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April 15, 2004, Vol. 3, No. 7
Santa Clara University

SCU students place high in computer design competition

Team advised by Dan Lewis takes fingerprint recognition device to U.S. finals in June 

A team of SCU students won high honors last month in a national computer design competition hosted by Microsoft.

School of Engineering computer engineering major Tomas Bulka and teammates C.J. Bridges and Pavel Pozdnyakov, computer science majors from the College of Arts and Sciences, took fourth place for their "Mobile Digital Fingerprint Identification System" in the first Microsoft Windows ChallengE competition held on March 20 at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington.

A police officer or someone else who needed information about a person could obtain it immediately on-site, using the students' device.
Twenty-nine student teams from universities across the United States designed and implemented a working prototype device for the theme: "Make the World a Safer Place." Teams were judged on originality and design, documentation, and the working device's potential for use in a real-world application.

The SCU team advisor is Dan Lewis, chair of the Computer Engineering department. Microsoft's Windows Embedded Devices Group; Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE); and the Computer Society International Design Competition (CSIDC) sponsored the event.

The purpose of the mobile digital fingerprint sensor is to allow some authorized person (such as a police officer or childcare attendant), to check the identity of a person in the field. Once the person's fingerprint is taken on-site, the system will connect to an outside database such as (an employee database, student database, or law enforcement database) that holds the fingerprints and various records and other previously recorded information. A police officer or someone else who needs information about a person (previous convictions, name, address, etc.) can obtain it immediately on-site. At a daycare center, an attendant could check the identity of the parent by verifying their fingerprints before a child is released, to prevent kidnappings.

The SCU team will go on to compete in the CSIDC Final Report Selection for the World Finals competition to be held June 27-29 in Washington D.C. Read more about the competition

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