MSU's Anil Jain appointed to NIST Forensic Science Standards Board

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EAST LANSING, Mich. – The National Institute of Standards and Technology, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice, have named Michigan State University’s Anil Jain among the first 17 appointments to the Forensic Science Standards Board.

The newly developed organization is dedicated to identifying and fostering development and adoption of standards and guidelines for the nation’s forensic science community. Jain, University Distinguished Professor of computer science and engineering, has extensive experience in biometric recognition, computer vision and fingerprint-matching technology.

"The appointments to the Forensic Science Standards Board essentially mark a transition from planning to doing," said NIST Acting Director Willie May. "After months of collaboration with the forensic science community, we are bringing to life this new organization that will have a positive impact on the practice of forensic science in the United States."

Jain previously served as a member of the Defense Science Board and the National Academies panels on Information Technology, Whither Biometrics and Improvised Explosive Devices. After analyzing data from the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, he was able to utilize facial recognition software to identify one of the suspects from available forensic footage.

Gregoire Michaud, director of the Forensic Science Division of the Michigan State Police, believes the FSSB is an important step in strengthening forensic science at a national level.

“Over the past several years, our department has benefited from the strong partnership with Michigan State University,” he said. “This partnership between academia and law enforcement forensic science is now being realized for the first time at the national level with the FSSB.”

The NIST specifically appointed five members of the academic research community to assist the other forensic experts on the new board. Subcommittees within the group will focus on specific disciplines, including DNA, toxicology, medico-legal death investigation, facial identification, latent fingerprints and firearms and toolmarks, among others.

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