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Biometric Systems

administrative contact

Chris Randall
phone: 304-293-9678

program contact

Brian Woerner
phone: 304-293-9141

Program Details

Program Description

Biometric systems are composed of complex hardware and software designed to measure a signature of the human body, compare the signature to a database, and render a decision for a given application based on the identification achieved from this matching process. Uses of biometric systems for positive personal identification are experiencing rapid growth in such areas as law enforcement, access control, banking, and a wide range of business and administrative systems. In an even broader application context, biometric systems are having a revolutionary impact on health care and the enhancement of the human computer interface including in vivo identification of specific human conditions via implantable devices and the automated administration of life-saving medical therapies. The continued rapid advance of integrated sensor, signal/image processing, computer, and mass storage technology promises to extend these applications further into our daily lives with even the most inanimate objects able to identify, interact with, and assist their users.

Career Profile

Biometric identification is a highly interdisciplinary field mixing traditional engineering with the forensic sciences. As a result, the engineering design and development of biometric systems requires knowledge of the biometric as well as the engineering disciplines. Designers work with the physics of the sensor to obtain measurements of the biometric defined by human physiology. Signal and image processing techniques are applied to the sensor signal to extract features usable for identification. Databases combined with artificial intelligence enable rapid storage, retrieval, and pattern matching while decision theory supports the mechanisms whereby systems can provide the needed identification results. Underlying the entire system is a foundation of statistics and mathematics which provides the language for implementing and evaluating biometric technology and systems.

English Language Proficiency

All applicants whose first language is not English must provide proof of English language proficiency. WVU accepts either the TOEFL or the IELTS for this purpose. Please see Office of Admissions - English Language Proficiency for more information.

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