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CSAFE Student Researcher Wins Emerging Forensic Scientist Award

Megan McGuire, a CSAFE student researcher, was one of three winners of the Emerging Forensic Scientist Award paper competition.
Megan McGuire, a CSAFE student researcher, was one of three winners of the Emerging Forensic Scientist Award paper competition.

Megan McGuire, a student researcher at the Center for Statistics and Applications in Forensic Evidence (CSAFE), was one of three winners of the Forensic Sciences Foundation (FSF) Emerging Forensic Scientist Award (EFSA) paper competition.

The competition was hosted at the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) annual scientific conference held Feb. 19-24 in Denver, Colorado.

McGuire was selected for her presentation, “Producing Datasets: Capturing Images on Multi-Camera Smart Phones for Source Camera Identification,” and details the creation of an image database for source camera identification. Stephanie Reinders, a CSAFE research scientist, was a co-author and is the lead project investigator on the project.

According to McGuire, this project aimed to form a large database with a sizeable number of quality images from all available lenses on current models of smartphones. Currently, only a few databases are available like this, and those available do not include images captured on every available lens.

The Multi-Camera Smartphone Image Database is now available in CSAFE’s Forensic Science Data Portal.

She said that databases like this can be used for source camera identification, so the images captured for this project will be free and available for public use. “The project will provide the public with more data to further scientific research and improve the quality of available data.”

McGuire said this database could positively impact the forensic community because it offers a large amount of data in an area of forensic science where there is little to no data available.

“The few similar databases that exist do not provide images from every available lens on smartphones, and so this database will help forensic scientists by providing them with images from all four available lenses on current models of smartphones,” she said.

McGuire said she had a very positive experience at the AAFS conference. “I realized just how important work like this is to the forensic science community, specifically for those working in digital and multimedia sciences, and I was given some helpful feedback and advice while I was there.”

In addition, McGuire was chosen to present her poster at the 2024 Research in the Capitol on March 25, hosted at the Iowa State Capitol rotunda in Des Moines. She was among 20 Iowa State University undergraduate students selected to present their research to legislators, state officials and university administrators.

McGuire, a senior in criminal justice at Iowa State University, joined CSAFE in October 2022 and has contributed to various projects, including capturing images for a data set of mock crime scene footwear impressions, collecting and scanning handwriting samples and scanning various parts of bullets and cartridges.

In her final year at Iowa State University, McGuire plans to continue at CSAFE and will now work with Anthony Greiter, the CSAFE learning and development specialist. She will focus on understanding learner engagement and progression within the CSAFE Learning platform.