Automated kiosk speeds travel security

Your wait time at the airport could drop significantly thanks to a new automated security kiosk developed by Nathan Twyman, assistant professor of business and information technology.

The kiosk uses an algorithm of “yes” or “no” questions — like “Have you ever been arrested?” or “Have you moved in the last five years?”— delivered by a computer-generated avatar to assess potential threats passengers may pose to others. Twyman says the screening can be completed in under four minutes with a 90 percent success rate.

That’s compared to a 2015 Transportation Security Administration report that found that TSA agents failed to identify explosives and banned weapons 95 percent of the time.

When travelers enter the U.S. on an international flight, they typically go through a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol area for screening. Depending on their answers, a CBP officer might ask one question or a handful of questions. Twyman says the process can be alarmingly subjective.

His automated screening kiosk eliminates that subjectivity. An infrared camera scans a subject’s eye movement and pupil dilation; a video camera captures natural reactions to feeling threatened, such as body and facial rigidity; and a microphone records vocal data, listening for changes in pitch that accompany uncertainty. “This (screening kiosk) measures various psychophysiological responses and tries to make some sort of a risk assessment outcome,” says Twyman. “It’s an automated risk assessment, instead of a seat-of-your-pants risk assessment. There’s a controlled, structured process for it.” Twyman has conducted field studies at border crossings and is in talks to implement kiosks at borders in Singapore, where over 250,000 people cross daily for work.

Around the Puck

Generous partners complete ACML fundraising

Thanks to an investment from the University of Missouri System, major gifts from industry partners and alumni support, S&T will break ground on the Advanced Construction and Materials Laboratory (ACML) on Oct. 12, during Homecoming weekend.

[Read More...]

Alumni help with sesquicentennial planning

Seven alumni, including three Miner Alumni Association board members, have been named to Missouri S&T’s sesquicentennial advisory committee. The group is made up of graduates, students, faculty, staff and community members who are involved in planning the university’s upcoming 150th anniversary celebration.

[Read More...]

Using big data to reduce childbirth risks

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, complications during pregnancy or childbirth affect more than 50,000 women annually, and about 700 of them die every year. Steve Corns, associate professor of engineering management and systems engineering, is working with researchers from Phelps County Regional Medical Center through the Ozarks Biomedical Initiative to reduce […]

[Read More...]

Bogan solves Benton mural mystery

Missouri State Capitol muralist Thomas Hart Benton wrote in his memoir about being called into then-Gov. Guy Park’s office and told that a prominent St. Louis politician objected to Benton’s portrayal of black people, especially depictions of slavery.

[Read More...]

Breaking bias

According to Jessica Cundiff, assistant professor of psychological science at S&T, women who consider careers in the physical sciences, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields are deterred by stereotypes that impose barriers on the recruitment, retention and advancement of women in STEM.

[Read More...]