Professor Hany Farid, UC Berkeley
Forensic DNA analysis has been critical in prosecuting crimes and overturning wrongful convictions. At the same time, other physical and digital forensic identification techniques, used to link a suspect to a crime scene, are plagued with problems of accuracy, reliability, and reproducibility. Flawed forensic science can have devastating consequences: the National Registry of Exonerations identified that flawed forensic techniques contribute to almost a quarter of wrongful convictions in the United States. I will describe our recent efforts to examine the reliability of two such photographic forensic identification techniques: (1) identification based on purported distinct patterns in clothing; and (2) identification based on measurements of height and weight.
Hany Farid is a Professor at the University of California, Berkeley with a joint appointment in Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences and the School of Information. His research focuses on digital forensics, forensic science, misinformation, image analysis, and human perception. He received his undergraduate degree in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics from the University of Rochester in 1989, and his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania in 1997. Following a two-year post-doctoral fellowship in Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT, he joined the faculty at Dartmouth College in 1999 where he remained until 2019. He is the recipient of an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and is a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.