SCIENCE OF INNOVATION: Biometrics - An Engineering Perspective (Grade 6-12)

Objective:


Framework for K–12 Science Education LS1.A: Structure and Function ETS1.A: Defining and Delimiting Engineering Problems ETS2.A: Interdependence of Science, Engineering, and Technology ETS2.B: Influence of Engineering, Technology, and Science on Society and the Natural World


Introduction Notes:


Science of Innovation

Biometrics

An Engineering Perspective (Grades 6–12)

 

Lesson plans produced by the National Science Teachers Association.

Video produced by NBC Learn in collaboration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office
and the National Science Foundation.

 

Background and Planning

 

About the Video

This video features Arun Ross, Ph.D. (Computer Science and Engineering), a professor at Michigan State University and adjunct professor at West Virginia University, and Reza Derakshani, Ph.D. (Computer Engineering), a professor at the University of Missouri. Drs. Ross and Derakshani helped pioneer methods of biometric identification, in which people can be identified by personal physical traits—in this case, patterns of blood vessels in the eye’s sclera, in addition to the more commonly used iris. The video discusses how computers can analyze the patterns in the eye and digitize them into a binary code, which can then be tested for a match to enable identification of individuals. The video also explains how the patent process enables the sharing of ideas with other scientists and engineers, who can use them as a starting point for further innovation and the development of new products and services.

 

0:00     0:14     Series opening

0:14     1:02     Introducing the concept of biometrics

1:03     1:40     Introducing Dr. Ross and the Center for Identification Technology Research

1:41     1:51     Dr. Ross explaining how both public and private funding are contributing

1:52     2:08     Introducing Dr. Derakshani and the traditional use of the iris in biometrics

2:09     2:55     Describing and explaining the use of the eye’s sclera in biometrics

2:56     3:54     Describing the use of computer algorithms and binary code to match features

3:55     4:13     Explaining how the discovery was innovative enough for obtaining a patent

4:14     4:37     Describing how Simona Crihalmeanu uses Dr. Ross’ patent to extend technology

4:38     5:07     Describing how Eye Verify plans to use this technology for mobile applications

5:08     5:19     Closing credits

 

Language Support

To aid those with limited English proficiency or others who need help focusing on the video, make transcript of the video available. Click the Transcript tab on the side of the video window, then copy and paste into a document for student reference.

 

Framework for K–12 Science Education

      LS1.A: Structure and Function

      ETS1.A: Defining and Delimiting Engineering Problems

      ETS2.A: Interdependence of Science, Engineering, and Technology

      ETS2.B: Influence of Engineering, Technology, and Science on Society and the Natural World

(page 1)

 

Emphasize Innovation

 

The Innovation Process

Patents

Filing for a patent is one part of the innovation process, and can enable others to expand on the initial concept, while protecting the rights of the original innovator. In this video, Dr. Ross’s graduate assistant, Simona Crihalmeanu, is extending her mentor’s patented ideas by combining his sclera identification process and the previous idea of using the iris, to make an even more robust identification system.

 

Funding

Money for innovation can come from many sources. In this case, the National Science Foundation provided seed money, but the progress these innovators made attracted the interest of commercial ventures in addition to other government grants.

 

Take Action with Students

Help students understand the importance of funding by working with them to develop estimates of the costs of undertaking such a project for a specific period of time. First, students might determine the number of people in a project group and make a list of necessary equipment. Students can search the Internet to find average salaries of various professions and equipment. They might also include costs for facilities, utilities, and test subjects. Use prompts such as the following to get students started.

       The people in the video were doing jobs such as….

       Some support roles that were not shown might include….

       To find average salaries of these jobs I would search on terms such as….

       The kinds of equipment being used in the video include….

       To estimate the cost of the equipment I could search for….

