Vinnie Monaco makes Seidenberg history with first PhD in Computer Science

Monaco_1John “Vinnie” Monaco recently made an achievement that is a milestone in Seidenberg School history: he successfully defended his PhD dissertation and became the school’s first ever Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science! We are absolutely delighted with Vinnie’s success and can’t wait to see where his new qualification takes him.

Vinnie’s dissertation, “Time Intervals as a Behavioral Biometric,” isn’t just significant for the Seidenberg School, but it is also important within the field of behavioral biometrics. We asked Vinnie to provide some insight into the research he did: 

“My work attempts to identify people based on the way they behave over time,” says Vinnie. “The model I proposed utilizes individual differences in temporal behavior across a range of scales, such as typing, sending emails, initiating financial transactions, or visiting the White House. The significance of this is that only event timestamps are required. This breaks down the privacy barrier that was thought to exist using tools that provide spatial anonymity, such as TOR, and calls for new identity-masking techniques. To be truly anonymous in the 21st century, a person has to not only hide their IP address or location; they have to also mask their behavior in some way.”

Pretty amazing stuff!


Vinnie’s defense was overseen by his dissertation committee (pictured, from left to right, Dr. Lixin Tao, Dr. Vinnie Monaco, Dr. Charles Tappert, and Dr. Meikang Qui).

On his impact at the Seidenberg School, Vinnie said: “I’m proud to have been the first PhD graduate from Seidenberg. I think that the school is starting to attract a greater number of quality researchers, both students and faculty, and I’m confident that the Seidenberg School will continue to be recognized as a leading institution in behavioral cybersecurity research.”

Congratulations to Dr. Monaco on his enormous achievement!

Seidenberg PhD Student Ranks First in International Biometric Competition

Photo from Westchester Magazine
Photo credit: Westchester Magazine

Seidenberg student Vinnie Monaco (Ph.D. Computer Science ’16) recently participated in this Spring’s Eye Movements and Verification and Identification Competition (EMVIC 2014). The competition is one of five supported by the IEEE International Joint Conference on Biometrics (IJCB 2014) The key objective of biometric competitions is to introduce the benchmarking of state-of-the-art algorithms relating to biometric identification while using transparent evaluation protocols.

The EMVIC 2014 aimed to determine how people may be identified based on their eye movement characteristics. The eye is not only one of the most complicated human organs, but also the analysis of its movements may reveal information about the human being, which makes the analysis of eye movement a suitable approach for biometric identification.

The competition had participants analyze a dataset of eye movement recordings, then design classification models. The results were calculated as the number of correctly classified samples to the number of test samples taken into account. Vinnie came up with the most successful classification model.

As the competition winner, Vinnie has not only been awarded with an SMI RED-m eye tracker by SensoMotoric Instruments, but he has also been invited to take part in the preparation of a monograph about eye movement biometrics along with the other authors of the best algorithms. Furthermore, test results and description of methodologies will be presented at the IJCB 2014 this September in Florida. The conference has been a reputable one to which Seidenberg faculty and students have been submitting papers for publication.

Seidenberg professor Charles Tappert, Ph.D. has been leading a biometrics research group at Pace for the past ten years, producing work that has received recognition nationally and internationally. Dr. Tappert works with undergraduate and graduate students to address identification and authentication problems by analyzing behavioral biometrics on keyboard and mouse-dynamics. These are relatively new directions in biometric research, and the Seidenberg faculty and students are directly contributing to advancing knowledge in this field.

Interested in biometrics? To learn more about IJCB 2014 and the biometric competitions it supports, visit

Skip to toolbar