Faculty affiliated with the center are distributed across key disciplines in science, social science, engineering, and statistics, with interests that cover an array of forensic disciplines. The CARFS research program is designed to address key issues in forensic science identified by the 2009 NAS report, and to develop innovative technologies and investigative approaches for forensic practice. Projects will address the human, analytical, and statistical foundations of forensic evaluations in the following areas:

Chemical Analysis of Drugs, Toxicology, and Trace Materials

Projects would include areas of analytical chemistry and instrument development in mass spectrometry, ion mobility, chromatography, laser and optical spectroscopy and hyperspectral imaging, and development of aptamers for highly specific and reusable portable sensor systems.

Quantifiable Approaches to Pattern and Impression Analysis

Projects would involve development of methods for surface pattern and image characterization using interferometric white light microscopy, surface profilometry, structured light imaging, focus variation microscopy, as well as development and testing of robust comparison algorithms and impression modelling and prediction based on an understanding of the underlying materials properties.

Human Perception and Decision Making

Projects would assess the development of perceptual skill and expertise in forensic disciplines, the influence of contextual information and other factors that may bias decision making, the development of approaches (such as linear sequential unmasking or blind, lineup testing) to reduce the potential for bias, and lay understanding of forensic evidence as presented by examiners in court.

Cyber Forensic Analysis

Project would assess approaches for solving matrix completion problems in digital evidence analysis, advance the interpretation of cyber events in assessing the origin and scope of computer or network breaches, develop analytical solutions to discover hidden evidence (anti-forensics) and improve determinations of linkability, and more generally assess the fundamental limits of certain computer forensic methodologies.

Statistical Modeling and Prediction of Dynamics, Mechanistic Probabilities

Projects would include the development of a scientific understanding of phenomena such as fluid dynamics and environmental factors that result in bloodstains, or the modeling of fractures and other complex patterns.