ECE: Electrical & Computer Engineering
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Software/design automation

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See more information about this grant at vtnews.vt.edu: “University awarded grant to study quantitative approach to forensic fingerprint comparison, identification.”

Researchers quantify fingerprint images

Lynn Abbott and Michael Hsiao are part of an interdisciplinary team investigating fingerprint analysis. Fingerprint analysis and matching is a critical tool for law-enforcement, especially for partial (or latent) prints left at crime scenes. “Our work is probably different from most others because of our emphasis on latent fingerprints,” explains Abbott, “latent [partial] prints are often smeared or otherwise distorted.”

Fingerprint analysis is based on the recognition of minutia points, which are small portions of a fingerprint that, when combined, can lead to a unique identification. Ph.D. student Nathan Short has implemented software that can detect minutia points, which is the first step in the research. Graduate student Supratik Misra is also on the project.

The ECE machine vision effort is part of a two-year, $854,907 grant from the National Institute of Justice.