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tootypeg
(@tootypeg)
Active Member

Just curious what people thoughts are here. I operating in research in the DF/security area and I watch from a distance quite a lot, specifically when I see posts regarding project ideas from students. I can understand the issues that this causes, particularly when posts just come in and 'want someone to give them an idea', without looking about and doing some initial research.

That being said, from what I can see, there is a disconnect between academia and industry and often, what causes an issue in industry doesn't actually come across to academia that well, and even from my perspective can be frustrating. In terms of resources, academia can provide some valuable support I believe, and students will participate in a dissertation project where they will dedicate a lot of time to solving an issue tackled. Obviously not all will be successful, but some will.

Could I just ask then; is the problem (and im not saying that the issue is wholly great, but may differ between institutions and organisations etc)-

1) Communicating ideas to students/academia from industry then maintaining communication in order to get the results?
2) No effective way of communicating to academia?
3) No want to engage with academia?
4) No actual need to do so?

I am really interested to see if links between DF industry and academia can be improved and then how?

I was wondering whether developing a bespoke platform, specifically for managing this purpose may be something which would be valuable? I know that there is a project link in this forum, but it doesnt seem to get updated often. Is this an issue which a) can be solved, b) is worth solving and; c) industry practitioners like yourselves would actually participate and actively be involved in and why?

To provide a bit of info, academics usually supervise the projects requiring minimal input from industry, just the idea, and a bit of scope from which to get started. On closure, feedback and results can be given.

In addition, its not even just student levels where interest exist, but more advanced researchers would like to engage more often for projects which really do pose an issue to industry, myself included.

Look forward to hearing your thoughts

Quote
Posted : 27/07/2017 2:55 am
RolfGutmann
(@rolfgutmann)
Community Legend

Academia is welcome but coaching them is beyond time resources

ReplyQuote
Posted : 27/07/2017 3:01 am
tootypeg
(@tootypeg)
Active Member

Academia is welcome but coaching them is beyond time resources

I agree, but as I said, if this process is managed correctly, support is provided by academic staff. What is only required is the initial idea/area/problem context from which to then pursue the research and construct a solution which can be fed back to the client.

Is this an issue people harbour - that they believe that in providing the idea, they become the supervisor?

ReplyQuote
Posted : 27/07/2017 3:06 am
RolfGutmann
(@rolfgutmann)
Community Legend

By providing the idea you naturally become the supervisor. Sometimes I feel that students are closer to Raspberry Pie and kind of closed in their expectations. They suffer from having a clear strategy for themselves. This then result in a lack of own ideas and motivation.

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Posted : 27/07/2017 3:20 am
tootypeg
(@tootypeg)
Active Member

By providing the idea you naturally become the supervisor. Sometimes I feel that students are closer to Raspberry Pie and kind of closed in their expectations. They suffer from having a clear strategy for themselves. This then result in a lack of own ideas and motivation.

Not necessarily, providing the idea is enough, students must then take this and effectively research and independently carry out the work. However I can understand concerns etc and obviously I dont know what past experiences have been like for people. If the process was managed correctly, ensuring minimal requirements from the practitioner, could it be valid and worthwhile?

ReplyQuote
Posted : 27/07/2017 3:23 am
RolfGutmann
(@rolfgutmann)
Community Legend

Students can bring in new fresh-minded thinking and often newest research know-how. From outside LEO there is a lack of understanding that for us its not so easy to open 'our doors'. Secrecy is the problem.

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Posted : 27/07/2017 3:30 am
tootypeg
(@tootypeg)
Active Member

Students can bring in new fresh-minded thinking and often newest research know-how. From outside LEO there is a lack of understanding that for us its not so easy to open 'our doors'. Secrecy is the problem.

I can understand privacy is an issue for some, but could an idea / problem area not be sanitised/generalised. context may not always be necessary in order to allow effective research to take place.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 27/07/2017 3:42 am
RolfGutmann
(@rolfgutmann)
Community Legend

Sanitized somehow misses the real issue internally. But there are plenty of ideas on the street. Forensics of AI, VR, cars, IoT, secure messaging, satellite hacking, GPS MITM, 5G Forensicsā€¦

ReplyQuote
Posted : 27/07/2017 3:47 am
tootypeg
(@tootypeg)
Active Member

I can understand the issue. But I suppose what is required is some form of briefing. What the technology is and what issues it causes etc. Then it can be explored. There are equipment issues to also consider so also these must be factored in, but for an initial input, there is potential for an output which could be valuable.

