Workshop Program

Thinking Forensics: Cognitive science for forensic practitioners

Date: Sunday 11 September
Presenters: Dr Alice Towler, The University of Queensland, QLD
Dr Kristy Martire, UNSW Sydney, NSW
Prof Richard Kemp, UNSW Sydney, NSW
Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Location: Room 82, Hilton Brisbane
Cost: $350 per participant

Objective of the workshop:
The aim of this workshop is to familiarise practitioners with cognitive science issues that impact their decision-making, and develop strategies to mitigate their effects.

Workshop content:
Over the last decade, the forensic sciences have begun to engage with issues relating to human decision-making. Initial interest centred on cognitive biases in forensic practitioners, but has since expanded to include multiple aspects of human cognition that impact the accuracy of decisions made by forensic scientists and how forensic science evidence is interpreted by others. Importantly, many of these issues are an inevitable and unavoidable part of simply being human. Luckily, understanding more about how the human mind works allows us to design simple yet effective ways to mitigate the risks of these issues and safeguard human decision-making in the forensic sciences. Our Thinking Forensics Training presents ’10 things forensic scientists should know about cognitive science’ in a series of fun and interactive activities. We are firm believers that trainees should experience each of our ‘10 things’ for themselves, rather than having us tell them. This approach results in engaging and thoughtful discussion around each ‘thing’, where practitioners share their own unique experiences with the group and help each other design practical strategies to mitigate risk in their specific roles. The Thinking Forensics Training is based on one of our peer-reviewed publications with an inter-disciplinary team of cognitive scientists, lawyers and forensic scientists.

Pre-workshop preparation required by participants:
None

About the Presenters:

Dr Alice Towler is a cognitive scientist at The University of Queensland. Alice’s research focuses on understanding the cognitive and perceptual processes underlying facial image comparison expertise, and developing evidence-based training and recruitment tools. evidence, and regularly provides training to forensic science trainees.

Kristy Martire is a Forensic Psychologist whose research aims to better understand the development of expertise and evaluation of evidence.

Richard Kemp is a Forensic Psychologist who applies memory and perception research to the legal system. He works closely with industry and provides expert evidence

Minimum and Maximum Numbers Apply

An introduction to the DBLR™ software

Date: Sunday 11 September
Presenters: Zane Kerr, NSW Forensic and Analytical Science Service, NSW; ESR, Auckland Maarten Kruijver, ESR, Auckland, New Zealand
Time: 1.00pm – 4.00pm
Location: Room 81, Hilton Brisbane
Cost: $195 per participant

Objective of the workshop:
Participants will become familiar with the use of the DBLR™ software by working through a series of examples involving DNA mixtures and kinship problems.  Participants will be provided with a time limited evaluation copy of the DBLR™ software.  Following the workshop, participants will be free to undertake further evaluation of DBLR™ using their own laboratory’s data.

Workshop content:
DBLR™ (‘database likelihood ratios’) is a software program developed by the award winning STRmix™ team at ESR.  DBLR™ allows users to explore and interrogate STRmix™ deconvolutions with a focus on developing intelligence and investigative information.  In addition, single source and mixed profiles can be used as inputs for pedigree and kinship analyses. Using DBLR™, analyts are able to rapidly perform large scale Hp and Hd true tests to evaluate the discrimination power of STRmix™ deconvolutions, search against databases containing millions of profiles and set up automated search strategies, and generate addtional intelligence information by comparing multiple mixed DNA profiles for common donors (mix to mix matching). DBLR’s Kinship module allows assessment of any conceivable relationship including complex pedigrees.  Incorporating linkage, mutation and FST, it is a powerful tool for examining relatedness scenarios.

This workshop will introduce participants to each of the primary features of DBLR™.  Participants will learn how to use the DBLRsoftware by working through as series of hands-on exercises. The workshop will also include an overview of the developmental validation performed as well as discussions on how users might validate DBLR™ within their own laboratories.

Intended audience:
This workshop is targeted to caseworking forensic biologists with an interest in DNA mixture analysis and/or relationship testing.

Equipment required:
The workshop will include practical exercises using the DBLR™ software.  As such, we highly recommend that all participants supply their own laptop computer.  The recommended computer specifications are provided below.  A time limited evaluation copy of DBLR™ will be provided to participants prior to the workshop.  A copy of STRmixis not required for the workshop and will not be provided to participants.

Recommended specifications:

  • Intel i5 or i7 processor, 2.6 GHz or greater
  • 16 Gb of RAM or greater
  • Minimum of 4 cores
  • 300 Mb free HDD space
  • Windows 7 Professional 64 bit or later
About the Presenters:

Zane Kerr is a senior scientist within the STRmix™ team. He provides scientific support and training services to laboratories who use STRmix™, DBLR™, and FaSTR™ DNA. Zane has a keen interest in education and has a wealth of casework experience including over ten years as a court reporting officer.

