece that we’ll be able to promote with knowledge to continue later for studies. Were you happy enough to do your PhD in Greece? Actually for me, when I started my PhD, I was not sure that I was going to leave Greece and be abroad. Even though I didn’t choose to go abroad and stayed in my country, I had the opportunity to go abroad when I visited a friend’s university, École des Ponts and CentraleSupélec, as a visiting student. I had the opportunity to see another university, how other people work in the universities. Is this is your first year abroad? Actually, no, because I was a visiting PhD student in Paris. It was around one year in Paris in total, in different institutions. But now, yes, it’s my first year that I am in Paris more permanently, like I have a contract that is for several years. What is the next place? I like Paris, but I don’t know if I’ll either return to Greece or stay in Paris. Greece is still home for you? Yes. Will it always be? Yes. What is the nicest thing about Greece that we non-Greeks don’t know? I think it’s the feeling that you have. You have people that are warm and they will help you, they will guide you. Can you tell us about your work? Actually, it is a little bit strange for me because I started in an Engineering school. I am a surveyor engineer. Currently, I was not oriented on medical imaging. I didn’t even know this field. But, I liked programming a lot, so I started the PhD on remote sensing, which is actually computer vision for satellite images. I started PhD there and I started using algorithms for machine learning and computer vision. Through my collaboration with the universities in Centrale, I understood Maria Vakalopoulou 14 Thursday ISBI DAILY Women in Science Maria Vakalopoulou is a Postdoc in the Remote Sensing Laboratory at CentraleSupélec, supervised by Nikos Paragios .