 

Innovation and STEM

The innovation highlighted in Science of Innovation (SOI): Biometrics incorporates many aspects of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education. For example, required science knowledge includes an understanding of how biological traits are unique to an individual. Math concepts involve geometrical ideas (e.g., lengths, angles, areas) and how they could be useful in describing biometric traits. Knowledge of algorithms (step-by-step series of mathematical calculations) and how computers are programmed to execute algorithms quickly and efficiently are also important. Starting with a vision and relying on science and math knowledge, Drs. Ross and Derakshani collaborated on improving a biometric technology by finding a way to improve upon the performance of iris-based identification systems. One aspect of the engineering design process is the development of prototypes (in this case computer programs) and their testing and revision. It would be necessary to determine how many test subjects would be required to give validity to their results. Other aspects of engineering design were tackled by companies using the technology, such as developing a biometric identifier that could work within the constraints presented by mobile phones.

 

(page 2)

Take Action with Students

       Using the Design Investigations section of Facilitate Inquiry as a guide, encourage students to investigate how a person can be identified from measurements of his or her hands or other features.

       Explain to students that Ross and Derakshani’s problem was to find a way to encode the features of the sclera so that computer algorithms could look for a match. Ross and Derakshani’s innovations were made possible by first thoroughly understanding previous work by others in this area. Show students just the first two pages of their paper, which can be accessed at the following URL: http://sce.umkc.edu/~derakhshanir/Publications_files/DerakhshaniRossCrihalmeanuCameraReadyFinal.pdf. Elicit from students the purpose of the citations in parentheses and guide them to understand that the citations show the resource for the preceding information. Simplify vocabulary as needed to enable students to understand what was already known. Point out how starting with the work of other scientists enabled Ross and Derakshani to focus their time and effort in discovering new information and thus enabling the innovation process.

       Elicit from students the characteristics they use to identify other people, and how the characteristics they use differ depending on the venue—a crowded mall versus the spectators at a track meet, for instance. Lead a discussion about general characteristics and their prevalence or uniqueness, and which better serve as modes of personal identification.

 

Facilitate Inquiry

Encourage inquiry using a strategy modeled on the research-based science writing heuristic. Student work will vary in complexity and depth depending on grade level, prior knowledge, and creativity. Use the prompts liberally to encourage thought and discussion. Student Copy Masters begin on page 9.

 

Explore Understanding

While humans in general have the capacity to recognize or identify other individuals, many students may not have given much thought to how one actually does this, or to how one might develop an objective method for doing so. In order to objectively identify another person, physical traits must be measured and compared. Specific traits (e.g., facial features or fingerprints) will be far more useful than general traits (e.g., height or weight). Encourage students to list identifiers for an individual in the class and then switch notes with a classmate to make the identification. Alternatively, students might play a guessing game where characteristics help narrow down the identity of a “mystery” person. (Hasbro’s Guess Who? is one such board game that does this.) Use these or similar prompts to spark a discussion about the process of measuring physical features and using them for identification.

       The number of identifiers or traits might vary because….

       An example of a particularly useful trait to measure would be….

       The number of identifiers needed to produce a unique match to the person depends on….

       An example of a NOT very useful trait to measure would be….

       A practical example to use in class, without high-tech equipment, would be….

       The benefits to using unique identifiers include….

 

(page 3)

 

Show the video SOI: Biometrics and encourage students to jot down notes while they watch. Continue the discussion of biometric identification, including blood vessel patterns in the sclera, using prompts such as the following:

       When I watched the video, I thought about….

       The experts in the video were inspired to use the sclera for identification because….

       Using the eye for identification purposes is advantageous in that….

       Other methods of biometric identification include….

       Limitations of the process featured in the video include….

       Patents enable others, aside from the patent-holder, to….

 

Ask Beginning Questions

Stimulate small-group discussion with the prompt: This video makes me think about these questions…. Then have groups list questions about the challenges that must be surmounted in order to correctly identify people through biometrics. Ask groups to choose one question and phrase it in such a way as to be researchable and/or testable. The following are some examples.

       What are some physical characteristics that are unique to each individual?