Maarten Kruijver is a statistician in the STRmix™ team and has developed the DBLR™ software for evaluating DNA evidence involving single source and mixed profiles. He is also involved in research and development of FaSTR™ and STRmix™. Maarten has completed a PhD in Forensic Genetics from VU University, Amsterdam.

Minimum and Maximum Numbers Apply

Introduction to FFmpeg for Forensic Video Examinations

Date: Friday 16 September
Presenters: Dorothy Stout, Analyst, Resolution Video, United States
Time: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Location: Room 81, Hilton Brisbane
Cost: $295 per participant

Objective of the workshop:
Introduction to FFmpeg is a 1-day workshop in which students will learn the powerful capabilities that exist using the free command-line tool FFmpeg for Forensic Video Examinations. Students will learn how to transcode, rewrap, and batch process videos – all from a command-line interface.

Workshop content:
Students will discover the capabilities of the FFmpeg software project that produces libraries and programs for handling multimedia data in a wide variety of commercial and forensic processing software. Processes will be explored for common forensic analysis techniques including playback, analysis, and transcoding of digital video files. Additionally, new and improved workflows for analysing and processing both standard and proprietary video file formats will be discussed. Once integrated into a workflow, FFmpeg can reduce forensic video examination processing time dramatically.

Topics include understanding multimedia frameworks, employing ffplay to view multimedia files, building batch files to automate the multimedia analysis process, and applying FFmpeg to transcode multimedia files into an acceptable container.

Upon successful completion of this workshop, students will be able to effective use FFmpeg to convert proprietary and open video and audio file formats to new easily accessible formats and will have written batch files that can be used effectively in their own examinations.

Pre-workshop preparation required by participants:
All students must bring a laptop computer to the workshop to participate in the hands-on exercises. The laptop should be utilizing a 64-bit Windows 10 or higher operating system.

About the Presenters:

Dorothy Stout is the owner of Resolution Video Inc. which provides training on Forensic Multimedia Analysis and services for the examination and analysis of video, audio, and image evidence. She has been involved in Forensic Video Analysis since 1998 with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and then for the U.S. Department of Defense Computer Forensic Laboratory (DCFL). Ms. Stout has been qualified as an expert and testified in all levels of the United States Courts and continues to offer expert testimony in civil and criminal cases involving video evidence. Ms. Stout holds a Masters Degree in Forensic Science.

Minimum and Maximum Numbers Apply

Speed Determination using Reverse Projection Photogrammetry for Forensic Video Examinations

Date: Saturday 17 September
Presenters: Dorothy Stout, Analyst, Resolution Video, United States
Walter Bruehs, Supervisory Physical Scientist, Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States
Christopher Iber, Physical Scientist, Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States
Time: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Location: Room 81, Hilton Brisbane
Cost: $295 per participant

Objective of the workshop:
Speed Determination using reverse projection photogrammetry is a 1-day workshop in which students will learn the intricacies of determining the average speed of an object traveling in a straight line recorded by a Digital Video Recorder (DVR). Students will learn how to calculate speed by utilizing the distance travelled estimated from two reverse projection photogrammetry examinations. The time from this distance travelled will be calculated, and finally the degree of accuracy associated with these measurements will be realized.

Workshop content:
Students will become familiar with how to perform a reverse projection examination and then demonstrate their understanding. This process will provide them an understanding of; aspect ratio, camera station, perspective and ultimately how to arrive at a specific location. Students will repeat this process to position a starting point, an ending point and then measure the distance between these two points.

Once the distance has been calculated the student will then evaluate the video recording to understand the estimated time between these points.

Following these measurements, the average speed can ultimately be calculated as a range, to encompass any uncertainty due to time and resolution. Documenting the uncertainty allows an examiner to provide the most accurate representation of average speed.

Upon successful completion of this workshop, students will be able to effectively perform a reverse projection exam and estimate the average speed of an object moving in a straight line recorded on a DVR.

Pre-workshop preparation required by participants:
All students must bring a laptop computer to the workshop to participate in the hands-on exercises. The laptop should be utilizing a 64-bit Windows 10 or higher operating system.

About the Presenters:

Ms. Stout, Mr. Bruehs, and Mr. Iber have over a combined 75 years of experience in the field of image analysis. Their work and research on the application of Reverse Projection Photogrammetry for image analysis has been used for court testimony in criminal investigations as well as the publication of a paper on the determination of speed of vehicles. They continue to research its validity in the ever changing market of video systems.

Minimum and Maximum Numbers Apply

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