Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Computer Science



First Advisor

Kaczmarek, Thomas

Second Advisor

Perouli, Despoina

Third Advisor

Zimmer, Michael


The classic text-based password has been around for a very long time. A lot of security research has been conducted on it. A set of best practices has been available for many years stressing the use of longer and more complex passwords. The issue with this approach is that humans have a hard time recalling long complex sequences of characters. Worse, the more complex the string of characters the more prone it is to being written down which is the most detrimental security threat. The goal of this paper is to introduce and provide an introductory analysis of a grid-based password system. This system allows weaker passwords still have the potential security of regular longer more complex passwords. At the same time the system leverages the human ability to better recall visual patterns to aid in the memorization process. This thesis will discuss the mathematical maxima that may be achieved by using this password system. Compare it against conventional graphical passwords, and finally discuss the human factor in using this password schema.