       How can we accurately and reliably measure these characteristics?

       How could we convert our measurements into a string of numbers that could be compared?

       How can we test our measurement conversion system to see how accurate it is?

       What are some advantages and disadvantages of different approaches to biometrics?

 

Design Investigations

Choose one of the following options based on your students’ knowledge, creativity, and ability level and your available materials. Actual materials needed will vary greatly based on these factors as well.

 

Possible Materials

Allow time for students to examine and manipulate the materials you have available. Doing so often aids students in refining their questions, or prompts new ones that should be recorded for future investigation. In this inquiry, students might need only paper, a pencil, and a ruler. Students might also use cell phone cameras to take photographs. Students exploring fingerprints might create them using inkpads or paper that has been heavily colored with chalk or graphite.

 

Safety Considerations

To augment your own safety procedures, see NSTA’s Safety Portal at http://www.nsta.org/portals/safety.aspx.  

 

Open Choice Approach (Copy Master page 9)

Groups could develop their own biometric identification methods. Groups might come together to agree on a “clue” left by a classmate, such as a hand outline, close-up photo of an ear, or other common feature, or they might each address a different feature. Encourage inquiry using prompts such as the following.

       We will consider the body feature _____ as a biometric identifier because….

       The “clues” will be….

       We will evaluate the clue by….

       The variables we will measure to describe the clue are….

(page 4)

       The steps we will follow to gather this information are….

       We will determine to whom the clue belongs by….

       To conduct the investigation safely we will….

 

Focused Approach (Copy Master pages 10–11)

The following exemplifies how students might clearly determine the identity of a classmate using that person’s hand structure.

1.     Brainstorm with students to determine certain measurements to be taken of hand structure, such as the lengths of four fingers and the width of the palm, along a clearly defined axis, and the constraints under which the measurements are done. Ask students questions such as the following to help them envision their investigation.

       How will we record the shape of each student’s hand?

       What aspects of the hand outline will we measure?

       How might the right and left hand differ, or should both hands be used?

       How will we make sure we are all doing this the same way?

       How will we record the data?

       How will we decide which hand outline is the best possible match for a given one?

       How can we evaluate the accuracy and reliability of this technique?

       How can the precision of this technique be determined? How “repeatable” is this process?

2.     Encourage students to think about how to accurately outline a hand, such as keeping the pencil nearly vertical but also keeping it snug against the hand as it is used to draw the outline. Once students have drawn their hand outlines, they might measure 5 parameters (each finger length, plus palm width). Suggest that all members of a group measure these parameters independently, and then average the results to help reduce individual measuring errors. Students might record their name and measurements on the board, chart paper, or spreadsheet display for class viewing. Use prompts such as the following to coax students.

       The exact items we will measure are….

       We will make our measurements more accurate and reliable by….

       We will record our measurements by….

3.     Students might then draw new hand outlines on fresh paper, with a personal identifying code written lightly in pencil on the back. Students might exchange with another group, or the outlines could be collected, shuffled, and redistributed to the entire class.

4.     Have students work in groups to identify the owner of each hand outline they were given. One way students might do this is a parameter consisting of the sum of all the differences (“absolute value” – that is, all considered positive) between the given outline’s dimensions and each possible match. For example, if the little, ring, middle, and index finger lengths and palm widths of the given outline are 68, 84, 90, 83, and 87 millimeters, and the presumed match has dimensions 65, 83, 90, 85, and 84 millimeters, this parameter’s value will be 3 + 1 + 0 + 2 + 3 = 9. The rule may be that the “match” with the smallest total “wins,” and identifies the owner. Point out how this action is analogous to the computer’s conversion of data to binary code and subsequent comparison.

 

(page 5)

 

5.     After all outlines have been “identified” with at least one possible owner, have students use their personal identity codes to claim their outlines and see if their outlines were, in fact, identified accurately. Discuss the results with the students, using prompts such as the following:

       Our group’s method was successful in identifying the outlines because….

