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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

Computer Forensics lecture, Oct. 21

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee, 401-874-5862

KINGSTON, R.I. -- October 19, 2005 -- Victor Fay Wolfe, a URI professor of computer science and statistics who was one of the creators of a computer forensics program at URI, will take part in the Forensic Science Seminar Series which is presented by the University of Rhode Island.

Fay Wolfe will lecture on “Computer Forensics” on Friday, October 21, 2005 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in Pastore Hall, Room 124. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Earlier this year, Fay-Wolfe and some of his colleagues was awarded a $300,000 National Science Foundation grant. The grant will help URI not only create a workforce of computer science graduates trained in computer forensics, but its education model can be replicated by other colleges and universities.

“URI is unique,” says Fay-Wolfe. “Currently, there are very few computer forensics curriculum tracks at major universities. Those that do offer such tracks, do not combine education, practicum, and research for students.”

Computer forensics experts are like pathologists who, drawing on an array of methods for discovering data in a computer system, can perform a computer autopsy. The experts look for evidence stored on floppy diskettes, zip, and jazz disks, tapes, digital cameras, memory sticks, printers, CDs, PDAs, game boxes, and network logs, intercepts, and traces.

“My presentation will be an overview of the field of digital forensics,” said Faye-Wolfe. “Digital forensics is the application of forensic science techniques to the acquisition and analysis of digital evidence that comes from places like seized hard drives, cell phones, and network activity. It is being used in more and more cases from computer hacking, to murder, to divorce. I'll provide some background and talk about some of the cases with which I am familiar.”

Fay-Wolfe is the founder and leader of the URI Digital Forensics program, one of the first such programs in a computer science department at a major university in the country. The program is funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation, and has established several courses and degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as a state of the art Digital Forensics Center on campus. The URI program works closely with several local, state, and federal agencies, both in cooperative research and in student internship programs.

Fay-Wolfe has been at URI for 14 years. He received his doctorate and master of science in computer science from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor of science in electrical engineering from Tufts University.

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