Engineering justice

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Picking up knowledge Down Under...

Professor Damian Schofield
Professor Damian Schofield and his students use technology to investigate potential real-world disaster scenarios.

AustraliaThe fight for justice behind the scenes includes computer simulations, gaming, 3D reconstructions, and innovative thinking to help combat crime, prosecute villains, and offer great potential in the field of forensic science.

Damian Schofield of Oswego's human-computer interaction program is among those whose main weapons are a computer, advanced software and creativity. His role in a large multinational research project based in Australia offers students the opportunity to join the justice crusade where virtual software seen in video games helps defeat real-life criminals.

The digital age has brought an abundance of new evidence presentation to crime. Courtrooms, once the last bastions of the oral tradition, have rapidly become cinematic display theatres. Students working with Schofield are at the forefront of understanding the effects of this high-tech world of dispute resolution and justice.

As part of an international team, Schofield's work includes the ambitious Juries and Interactive Visual Evidence (JIVE) Project, creating vivid virtual re-enactments of massive terrorist attacks to see how the use of such reconstructions impacts jurors in courtrooms. Schofield partners with the Australian Federal Police, University of New South Wales, HCIUniversity of Canberra, Institute of Judicial Administration, and the Australian Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions to offer his students the opportunity to examine how theory relates to practice and computer environments to our real neighborhoods.

By studying ahead of the curve, students make a straight line toward improving the way work gets done in the global crime-fighting enterprise.

Left: A railway in a simulation for a terrorist attack, explored from every angle using 3D technology.

For more on Damian Schofield's research, visit his SUNY Oswego web site.