Adam Czajka receives NSF CAREER award to improve biometric security

Adam Czajka

Adam Czajka, assistant professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Notre Dame, has received a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award. CAREER awards are among the highest honors awarded to young faculty.

Czajka’s research focuses on human biometrics and security, especially iris recognition and methods of detecting unknown presentation attacks, also known as spoof attacks. His CAREER project aims to improve biometric security by enhancing computer algorithms with human perceptual intelligence. 

Biometric recognition is used to confirm or determine an individual’s identity. Yet biometric systems—iris, voice, face recognition—often are unable to distinguish between genuine biometric traits and artificial replicas.

Czajka’s project seeks to make biometric methods more reliable, particularly in detecting new forms of fraudulent data. His proposed computer framework uses human visual perception abilities to teach artificial intelligence “where to look” for anomalies and then make meaningful generalizations. This type of human-machine cooperation will lead to more accurate detection than would detection by humans or machines working alone.

This project’s educational component focuses on broadening knowledge and skills related to responsible use and design of biometric technologies, emphasizing college preparatory programs, online courses and mentoring.

— Karla Cruise, Notre Dame Engineering