       Our group’s method resulted in multiple “owners” because….

       Our group’s method could have been improved by….

       Our group’s method would be good to identify people for activities such as….

       Our group’s method would not be a good security clearance method because….

6.     Have groups exchange the methods they developed and repeat the exercise. Encourage each group to improve upon, although not entirely change, another group’s methodology.

 

Media Research Option

Groups might have questions that are best explored using print media and online resources. Students should brainstorm to form a list of key words and phrases they could use in Internet search engines that might result in resources that will help them answer the question. Review how to safely browse the Web, how to evaluate information on the Internet for accuracy, and how to correctly cite the information found. Suggest students make note of any interesting tangents they find in their research effort for future inquiry. Encourage students with prompts such as the following:

       Words and phrases associated with our question are….

       The reliability of our sources was established by….

       The science and math concepts that underpin a possible solution are….

       Our research might feed into an engineering design solution such as….

       To conduct the investigation safely, we will….

 

Make a Claim Backed by Evidence

Students should analyze their data and then make one or more claims based on the evidence their data shows. Encourage students with this prompt: As evidenced by… we claim… because….

 

An example claim might be:

As evidenced by the fact that some pairs of hands had finger lengths very close to others, we claim that hand dimensions are limited as a biometric identifier because , while we were generally able to identify individuals in our small class, in a much larger group some people would have indistinguishable measurements.

 

Compare Findings

Encourage students to compare their ideas with those of others—such as classmates who investigated the same or similar questions; material they found on the Internet; experts they chose to interview; or their textbooks. Remind students to credit their original sources in their comparisons. Elicit comparisons from students with prompts such as:

       My methods were similar to (or different from) the innovation in the video in that….

       My ideas are similar to (or different from) those of the experts in the video in that….

       My ideas are similar to (or different from) those of my classmates in that….

       My ideas are similar to (or different from) those that I found on the Internet in that….

 

(page 6)

Students might make comparisons like the following:

As compared with the eye sclera biometric identification method in the video, our method of using hand dimensions is less definitive, because patterns of blood vessels in the eye are much more complex and unique than lengths of fingers.

 

Reflect on Learning

Students should reflect on their understanding, thinking about how their ideas have changed or what they know now that they didn’t before. Encourage reflection, using prompts such as the following:

       A claim made by the expert in the video is….

       I support or refute the expert’s claim because in my investigation….

       When thinking about the method used in the video, I am confused as to how….

       A related technology I would like to explore is….

 

Inquiry Assessment

See the rubric included in the student Copy Masters on page 12.

 

 

Incorporate Video into Your Lesson Plan

 

Integrate Video in Instruction

Bellringer: Play the video on mute as students are getting settled on a day when your lesson is connected to inheritance of traits in a life science course. Write a prompt such as the following: This video is related to inheritance of traits in that…. Use their observations as a springboard for points in your lesson.

 

Compare/Contrast: Have students compare and contrast the relative utility of different human traits (e.g., height, eye color, fingerprints, vascular patterns in the eye) for biometric identification.

 

Using the 5E Approach?

If you use a 5E approach to lesson plans, consider incorporating video in these Es:

Engage: Ask students to cite ways people are identified, and for what purposes, to introduce the video as a springboard into a genetics lesson. Use examples from the video to emphasize the unique characteristics that result from sexual reproduction.

Explore: Have students search the Internet to identify existing methods of biometrics identification and where and how they are being used. Use resources independent of the video to find whether or not Ross’s and Derakshani’s approach is a promising one.

 

Connect to … Government and the Bill of Rights

Debate: Allow students to debate the pros and cons of widespread use of biometric identification, and its potential for infringement on civil liberties. Divide the class into three teams: one that will argue in favor of the stated topic, one that will argue against it, and one that will act as the audience. Have students work together to arrange ideas for their team’s arguments and for refuting the other team’s arguments.

