Beyond C.S.I.: The Rise of Computational Forensics

How can you determine if two fingerprints are merely similar or are an exact match? Is forensics as practiced currently, skill and art — or science?

I was surprised to learn from Sargur Srihari that forensics is not as scientific in its methods as one might think from watching the various TV shows. Neither are the practitioners as unbiased as one might prefer when examining the data. Srihari is working to improve forensic methodology. He writes that one way to improve the methodology is to use “pattern recognition and other computational methods [that] can reduce the bias inherent in traditional criminal forensics” [Srihari, 2010].

He wrote an article in the December 2010 IEEE Spectrum called Beyond C.S.I.: The Rise of Computational Forensics in which he gives an overview of how computational forensics can improve the methods and results of forensic investigation. For example, in the image below, he describes how computers are used to compare a shoe print from a crime scene against a database of known shoe prints.

To view a larger image, please click on it and click on it again on the new page.

Beyond C.S.I.: The Rise of Computational Forensics

Do you believe that computers can make forensic investigations more science than art and skill? Why or why not?

Jewel Ward
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Jewel Ward

Founder and Consultant at Impact Zone Consultancy
Nice to meet you! I am Jewel Ward, founder of Impact Zone. Our specialties are search engine optimization and digital stewardship for creative industry websites.

We work hard to serve our clients’ needs so they can solve their technology problems. Our goal is to enable our creative clients to succeed digitally in whatever form success means to them.

Here are three fun facts about me. I consider coffee and chocolate food groups. I am an INFJ. I love longboard surfing.
Jewel Ward
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