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St. Lawrence University is a participant in an interdisciplinary collaborative research project that, overall, has received some $3.1 million in funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), with support from the Department of Homeland Security.

Recently St. Lawrence was notified that its collaborative biotechnology research project with Clarkson University and other institutions has been approved for funding by the National Science Foundation-Information Technology Research Program. Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Computer Science and Statistics Michael E. Schuckers will represent St. Lawrence as the co-principal investigator for the project. In the first year of the project, St. Lawrence will receive $56,571; total funding for St. Lawrence the next three years of the project is estimated at $161,000, contingent upon NSF approval.

Called "ITR: Biometrics: Performance, Security and Societal Impact," the project will involve major research in the field of biometrics, the science of using biological properties, such as fingerprints, a retina scan, or voice-recognition equipment, to identify individuals. The research project will investigate technical, legal and privacy issues that arise from broader applications of biometric system technology when used for airport security, computer access or immigration processes and systems, for example.

The project is a joint initiative among researchers from St. Lawrence, Clarkson, West Virginia University, Michigan State University and the University of Pittsburgh. In addition to Schuckers, who has received a series of grants funding his biometrics and statistics research, scientists working on the project include Clarkson University Associate Research Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Stephanie C. Schuckers; Lawrence Hornak, professor of electrical and computer engineering at West Virginia University; Bojan Cukic, professor of electrical and computer engineering at West Virginia University; Michigan State University Distinguished Professor of Engineering Anil Jain; and Lisa Nelson, professor of law at the University of Pittsburgh. The collaboration arose through research performed as part of the Center for Identification Research, an NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center.

Posted: April 30, 2004