 

(page 7)

The audience might do research about the topic in order to ask relevant questions. Hold the debate by allowing for arguments and rebuttals, back and forth, until all members of both teams have had the opportunity to speak at least one time. When the debate has ended, ask the audience to determine which team “won” and why. Remind students to base their vote on evidence presented in the debate only, not their personal opinion of the topic. Was there one specific argument that convinced them that one team won?

 

Prompt Innovation with Video

After students watch the video, have them research patents associated with biometric identification. They can do so with an Internet search on Google.com/patents using search terms such as the following. If time is limited, point students toward the following patents.

 

Primary Search Terms

Extraction

Encoding

Code Synthesis

Authentication

International Remote Imaging Systems (IRIS)

“Optical Fingerprint”

Dynamic Image

Security Indicia

Coordinates

Diagnostic Information

Metadata

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)

Additional Search Terms

Analysis

Recognition

Reference Code

Scanning

Unique

Acquisition

 

 

Patent Examples

4998533 - apparatus for determination of blood cell characteristics from a flow of blood cells

5291560 - method for uniquely identifying a particular human being by biometric analysis of the iris of the eye

6247813 - system for confirming the identity of an animate being through iris scanning

6526160 - iris information sensor

6665426 - method of biometric identification of an individual

7031539 - method for coding in frequency, module and phase a digital representation

7336806/8355530 - method of association of an iris with an individual

8079711 - method of determining the location of the fovea within an image of an eye

 

Suggest students read abstracts of patents that attract their attention. Then hold a discussion about how various innovators are improving on the process. Use prompts such as the following:

       This patent is for _____, which is related to the invention shown in the video by….

       This patent describes _____, which differs from the invention shown in the video in that….

       I think doing/making _____ would be an innovation because….

 

 

(page 8)

 

 

 

Copy Master: Open Choice Inquiry Guide for Students

 

Science of Innovation: Biometrics

Use this guide to investigate how one might determine the identity of another student using biometric measurement. Write your lab report in your science notebook.

 

Ask Beginning Questions

The video makes me think about these questions….

 

Design Investigations

Choose one question. How can you answer it? Brainstorm with your teammates. Write a procedure that controls variables and makes accurate measurements. Add safety precautions as needed.

        The materials I will use are….

        The variable I will test is….

        The variables I will control are….

        The steps I will follow are….

        To conduct the investigation safely, I will….

 

Record Data and Observations

Record your observations. Organize your data in tables or graphs as appropriate.

 

Make a Claim Backed by Evidence

Analyze your data and then make one or more claims based on the evidence your data show. Make sure that the claim goes beyond summarizing the relationship between the variables.

 

My Evidence

My Claim

My Reason

 

 

 

 

 

 

Compare Findings

Encourage students to compare their ideas and methods with others, such as material they found on the Internet, an expert they chose to interview, or their textbook. Remind students to credit their original sources in their comparisons. Elicit comparisons from students with prompts such as:

        My ideas are similar to (or different from) those of the experts in the video in that….

        My ideas are similar to (or different from) those of my classmates in that….

        My ideas are similar to (or different from) those that I found on the Internet in that….

 

Reflect on Learning

Students should reflect on their understanding, thinking about how their ideas have changed or what they know now that they didn’t before. Encourage reflection, using prompts such as the following:

        A claim made by the expert in the video is….

        I support or refute the expert’s claim because in my investigation….

        When thinking about the method used in the video, I am confused as to how….

        A related technology I would like to explore is….

                                                                                               (page 9)

COPY MASTER: Focused Inquiry Guide for Students

 

Science of Innovation: Biometrics

Use this guide to investigate how to find the identity of a classmate, using measurements made of outlines of students’ hands. Write your lab report in your science notebook.

 

Ask Beginning Questions

How will we produce the hand outlines in a consistent manner?

What aspects of these outlines will we measure?

How will we quantify the differences among students’ handprints?

How will we establish the reliability of this method of identification?

