Saxena awarded nearly $75,000 to study CAPTCHA mechanisms

Comcast grant will allow faculty member to further online security and usability research.
Written by: Katherine Shonesy
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Nitesh Saxena fNitesh Saxena, Ph.D., associate professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Computer and Information Sciences, has been awarded a $74,991 grant, an unrestricted gift, from the Comcast Technology Research and Development Fund.

Saxena, the information assurance pillar co-leader of the Center for Information Assurance and Joint Forensics Research, is among a select group of investigators to receive the grant, which will allow him to further his research seeking to produce CAPTCHAs that are not only secure and usable, but are also fun and engaging for the users.

“I am extremely proud to be among those honored with this prestigious grant, and thankful to Comcast for supporting our work,” Saxena said. “This award will connect me to a network of established experts in research and development in Internet security, while providing me with an opportunity to continue my work to create the next generation of CAPTCHAs that will be more robust than what is currently available.”

The Comcast Tech Research and Development program offers funding for researchers at leading academic institutions and elsewhere to strategically support research that is of mutual interest to Comcast and the research community. It also provides funding to support open source software development.

Saxena’s project is being conducted in collaboration with Chengcui Zhang, Ph.D., another associate professor in Computer and Information Sciences, as well as with two doctoral candidates, Song Gao and Manar Mohamed.