Humans have used body characteristics such as face, voice, and gait for thousands of years to recognize each other.  Since the first scientific paper on automated fingerprint matching was published by Mitchell Trauring in the journal Nature in 1963, the use of biometric recognition has grown to become an integral part of data security.

Biometrics is becoming an increasingly common, and critical, component of our daily lives, and some of the nation’s foremost biometrics researchers at Michigan State University are leading exploration into applications that could make lives better by detecting health issues, preventing identity theft and enhancing security.

One of the foremost challenges in the field is the design of robust algorithms for representing and recognizing biometric data obtained from uncooperative subjects under unconstrained environmental conditions (e.g., recognizing faces in a crowd based on video feed from a surveillance camera). Other fundamental questions to be addressed include: the distinctiveness and persistence of biometric traits; problems related to the security of biometric data and robustness of the biometric system against spoofing and obfuscation attacks; and larger system-level issues like usability, user privacy concerns, integration with the end application, and return on investment.

Unlocking the full potential of biometrics through inter-disciplinary research in the above areas will not only lead to widespread adoption of this promising technology, but will also result in wider user acceptance and societal impact.


Related website

Biometric Research at MSU


Related labs

Biometric Research Group


Engaged Faculty