Annapolis: Research and the RED Algorithm

Jessica MaxeyDuring college, many students decide to join the work force. The fortunate ones are able to find employment and internships relating to their chosen field of study. As an electrical engineering major interested in a research career, I knew immediately that I wanted to start research as an undergraduate in the Lyle School of Engineering. Last summer, I was able to achieve this goal by joining the Biometric Works research team under Dr. Delores Etter. As a part of this lab, I not only contribute to a significant project but also work with a group of highly intelligent people. Through my research, I have found both a mentor and a group of fellow engineering students who share my passion.

Within the Biometrics lab, our research focuses on iris identification, specifically the RED Algorithm. As this algorithm was initially developed at the United States Naval Academy, the students from our lab travel to Annapolis once a year to work with the Flagprofessors who originated RED. On June 20th, I was once again struck by how fortunate I am to be a part of such an outstanding team of researchers. Immediately upon arriving in Annapolis, we began to work with these amazing professors, discussing not only aspects of iris identification but also other fields relating to both computer science and electrical engineering. I learned about topics such as neural networks/artificial intelligence and FPGAs, information that will be useful both in our biometric research and other future projects. We were able to learn from leading experts in the field of biometrics, utilizing the technology available at the Naval Academy to enhance our understanding and ability to continue our research.

My experiences working with both Dr. Etter and the researchers at the Naval Academy have been invaluable. For me, working in the Biometrics Lab is not a job; it is an amazing opportunity to learn from engineering experts and to expand my abilities to think critically about solving the engineering puzzles of today’s world.