Dick Mathekga

DMathekga_Fighting identity theft with advances in fingerprint recognition

Dick Mathekga
Mathekga leads biometric research at the CSIR. He is an electrical engineer with a special interest in mathematical modelling as well as the analysis and design of electrical machines.

He obtained a Master’s degree in computational electromagnetics from the University of the Witwatersrand and is pursuing a PhD through the University of Cambridge.

About the talk: The ease with which the green South African ID book could be forged has led to many instances of identity fraud, costing retail businesses millions in lost revenue on fraudulently created credit accounts. This has led the government, through the Department of Home Affairs, to look into using biometrics as a means to confirm identity, as this has proven to be a more reliable means of confirming identity.

To support the government in its efforts to use biometrics, which are metrics related to human characteristics, the CSIR undertook to develop biometric research capabilities. With fingerprints being one of the most commonly used biometrics, most of the initial efforts have been directed at developing capability in biometric recognition using fingerprints.

Initial efforts were directed at developing algorithms for performing key fingerprint image processing operations that are required in automated fingerprint recognition systems. The algorithms were then packaged into a software library and researchers continue to make improvements. The talk will give an overview of the algorithms developed and a comparison of their performance to those in the commercial software market.

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