Marios Savvides

Research Professor – ECE Director – CyLab Biometrics Center
Department Electrical and Computer Engineering
Office B209 Hamerschlag Hall
Telephone (412)-268-1142
Fax (412)-268-6345
Assistant Chelsea Mendenhall

Research Interests

Biometric Identification

My research is focused on how to recognize a person based on their biometrics, e.g. their face, iris, fingerprint or palm print. These biometrics offer characteristics unique to each individual. Most of the security systems rely on passwords, swipe cards, and RF ID tags to recognize and grant access to users. However these can easily be lost or stolen, which can lead to intruders gaining access to secure physical and virtual spaces. These problems are overcome if one uses biometrics as a method to authenticate a user's identity. Biometric recognition has many challenges as the appearance of the biometrics can vary at the time of acquisition, e.g. in face recognition, a person's face can appear different due to variations in lighting, change in pose and expression. My research is focused on developing robust algorithms that can handle these type of intra-class variations with different biometric modalities. I am also researching reducing the complexity of these algorithms so that they can be implemented on small form-factor devices such as PDAs and cell-phones.

More details about research.

In the News

  • Savvides featured in NOVA Next for iris-scanning tech
  • Savvides quoted in WSJ on fingerprint ID systems
  • Savvides quoted in New Scientist on fingerprinting infants
  • Faces in the crowd
  • Savvides' iris scanner featured in Daily Mail and Fox News
  • Savvides featured in Marketplace and on Big Picture Science
  • Savvides appointed VP of Education for IEEE Biometrics Council
  • CMU's CyLab Biometrics Center wins gold at the 2015 Edison Awards
  • Four generations of ECE
  • CyLab's Biometrics Center finalist for Edison Award
  • Savvides Talks Facial Recognition Software on CNN
  • Faculty, Staff, Students Celebrate Semester's End at ECE Day
  • Keeping an Eye on the Bad Guy
  • Li Wins Best Student Paper Award
  • Savvides invited to speak at Biometrics Task Force Identity Management Conference
  • A Look Inside New Security Research
  • Savvides Tapped to Join New Center Under Director of National Intelligence
  • Four ECE Faculty Win College Awards
  • Carnegie Mellon Researchers to Collaborate With National Biometric Security Project
  • ECE Faculty Teach High School Workshops
  • ECE Faculty Instruct Information Assurance Capacity Building Program
  • External Press

  • The other ‘Fingerprints’ you don’t know about
  • DailyPlanet, Discovery Channel Canada
  • Carnegie Mellon Today, “Faces in the Crowd”
  • The Case for Biometrics
  • Stolen Fingerprints put Biometrics Business at risk
  • No Face to Hide
  • If we go to biometric IDs, will hackers try to steal your face?
  • Eye-scanning tech used to track terrorists adapted to help find missing children
  • Eye-Scanners used to track terrorists adapted to help search for missing children like Madeleine McCann
  • Biometrics Emerge as Passcode Alternative
  • Sorry, Criminals, Long-Range Iris Scanners Will Ruin Your Career
  • Will Latest CMU Invention Make Fingerprinting Obsolete?
  • Privacy and Security In the Age of Tracking, Iris Scanning and Biometrics
  • New Tech Can ID you by your Eyes from 40ft Away
  • New Iris Recognition Tech Could Make It Easier to Catch Criminals
  • Long-Range Iris Scanning Is Here
  • Iris Scanners, Widely Used By US Military, Could Be Coming to a Police Department Near You
  • Iris Scanner can identify you in REFLECTIONS: Minority Report-style tech can be used up to 40ft away
  • New Iris Scanning Tech Could Identify You from 40 Feet Away
  • Minority Report – like eye scanner works from 40ft away
  • Iris Scanner Identifies a Person 40 Feet Away
  • Iris Eye Scanners Getting Longer Range
  • CyLab Honored for Long-Distance Iris Scanner
  • School Districts Turns To Biometrics For Students Paying
  • Nothin's Ever Free. Read the Fine Print. Did you just give it away?
  • Cellphone authentication
  • Biometrics: New IDs that are uniquely you
  • Your Eyes will Unlock Everything
  • Biometric Security Poses Huge Privacy Risks
  • Embracing Big Brother: How Facial Recognition Could Help Fight Crime
  • 6 better Ways to Keep Airports Safe
  • Lines on the face help pick out the twin who dunnit
  • The Boston Manhunt - What Technologies Worked and Which Didn’t
  • Savvides Talks Facial Recognition Software on CNN
  • Manhunt—Boston Bombers
  • “Hallucinating” a face, new software could have ID’d Boston bomber
  • Hallucinating a face, new software could have ID’d Boston bomber
  • Faces in a crowd
  • Are Faces the New Fingerprints?
  • A Face in the Crowd: Say goodbye to anonymity
  • Two Carnegie Mellon researchers create digital database of poisonous plants
  • How Facial Recognition Tech Could Help Trace Terrorism Suspects
  • CyLab seeks top map poisonous plants for better treatment
  • Three Reasons Why Iris Recognition will Revolutionize Border Management
  • FBI launches $1 billion face recognition project
  • Savvides develops facial, iris recognition
  • Security on the (Eye)Ball: Hands-Free Iris Biometrics to Keep Bad Guys at Bay
  • CMU Developing Terrorist-Fighting Tool
  • Correlation pattern recognition for biometrics
  • Airport security becomes high-tech
  •  Marios  Savvides

    Research Area

    Signals and Systems


    Biometric identification, Cyber-Physical Security, Authentication, Pattern recognition


    PhD, 2004
    Electrical and Computer Engineering
    Carnegie Mellon University

    MS, 2000
    Carnegie Mellon University

    BEng, 1997
    Microelectronics Systems Engineering
    University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology