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Development Of An Undergraduate Course In Biometric Signal Processing

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Course and Curriculum Innovations in ECE

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.452.1 - 9.452.7



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Paper Authors

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Yingzi Du

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Robert Ives

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Delores Etter

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Thad Welch

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2632

Development of an Under gr aduate Cour se in Biometr ic Signal Pr ocessing

Rober t W. Ives, Delor es M. Etter , Yingzi Du, Thad Welch Electr ical Engineer ing Depar tment U.S. Naval Academy

Abstr act

Using an individual’s iris pattern, voice, facial characteristics or fingerprints for identification enables a high degree of certainty of a person’s identity, especially when used together. This form of identifying people can be used in a variety of applications, including allowing physical access to secure sites, making financial transactions, allowing access to networked computers, or identifying a terrorist in a public place. Due to the potential for research that this relatively new field holds, and its importance to homeland defense, we have built a new Biometric Signal Processing Laboratory, and developed a new course in biometric signal processing.

This course was designed for seniors in the electrical engineering major so that they could become familiar with the basis for these new technologies. The course was organized to give the students some background in image processing, from which the identification algorithms are formulated, and had them design simple identification algorithms. The students were exposed to state-of-the-art commercial equipment, including iris scan, fingerprint and facial recognition hardware and software. The course was comprised of three lecture hours and two lab hours each week. We discuss the topics that were covered, the equipment in the lab that supported each topic, the projects that the students performed, field trips, guest lecturers and related senior design projects.

I. Backgr ound

The United States Naval Academy is a unique undergraduate institution in many ways. In addition to spending their summers flying jet fighters, driving navy ships and submarines or spending some time as a Marine, the students at the Naval Academy have the opportunity to work closely with many government agencies concerned with national defense, including the Naval Research Lab, the Office of Naval Research and various national laboratories. In addition, all of the graduates are hired into military service upon graduation, and throughout their careers will interface with the same government agencies in some manner, whether it is as a program manager for a defense research project, or testing a new weapons system on their ship. Just about everything they do relates to defending the homeland. It is important for the future leaders of the military to be aware of the capabilities, advantages and disadvantages of systems that perform biometric identification. It is also beneficial to give them insight into the design of algorithms that perform this function. This was the impetus in developing the biometric signal-processing course at the Naval Academy.

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Du, Y., & Ives, R., & Etter, D., & Welch, T. (2004, June), Development Of An Undergraduate Course In Biometric Signal Processing Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13698

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