Dexter Harris Jr., DIMACS REU 2016




General Information

Mountain View
Student: Dexter Harris Jr.
Office: CoRE 448
School: Morgan State University
Project: Experimental Designs for Walk Through Metal Detectors at Large Stadium Venues

Project Description

When utilizing metal detectors at a large venue such as a sports stadium, there are the competing objectives of accuracy of the patron screening and the speed of throughput. This research, carried out in collaboration with large sports venues, analyzes the patron screening method of walk-through metal detectors ("walk-throughs").

Experimental design is the focus of the project, helping large venues better understand the performance of walk-throughs in real outdoor settings. Because of the number of experimental factors to be considered (type of item, location and height of object, orientation, speed of object passing through the machine, walk-through security setting, etc.), designing experiments require a sophisticated design tool called combinatorial experimental design. Experimental designs can focus on various questions, such as: does a walk-through catch each of the pre-specified prohibited test items; can multiple metal test objects can be hidden on a person and tested all at once in different height zones; how does human gait affect detection?

Weekly Updates
Week 1: I started my research on what walk through metal detectors (WTMDs) are and how they work to familiarize myself with my project. I also created a presentation to explain my project to my colleagues.

Week 2: I gathered information on the prohibited items for all the teams in the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and BIG 10 college football teams. This was done in part to preapre for one of our future trips to MetLife Stadium and also to see if any more items could be added to the contraband items already provided to us for our experiments.

Week 3: I, along with my partner, designed and conducted a pilot expermient to guage how frequently our test items were detected in the WTMDs we were using. We also took a trip to MetLife Stadium during the Copa America Quarterfinal Match between Colombia and Peru in order to collect data on the contraband items patrons brought to the event and how these items were detected.

Week 4: We created an experimental design for one of the factors that can affect how items are detected in a WTMD, speed. We performed the experiment and analyzed the data in order to conclude if the speed of a person walking through a WTMD has an effect on the rate of item detection.

Week 5: We performed the same process that was performed in week 4 but with a different experimental factor, which was whether the item was shielded (covered) or unshielded (uncovered).

Week 6: We performed the same process that was performed in week 4 and 5 but with a different experimental factor, which was if having multiple items on a person at the same time affects how frequently each item is detected in comparison to each item's detection rate by itself. We also took a trip to IBM to explore some of the technology and learn about different positions and their effect on the industry as a whole.

Week 7: We created our final presentation to present to the DIMACS group. There will be more added to the presentation, however, as there are more experiments that will be done in the upcoming weeks. We also took another trip to MetLife Stadium during a Coldplay concert in order to collect data on contrabands items detected and how they were detected.

Week 8: Started and completed an experiment dealing with our last experminetal factor, which was orientation of the item. Also presented to our CCICADA partners.

Week 9: Traveled to MetLife Stadium and performed experiments done on RUPD (Fisher) WTMDs on stadium (CEIA) WTMDs to compare results. Completed a technical report explaining our project and the process of completing what we did over the summer and wote an evaluation of our REU experience as a whole.


Initial Presentation Slides
Final Presentation Slides
Final Presentation Video

Additional Information

My Mentor: Christie Nelson

My Partner: Omoikhefe Eboreime