 

Design Investigations

Brainstorm with your teammates about how to solve this problem. Write a procedure that controls variables and allows you to gather valid data. Add safety precautions as needed. Use these prompts to help you design your investigation.

       The lengths we will measure are….

       We will ensure consistency of these measurements by….

       The data will be recorded by….

       The steps we will follow to identify another classmate from the hand outlines are….

       We will estimate the reliability of this method by….

       To conduct the investigation safely, I need to….

 

Record Data and Observations

Organize your data in tables. The examples describe how you might record the lengths of four fingers and the width of the palm of a known student and the comparisons you might make between the unknown outline and the known values.

 

Hand Dimensions (in millimeters) for _______

 

Name of student making measurement

Length of “pinkie”

Length of ring finger

Length of middle finger

Length of index finger

Width of palm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Average

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(page 10)


Text Box: Focused Inquiry Guide continued 

Hand Dimensions (in millimeters) Comparisons

 

Name of possible owner of mystery outline

Difference in length of “pinkie”

Difference in length of ring finger

Difference in length of middle finger

Difference in length of index finger

Difference in width of palm

Sum of absolute values of differences

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make a Claim Backed by Evidence

Analyze your data and then make one or more claims based on the evidence shown by your data. Make sure that the claim goes beyond summarizing the relationship between the variables.

 

My Evidence

My Claim

My Reason

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Compare Findings

Encourage students to compare their ideas and methods with others, such as material they found on the Internet, an expert they chose to interview, or their textbook. Remind students to credit their original sources in their comparisons. Elicit comparisons from students with prompts such as:

       My ideas are similar to (or different from) those of the experts in the video in that….

       My ideas are similar to (or different from) those of my classmates in that….

       My ideas are similar to (or different from) those that I found on the Internet in that….

 

Reflect on Learning

Students should reflect on their understanding, thinking about how their ideas have changed or what they know now that they didn’t before. Encourage reflection, using prompts such as the following:

       A claim made by the expert in the video is….

       I support or refute the expert’s claim because in my investigation….

       When thinking about the method used in the video, I am confused as to how….

       A related technology I would like to explore is….

 

 

 

(page 11)

 


 

 

Copy Master: Assessment Rubric for Inquiry Investigations

 

 

Criteria

1 point

2 points

3 points

Initial question

Question had a yes/no answer, was off topic, or otherwise was not researchable or testable.

Question was researchable or testable but too broad or not answerable by the chosen investigation.

Question clearly stated, researchable or testable, and showed direct relationship to investigation.

Investigation design

The design of the investigation did not support a response to the initial question.

While the design supported the initial question, the procedure used to collect data (e.g., number of trials, control of variables) was not sufficient.

Variables were clearly identified and controlled as needed with steps and trials that resulted in data that could be used to answer the question.

Variables

Either the dependent or independent variable was not identified.

While the dependent and independent variables were identified, no controls were present.

Variables identified and controlled in a way that results in data that can be analyzed and compared.

Safety procedures

Basic laboratory safety procedures were followed, but practices specific to the activity were not identified.

Some, but not all, of the safety equipment was used and only some safe practices needed for this investigation were followed.

Appropriate safety equipment used and safe practices adhered to.

Observations and data

Observations were not made or recorded, and data are unreasonable in nature, not recorded, or do not reflect what actually took place during the investigation.

Observations were made, but were not very detailed, or data appear invalid or were not recorded appropriately.

Detailed observations were made and properly recorded and data are plausible and recorded appropriately.

Claim

No claim was made or the claim had no relationship to the evidence used to support it.

Claim was marginally related to evidence from investigation.

Claim was backed by investigative or research evidence.

Findings comparison

Comparison of findings was limited to a description of the initial question.

Comparison of findings was not supported by the data collected.

Comparison of findings included both methodology and data collected by at least one other entity.

Reflection

Student reflections were limited to a description of the procedure used.

Student reflections were not related to the initial question.

Student reflections described at least one impact on thinking.

 

(page 12)

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