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Scott Cowie | University of Sunderland

Computer Forensics BSc (Hons)

Lecture on Finger Prints!

Hello so today we had an amazing lecture with Ian Gillard ( apologies if I’ve spelled that wrong) who came in to talk to us about finger prints and their use in fighting against crime and solving them! It was great with practical demo’s and some good points. Here’s how it ran:

Little bit of history…What came before finger prints hmm? Well it was Anthropometry it is a simple reliable method for quantifying body size and proportions by measuring body length, width, circumference, and skinfold thickness. They used this method to determine if you had been imprisoned before by checking measurements. As you can imagine this worked out great for the criminals who had grown or changed since they were last in, so it was too unreliable.

Then along came Sir Francis Galton who showed that fingerprints have what he calls Galton Details which are little characteristics that you can see in your finger prints such as areas where they fork or little spurs. In court they require 16 matching details on one finger to allow it as concrete evidence… But why fingerprints?

It is a scientific technique that is accepted world wide and they are the most reliable and verifiable piece of evidence you can get.. and why? Because from starting in the womb as one of the first things you develop on your fingers till even after you die, your finger prints will never change. They may get damaged, cut lost(oops) but they never change making them scientifically sound!

So we had some practical demonstration even looked at our own finger prints very interesting and with finger print scanners becoming more popular its definitely worth thinking about but anyway here is some pictures I took the last one is interesting… which do you have? Let me know and I’ll tell you if you have the rarest ones ;p



I’d also like to inform/remind you all that coming up on February 27th there is going to be a Student Jobs and Volunteering Fair run by the Careers and Employability Service who are hosting this great event where you can meet local employers recruiting for paid, part-time and voluntary work. Its always good to add this kind of thing to your CV trust me it definitely helps whether you need a bit of pocket money or that little bit of working experience to add to your CV its greatly beneficial… Here are the links!



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  • Name: Scott Cowie
  • Age: 25
  • Studying: Computer Forensics BSc (Hons)
  • Hometown: Birtley, UK
  • Ambitions: I want to go far in the Computer Forensics Industry and help create a world with a safe computer environment for everyone.

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