Monday, December 26, 2005

this is an audio post - click to play

Looking back to 2005

Just finishing work and cleaning up the administration. This year has been a year with a wide variety of issues. The organization of conferences, doing some casework, several research initiatives and chairing the ENFSI-FIT group and the AAFS Engineering Sciences Section. I look back to nice conferences from ENFSI, IAFS and AAFS this year, and hope the cooperation in 2006 will be even better.

We see that the Internet is evolving and initiatives as the wikipedia are a good example how book publishers have a real problem to survive with their current marketing situation. I also have to write several contributions, however it appears to be more difficult, since information is not as fast as on the Internet. The valuable reviews are of course important, however for the reviewer it is getting more complicated to do an in-depth review. It is for example when I started in forensic science feasible to do some review of source code of software. Also this gets more complicated, since we have to take into account that also the operating systems upgrade very fast, and it is in theory possible that a certain program will work different on a different version of the OS with a bugfix. Having said that, we certainly should put effort in validating and reviewing the information in a prompt and proper way as is feasible.

What did I learn further this year ? As always projects tend to take more time then expected. I have some backlog with several projects. In contrary there are also projects that work better then expected, since not all things are predictable. It is the same with casework. It is nice to think that in some ways we are working in a casino-society as some people call it. The forecasts influence the results, and in this way many processes become inpredictable.

Also this year we did some step forward with the Bayesian conclusions in our report. The readability is still a problem :

In the past we had conclusions as probable etc. Now we have conclusions as there is support for a certain conclusion. This year we had discussions to modify it to from the examination results hypothesis 1 is more probable then hypothesis 2. We will see what happens, however the form of this conclusion might also change.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


As allways December is a month to reconsider and finish work (especially the last week of December is very quiet, and is good to do that research you had never time for if you have to go to work). In this month of course casework, and always the conflict between speed and quality. Managers want to have the cases processed faster each time, however the problem is that chances for mistakes are somewhat higher then. However of course, I may not complain, since they are also aware of this issue.

This month some vacation time, a meeting in Rome with the ENFSI chairpersons of the working groups, some meetings etc. I was also busy with our internal certification process. The rules around this system are sometimes to strict in my opinion. Last week a colleague should have an exam with expert witnesses from Germany and the UK. Suddenly they stopped this examination since some of the details in new rules (that were not approved yet), were not fulfilled. It is the bureaucrazy;) that rules. A better alternative might be an independent or perhaps several bodies that does this kind of testing, and not a combination of colleagues. There are several efforts for this, for instance in the UK, the USA and within the ENFSI.

Of course also preparing work for the AAFS-conference and several other meetings. For FIDIS a re-review of a document. All to be finished at the end of December, so perhaps it will not be a quiet month after all.