Mathematical Digest

Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"Detectors licked by gummy fingers," by David Cyranoski. Nature, 13 June 2002, page 676.

This short article is not about mathematics but is about a mathematician, Tsutomu Matsumoto, who used fairly common items to fool fingerprint identification equipment. The fake fingerprints, which Matsumoto fashioned from gelatin, fooled several identification devices hundreds of times. Matsumoto's research area is in cryptography, and the fingerprint experiment was done "for fun."

--- Mike Breen