Area citizens can help advance the field of biometrics by contributing to a database of information to be used by West Virginia University faculty and student researchers and the FBI.

WVU and the FBI are looking for volunteers to participate in a 45-minute process that includes the collection of fingerprints, iris images and facial images. Participants must be at least 18 years old and will receive $40 worth of gift cards. Collection takes place at Room 176 Engineering Sciences Building. To register go to: A representative will call to schedule an appointment.

WVU students, faculty, employees, and alumni are especially welcome. Subject privacy will be safeguarded and protected.

The goal is to compile an anonymous, data set to be used by WVU and the FBI to test new biometric collection devices. Biometric systems use automated methods to recognize a person based on physical or behavioral characteristics. The collection includes performing research on biometric recognition at different ages. Volunteers are asked to bring in five non-copyrighted pictures (prints or electronic) of themselves, spanning a 10-year period, with each picture being at least one year apart. The pictures will be scanned and used to study facial changes over time.

Dr. Lawrence Hornak, Byrd Professor in the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering and founding director of the NSF Center for Identification Technology Research which is conducting the collection, said, “participation of WVU students, faculty and staff and the community at large in this collection will help our research and also help the larger research community in biometrics. The data will enable research that will further improve the effectiveness of biometrics as an integral part of the identity management and law enforcement systems that increasingly secure our individual identities against theft and secure our nation.”



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CONTACT: Joan Caridi
Homeland Security Programs at West Virginia University
(304) 293-1455