West Virginia University’s internationally known research program in biometrics added another notch to its growing list of recognitions as it was selected by the National Science Foundation for inclusion in a video highlighting the importance of cooperative research centers in securing the nation.

WVU’s Center for Identification Technology Research is one of a handful of NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers featured in the video. CITeR is in its eighth year as an I/UCRC.

“The key factor in Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers such as CITeR is that word in the middle: cooperative,” says Larry Hornak, CITeR’s founding director and current co-director. “Industry, academia and government members cooperate in defining, monitoring and applying how the research is carried out and how systems are implemented. The buy-in that everyone has is critical to our ongoing success.”

Hornak is a Byrd professor in WVU’s Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering and one of a team of researchers who have moved WVU’s biometrics research program into a position of national leadership, garnering support from and forming partnerships with the FBI, U.S. Department of Justice, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and others in government and industry and academia.

Biometrics involves collecting unique human physiological, behavioral, and molecular “signatures” from fingerprints, faces, irises, voices, gait, DNA, scent, and other traits, and using them to establish an individual’s identity. It is an increasingly important tool for securing people and their identities on the Internet and in settings ranging from airports to amusement parks and military installations. Biometrics is viewed as an enabling technology for securing our nation’s cyber-infrastructure.

The 20-minute video is online at http://www.nsf.gov/eng/iip/iucrc/iucrc_video.jsp


CONTACT: Susan Case, College of Engineering & Mineral Resources
304-293-4086; Susan.Case@mail.wvu.edu