A Professor of Mathematics at the Institute of Mathematics and Physics (IMSP), University of Abomey-Calavi (UAC) in the Republic of Benin, Guy Degla has underscored the importance of human face recognition systems, which he averred is a unique mathematical patterns used to store biometric data.
He made this submission while delivering the keynote address titled: Facial Recognition Systems (FRS) with Applications to Digitized Financial Transactions at the opening session of the International Conference on Mathematical Sciences and Optimization 2023 hosted by the Department of Mathematics, University of Lagos (UNILAG).
The hybrid event was held on Thursday, August 31, 2023, at Rahmon Adisa Bello Hall (formerly Julius Berger Hall), UNILAG, Akoka. In attendance were stakeholders drawn from the academia, private, and government sectors including President, Association of Mathematical Sciences and Optimization, Professor J. O Olaleru; Director and Chief Executive at the National Mathematical Centre, Abuja, Professor Promise Mebine among others, who converged to discuss the theme Digitized Economy: Challenges and the Imperatives of Mathematical Tools.
Delga posited that facial recognition, also known as Digital Identity Verification (DIV), is becoming a crucial biometric system that is an alternative to passwords and QR codes. He explained that DIV could enable users secure access to a myriad of domains and devices such as banks, supermarkets, airports, offices, libraries, etc.
He noted that Facial Recognition Payment Technology (FRPT) is the most preferred technology among biometric systems and it is being extensively used for mobile payments as people are more comfortable with cashless transactions.
According to him, “… every living human being has a face. Moreover, the face is our most exposed part which can also be captured from a distance. Therefore, it is the primary focus in our daily and social life, and it plays a crucial role in identity and emotions communication’’.
In his address, the principal investigator of TWAS (what is TWAS) and a reviewer of the American Mathematical Society, Professor Guy noted that the innovations boom in Information and Communication Technology is impacting human daily life and will continue to do so since both societies and governments are striving to dematerialize businesses and education.
‘’ The societies are developing digitalization (process of moving to a digital business) so fast that every government is today concerned with the legislation and the enhancement of Digital Economy since individuals and the telecommunication companies are exploiting digitalization to push the frontiers of their services to businesses of purely financial nature that were the chosen field of economic sectors’’.
On their part, Professors J. Olaleru and Promise Mebine highlighted the importance of Mathematics. Professor Mebine stressed that Mathematics is the key to the solutions to most human problems as “Mathematics is the language of technology and it is everything’’.
The duo at different times during the event emphasized the indispensability of Mathematics as it has a central role to play in economic and technological development.
Earlier in his remarks, Professor Adebayo Ogunkanmi, who represented the Vice-Chancellor of the University as well as the Dean of the Faculty of Science welcomed participants to the Conference.
According to him, “there is an increasing expectation for faculty members within higher education institutions to do more with looking inward, gird their loins and put efforts into conducting and publishing ground-breaking research findings which will in turn, transform local journals into purveyors of contemporary research data for Nigeria and Africa”.
He also advocated the need for experts in the field of Mathematics to look beyond the perceived thought that the subject is just about calculation and not an impactful discipline without significant contributions to both social and economic growth.
Prof. Ogunkanmi applauded members of the Mathematics Department for their commitment to research, teaching, and community service. He stressed the need for the Department to do more in the area of mentoring junior faculty members.
The conference which commenced with a Pre-Conference Workshop on Monday, August 28, 2023, will end on Saturday, September 2, 2023, with presentations from other speakers including Professor O. T Mewomo from Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa, Dr. G A Okeke from the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), Professor C. E Abhulimen from the Ambrose Ali University (AAU) Ekpoma, among others.