It is our pleasure and privilege to welcome you to the Sixth IEEE International Conference on Biometrics: Theory, Applications and Systems (BTAS 2013). The Washington DC area continues to play host to this premier biometrics conference. We hope your experience at BTAS is rewarding both professionally and personally!

Advances in sensor design, computational power, pattern recognition, image and signal processing, computer vision, cryptography, mobile computing, and machine learning has facilitated the development of biometric methods for a wide range of applications. The interplay between forensics and biometrics, and the need for identity management schemes in applications ranging from national security to healthcare, has accelerated the development of biometric solutions in both military and civilian applications. Biometric-­based national ID card initiatives in countries such as India have highlighted the need for designing biometric techniques that are robust, scalable and computationally efficient. At the same time, privacy and security concerns related to the acquisition, storage and transmission of biometric data have generated research in template protection, anti-­spoofing methods and vulnerability analysis. Furthermore, performance prediction models are being developed and large‐scale evaluation studies are being conducted to assess the feasibility of deploying biometric systems in unconstrained environments.

Consequently, BTAS continues to attract high quality papers covering a broad range of biometric modalities including face, fingerprint, ocular, voice, palmprint, hand geometry, gait, ear, ECG, and soft biometrics, as well as related topics such as anti-spoofing, biometric databases, biometric cryptosystems, cancellable biometrics, covariate analysis, aging effects, large scale deployments, multi-biometric fusion, performance evaluation, security and privacy, social impact analysis, template protection and usability studies. This year BTAS received a total of 137 submissions. The paper selection process, coordinated by the Program Chairs, was conducted in two phases: the review phase and the author-rebuttal phase. During the review phase, the submissions were subjected to a rigorous double-blind review process. The Technical Program Committee consisting of over 100 biometric experts conducted the reviews. Each submission was reviewed by three experts who were asked to comment on the strengths, weaknesses, novelty and impact of the work. The reviewers were also asked to justify their recommendation for accepting or rejecting a submission. During the author-rebuttal phase, authors were given the opportunity to provide a response to the reviewers’ comments and concerns. The Program Chairs used the reviewers’ comments along with the authors’ response to render a final decision on each paper. As a result of this well-organized process, 34 submissions were selected for presentation in the Oral track, while 39 submissions were selected for presentation in the Poster track. The selected papers will be presented in 8 oral sessions and 3 poster sessions. In addition, each poster session will be preceded by a spotlight session where the authors will have two minutes to highlight the contents of their poster. As always, we hope to see many intense, productive and enlightening discussions at the oral and poster sessions.

BTAS 2013 will feature 4 tutorials: “Spoofing and Anti-Spoofing in Biometrics” by Sébastien Marcel; “Face Recognition by Humans and Machines” by Alice O’Toole; “Iris Recognition: From Origin to Current Research Frontiers” by Kevin Bowyer; and “1-to-1 Forensic Facial Comparison” by Richard Vorder Bruegge. These tutorials will allow participants to interact with experts in the field.

Additionally, there will be three exciting plenary lectures by prominent researchers. Yoshua Bengio will present “Deep Learning using AI” on September 30, Alessandro Acquisti will discuss “Privacy in the Age of Augmented Reality” on October 1, and Mark Burge will highlight “IARPA’s Janus Program” on October 2. These lectures are expected to generate plenty of interesting and stimulating discussions during the conference!

The technical program will also consist of 9 demos that will be showcased during the poster sessions on September 30 and October 1. BTAS 2013 will also feature exhibits by 3dMD, Digital Signal Corporation and IET Journals. In addition, the Career Pathways and Doctoral Symposium (CPDS) will allow young researchers to meet with a panel of distinguished scientists and leaders from academia and industry who will share their workplace experiences, and discuss challenges and mechanisms for career advancement.

BTAS 2013 will have two social events: the Reception on September 30 sponsored by Progeny, and the Banquet and Awards ceremony on October 1 sponsored by Lumidigm and Safran Morpho. These events will be a great opportunity to renew old acquaintances and establish new connections!

We are grateful to a number of researchers for their exceptional assistance in organizing this event. These include Karl Ricanek, Local Arrangements chair; Trina Russ, Finance chair; Richa Singh, Publications chair; Thirimachos Bourlai and Stephanie Schuckers, Demos and Competitions chairs; Kuntal Sengupta, Shishir K. Shah and Thoharis Theoharis, Professional Development Activities chairs; Chris Boehnen, Exhibits chair; Bernadette Dorizzi and Norman Poh, Tutorial chairs; Ajay Kumar, Publicity chair; Antitza Dantcheva and Georgios Evangelopoulos, Media chairs, Christoph Busch and Jim Matey, Panel chairs; and Xi Zhao, Registration chair. We are deeply indebted to Harriet Baldwin and Julie Dowling for their service as Conference Secretariat. We would also like to thank the BTAS 2013 Advisory Committee (Kevin Bowyer, Rama Chellappa, Patrick Flynn, Anil Jain, Josef Kittler, Stan Li, Jonathon Philips, Sudeep Sarkar, and Tieniu Tan) for their valuable suggestions and feedback during the planning and organization process.

BTAS benefits significantly from its several industrial sponsorships and we want to acknowledge and thank the contributions of these industrial partners. Lumidigm and Safran Morpho are Platinum Sponsors; Progeny Systems is a Gold Sponsor; Digital Signal Corporation is a Silver Sponsor; IET Journals is a Bronze Sponsor; and Cognitec is a General Sponsor. To all the sponsors and their representatives in attendance, thank you!

As an IEEE conference, BTAS is co-sponsored by the IEEE Biometrics Council and the IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics Society. Plans are already underway for a joint BTAS and ICB meeting (IJCB 2014) to be held in Florida, USA. If this is your first BTAS meeting, welcome! If you are a BTAS veteran, welcome back! In either case, we hope you have a productive and enjoyable meeting, and that BTAS continues to capture the most exciting contributions from our talented research community.

Ioannis A. Kakadiaris and Arun Ross, General Chairs
Mark Nixon, Nalini Ratha, Zhenan Sun, Massimo Tistarelli, Program Chairs