Several experts from West Virginia University will travel to Arlington, Va., Sept. 22-24 to make presentations during the 2003 Biometric Consortium Conference at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City.

Participants will include internationally recognized experts in biometric technologies, system and application developers, information technology business strategists and government and commercial officers.

WVU is considered the national leader in biometrics because of its comprehensive research, curriculum and training initiatives,said Edwin Rood, director of the Biometric Knowledge Center at WVU and one of the presenters.It is important that WVU have a significant presence at the conferenceone of the premier gatherings on the subject.

Other WVU experts scheduled to make presentations include: Max Houck, projects director for the Forensic Science Initiative; Bojan Cukic, associate professor of computer science and electrical engineering; Arun Ross, assistant professor of computer science and engineering; Charles Jaffe, professor of chemistry; Lixin Shen, assistant professor of mathematics; and Richard Riley and Virginia Kleist, assistant professors in the College of Business and Economics.

Biometrics is the use of unique identifying characteristics such as fingerprints, retina and voice scans to distinguish individuals from one another. The techniques can be used to verify the identity of an individual compared to a template, or in more challenging situations, to differentiate a single individual from among many others.

The conference will address the important role biometrics can play in identification and verification of individuals in this age of heightened security and privacy by examining biometric-based solutions for homeland security. Those include airport security, travel documents, visas, border control and prevention of identification theft.

The conference also will address the use of biometrics in other applications such as point of sale and large-scale enterprise network environments.

The Biometrics Consortium Conference provides a forum to discuss government and commercial implementations and initiatives, recent advances of the technology and biometric business models. It also examines ongoing standards developments, research and evaluation of biometric technologies.

WVU has assumed the role of national advocacy and organization for scholarly biometric research,Rood said.The conference will include the Biometrics Symposiuma forum for peer-review and discussion of ongoing biometric research.

The symposium will include discussion of the findings of the recent NSF Workshop for a Biometric Research Agenda held last spring in Morgantown and the future of organized biometric research.

It is being co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation and WVU s Biometric Knowledge Center, and is open to the public. Organizers are expecting nearly 1,000 participants.