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Two St. Lawrence University students and a recent graduate presented the results of research they conducted with a member of the mathematics, computer science and statistics department faculty at an international conference on biometrics.

Anne Hawley '03, of Skaneateles, NY, now a graduate student in statistics at North Carolina State University in Raleigh; Katherine Livingstone '04, of Underhill, VT; and Nona Mramba '04, of El Sobrante, CA, presented papers with Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Computer Science and Statistics Michael E. Schuckers at the Biometric Consortium Conference held September 22-24 in Arlington, Virginia. Their presentation, given in a symposium on research, was titled "Sample Size Calculations for Biometric Identification Devices."

The Biometric Consortium serves as a focal point for research, development, testing, evaluation and application of biometric-based personal identification/verification technology.

Earlier this year, Schuckers was awarded a $55,000 grant from the Center for Identification Technology Research, which is a National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Center based at West Virginia University ( and in which St. Lawrence is a participating institution, to fund a project entitled "Comparison of Statistical Methods." Schuckers and the student researchers evaluated various statistical methods that have been proposed for estimating the false-reject and false-accept rates of biometric identification devices.

Biometric identification devices include such tools as voice-recognition, iris-recognition and fingerprint scanners. Also as part of the project, they are developing software that companies can use to evaluate error rates based on their data.

Schuckers is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University, with a master's degree from the University of Michigan and Ph.D. from Iowa State University. He taught at West Virginia University prior to joining the St. Lawrence faculty in 2002, and has published widely in the field of statistics.

Posted: October 6, 2003