Biometrics systems—systems that automatically recognize individuals based on their biological characteristics or behavior—are playing an important role in information security, commerce, transportation, identification, and other fields. IEEE members who want to learn more about these biometrics systems and their applications should check out a new series of educational tutorials available through the IEEE eLearning Library (formerly IEEE Expert Now). The first two tutorials have recently been released, with five more expected to be released by the end of August.
The new biometrics series was edited by Vincenzo Piuri, an IEEE Fellow and professor of computer engineering at the University of Milan, Italy. Piuri also is vice president of education for the IEEE Biometrics Council. All the tutorials are being developed by biometrics experts chosen by Piuri and the IEEE Biometrics Council, which helped identify the best lecturers in the field. As series editor, Piuri supervised and reviewed the creation of the tutorials to ensure they covered the key areas of biometrics theory and practice.
"The goal of the series is to provide a comprehensive understanding of technologies, tools, and methodologies to specify, design, implement, deploy, operate, and maintain biometric-based systems," Piuri says.
IEEE members who want to understand the basics of biometrics systems could start with the first tutorial, "Biometrics: Solutions for Security & Authentication." The course provides key definitions of the various types of human characteristics, such as handwriting, gait, appearance (for example, facial appearance) and electrical pulses in the human body, that can be measured by biometrics systems, and examines why biometrics systems are suitable for security applications.
"Security of Information and Communication Networks Part 2," covers the use of biometrics in communications as part of security and privacy applications used by government and industry. (Part 1 covers the basics of cryptography, information integrity, and network security.)
The tutorials contain an audio track and animated slides that let the viewer navigate through the table of contents and pause and replay material. The tutorial is self-paced so viewers can listen to as much or as little as they want, and replay sections as many times as needed. But playing the tutorials without interruption would take up to 60 minutes. There are also downloadable course notes containing complete transcripts.
Other eLearning tutorials in the biometrics series cover technologies and algorithms used for facial and voice recognition, how to use biometrics systems at long distances, and palm prints and hand geometry.
"These tutorials are useful for professionals and students coming from very different backgrounds, and not necessarily from engineering" says Piuri. "But people with backgrounds in computer science, mathematics, physics, and natural sciences can also benefit from them, as well as individuals in the legal and sociology professions."
He points out the tutorials won't replace tutorials taught at universities but provide an introduction to the field.
"Provided you have some very basic knowledge in mathematics and signal and image processing, you can expand your skills to successfully enter the biometrics arena," says Piuri.
Prices will range from US $50-$250 for members and US $150-$750 for non-members.
IEEE members can purchase the tutorials from the IEEE Shop site.