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>  News Releases >   2002 >   January

Farid named Sloan Fellow for Computer Science Work

Posted 01/26/02

Assistant Professor of Computer Science Hany Farid has been awarded a prestigious Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship. Farid is one of 104 new fellows chosen this year from scores of young faculty at colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada recognizing his contribution to computer science and also supporting his future research. Candidates are nominated by department heads or senior scholars. According to the Sloan Foundation website, the research fellowships were established in 1955 "to stimulate fundamental research by young scholars of outstanding promise."

"This well-deserved honor identifies Hany as one of the world's most promising young stars in computer science," said Bruce Randall Donald, Dartmouth Computer Science Professor. "We are delighted and proud that he was chosen. His research is creative, insightful and has important applications to computational science, machine and human vision and security."

"I'm honored to be named a Sloan Fellow," said Farid. "I'm excited by this opportunity to pursue new research directions in digital tampering, security and forensics."

Farid is fascinated by digital tampering, where computer information is maliciously altered. His concern about authenticity is a timely one as digital information surrounds us all, from computer graphics to automated voice mail systems to music CDs. For his research, Farid uses his math and computer science expertise to build mathematical models of digital images and video and audio recordings, and then he tries to understand how tampering affects the statistical nature of those models.

"With no other prior information other than these statistical models, my hope is to be able to develop techniques to determine if digital media has been tampered with from the time of its recording," he said. These techniques would certainly be important to authenticate, say, images used in court or videos broadcast on television news programs.

Recently, Farid delved into detective work by looking into the age-old art of hiding secret messages, or steganography. By employing his statistical mathematical models, he has been successful in finding evidence of the presence of hidden messages embedded in digital images. He has also forged a collaborative relationship with the Metropolitan Museum of Art to determine if these same models can be used to ferret out art forgeries.

Farid's Sloan Fellowship, one of only 14 awarded in the field of computer science, will support his work in the emerging field of digital tampering by providing funds primarily for equipment, travel and student support.

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