Living Proof

High School Student Alexander Chan Publishes His First Paper, Presents it Abroad

Any NYU School of Engineering faculty member who has worked with high schoolers as part of the Center’s programs can pull from their memories examples of exceptional students. Professor of Computer Science and Engineering Nasir Memon and Postdoctoral Fellow Tzipora Halevi can pull out an actual paper, “Touchpad Input for Continuous Biometric Authentication." The paper lists as its primary author Alexander Chan, a Hunter College High School student who worked in their lab in 2013 as part of the Applied Research Innovations in Science and Engineering (ARISE) program.

“He really took the initiative in writing up his findings,” Halevi explains, “so while it’s unusual for a high school student to be listed as the first author on a scholarly paper, in this case, it’s a perfectly justified honor.”

Chan received an additional honor when he was invited to present the paper—which explores how people’s behaviors and gestures when using computer touchpads might be incorporated into the authentication process—at an international cyber security conference in Portugal in late September. He was the youngest presenter by far. “The most exciting thing was being in the audience at the other presentations and realizing that I was among the first in the entire world to hear about some of this new research,” he said.
Chan will undoubtedly be attending other conferences in the future; he and Halevi explain that while he was not an official part of ARISE in 2014, he returned, by special request, to the lab to continue his research.

Another paper is already in progress.