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Biometrics Graduate Certificate (Purdue)

Offered by: Department of Computer & Information Science Biometrics is the study of how to authentic people using their biological features, such as fingerprints, irises, retina, face or voice. Biometrics is a dynamic and challenging career that is projected to be one of the fastest growing jobs in the next decade.

Why choose this program?

Biometrics may prepare you for advanced careers in research, teaching and technology development in occupations within academia, the medical industry or forestry. Students interested in the Biometrics Graduate Certificate will be exposed to the hands-on nature of biometrics programs and the equipment used in the field.

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What will you learn?

While keys and passwords can be lost, forgotten, replicated, or stolen, biometric authentication requires an inherent part of a physiological being. Iris feature analysis, DNA matching, and voice recognition are examples of the use of human characteristics to replace passwords or make the process of logging in more secure.

Biometrics helps law enforcement professionals to perform virtual 3-D forensic facial reconstruction from 2-D images. In order to prepare graduates for careers in information security and human-computer interfacing, the Biometrics program offers courses covering:

  • Biometrics computing
  • Computer graphics
  • Data mining
  • Pattern recognition
  • Statistics

What will you do?

As a biometrician, you'll employ computer hardware and software to help you use the specific character traits of biological entities for identification through many computerized processes.

Increased security issues, terrorist threats and corporate precautions may provide you with opportunities in private business, government agencies, environmental organizations or scientific research and development laboratories.

Additionally, a degree in biometrics may qualify you to teach at the primary, secondary or college level.

Required disclosures to current and prospective students:

Federal regulations issued by the Department of Education require that Indiana University make certain information about this certificate program available. Disclosure of this data is a condition of awarding federal financial assistance to eligible students in this non-degree academic program.

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*Admission and completion of Certificate does not guarantee MS program admission.

*Substitution of Certificate Classes requires the advance approval of the CS Department Graduate Committee.

Certificates requirements

A graduate certificate will be issued when a student has completed 12 graduate credit hours in one of the specialization areas. After finishing the requirements for the graduate certificate, the student may opt to finish the remaining requirements towards a MS degree.*

  • 1 Core Course: STAT 51100 (Statistics) or 59000 (Pattern Recognition)
  • 3 Specialization Courses: 
  • 59000 (Biometric Computing)
  • 54900 (Intelligent Systems) or 57300 (Data Mining)
  • 55700 (Image Processing and Computer Vision) or 55000 (Computer Graphics)

Students admitted directly to the Computer Science Master of Science graduate program may earn this certificate in conjunction with their M.S. degree provided that all the requirements of the certificate program are satisfied.

The need for experts in biometrics

Biometrics is defined as the capture of the physiological and behavioral characteristics for personal identification and / or individual verification purposes. Since it uses individual personal characteristics to verify or recover identity, it is set to become a successor to the personal identification token. The technique of using biometric methods for identification can be widely applied to forensics, ATM banking, communication security, time and attendance, and access control.

And it also plays an important role in enhancing homeland security. In this course we will introduce the principle of various biometric technology including face recognition, fingerprint identification, iris identification, voice recognition, DNA matching and the fundamental computational methods for implementation. Some of the topics include: authentication technologies, biometric systems, sensor and signal processing, face recognition, eye biometrics, fingerprint identification, and DNA matching.

Biometrics refers to the automatic identification of a person based on his/her physiological or behavioral characteristics. This method of identification is preferred over traditional methods involving passwords and PIN numbers for various reasons: (i) the person to be identified is required to be physically present at the point-of-identification; (ii) identification based on biometric techniques obviates the need to remember a password or carry a token. With the increased use of computers as vehicles of information technology, it is necessary to restrict access to sensitive/personal data. By replacing PINs, biometric techniques can potentially prevent unauthorized access to or fraudulent use of ATMs, cellular phones, smart cards, desktop PCs, workstations, and computer networks.

PINs and passwords may be forgotten, and token based methods of identification like passports and driver's licenses may be forged, stolen, or lost. Thus biometric based systems of identification are receiving considerable interest. Various types of biometric systems are being used for real-time identification, the most popular are based on face, iris and fingerprint matching. However, there are other biometric systems that utilize retinal scan, speech, signatures and hand geometry.

A biometric system is essentially a pattern recognition system which makes a personal identification by determining the authenticity of a specific physiological or behavioral characteristic possessed by the user. An important issue in designing a practical system is to determine how an individual is identified. Depending on the context, a biometric system can be either a verification (authentication) system or an identification system.

With an increasing reliance on online technology and other shared resources, the information age is quickly revolutionizing the way transactions are initiated and completed. Business transactions of all types are increasingly being handled online; this unprecedented growth in electronic transactions has underlined the need for a faster, more secure, and more convenient method of user verification than passwords can provide.

Using biometric identifiers offers several advantages over traditional and current methods. This is because only biometric authentication is based on the identification of an intrinsic part of a human being. Tokens such as smart cards, magnetic stripe cards, and physical keys, can be lost, stolen, duplicated, or left at home; passwords can be forgotten, shared, or unintentionally observed by a third party. By eliminating all of these potential trouble spots, only biometric technology can provide the Security and convenience needed for today's complex electronic landscape.
Student Consumer Information About this Program

*Admission and completion of Certificate does not guarantee MS program admission.

Using technology to improve healthcare

Syed Jaffery 2004 Alumnus
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