I get the impression that engagement might be an issue, but could be overcome if it could be effectively implemented and managed?

ReplyQuote
Posted : 27/07/2017 3:27 pm
jaclaz
(@jaclaz)
Community Legend

Personally (and being outside BOTH the professional digital forensics AND academia) I find your idea/proposal very interesting ) .

From the outside I have noticed more or less the same issues, some were at the time expressed in the interview here, JFYI
http//www.forensicfocus.com/c/aid=65/interviews/2013/jacopo-forum-member-jaclaz/
And somehow discussed here
http//www.forensicfocus.com/Forums/viewtopic/t=10903/

I presume that the basic issues (which I have noticed in other fields also) are
1) a detachment of academia from "real life", accompanied - generally speaking - by some sort of superiority complex affecting academics towards "professionals"
2) the lack of connections between what is taught at UNI and what is actually required on the job
3) the "attitude" by actual employers (this is also "generic" enough and not specific to digital forensics) of using (clueless) HR firms for recruiting potential employees requiring besides a degree also extensive knowledge on a number of things that are not even thinkable a junior candidate can actually have, and surely not at the low entry level salary (often) offered, while. on the other hand, intern placements or similar are extremely rare

A project like yours could mitigate #1 and #2, and that would be of great help to better the overall scenario, including indirectly #3.

jaclaz

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Posted : 27/07/2017 7:01 pm
tootypeg
(@tootypeg)
Active Member

Some interesting points here, and as I am from academia I can put my perspective forward particularly with regards to you 3 points.

1) - I think academics can have a detachment, but I have not experienced a superiority complex attitude. I constantly look to collaborate and work with practitioners to support the field. I believe that academic research has a main goal of supporting industry. The problem I see is that sometimes its not always clear what industry wants. If this was clear, resources could be examined and directed towards dealing with these challenges.

Without direct influence from industry, sometimes 'problems' can be tackled based on assumptions that they pose a problem in industry. They may not.

2)I am very interested in a separate but contextually connected issue surrounding industry needs and subsequent implementation in academia. This needs to be done on a large scale but requires substantial input from industry which is difficult to get.

From my perspective, I would love students to have a pool of topics to tackle with the support of academics (formally as part of their course) and then in the knowledge that the work have direct context and relevance, building industry skills and knowledge. I would envisage that beside an initial draft of an idea, over the space of an academic year, a practitioners may only need to have contact with a student once or twice, briefly to discuss progress and initial findings, then again to demonstrate results. I would like to think that this is achievable given the potential contribution a student could make.

I have some issues which may be tricky. First, identifying a platform and system of management of ideas. Second, managing engagement.

From my perspective, I find it very frustrating when trying to find existing field problems from which to undertake research, so I imagine students also do - albeit some might go about finding a project the wrong way.

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Posted : 27/07/2017 7:47 pm
jaclaz
(@jaclaz)
Community Legend

From my perspective, I find it very frustrating when trying to find existing field problems from which to undertake research, so I imagine students also do - albeit some might go about finding a project the wrong way.

BUT, there is a list of possible research fields/topics here
https://www.forensicfocus.com/Forums/viewtopic/t=6829/
http//www.forensicfocus.com/project-ideas
since years.

What *regularly* happens
https://www.forensicfocus.com/Forums/viewtopic/t=14528/
https://www.forensicfocus.com/Forums/viewtopic/p=6587750/#6587750

jaclaz

ReplyQuote
Posted : 27/07/2017 10:25 pm
tootypeg
(@tootypeg)
Active Member

From my perspective, I find it very frustrating when trying to find existing field problems from which to undertake research, so I imagine students also do - albeit some might go about finding a project the wrong way.

BUT, there is a list of possible research fields/topics here
https://www.forensicfocus.com/Forums/viewtopic/t=6829/
http//www.forensicfocus.com/project-ideas
since years.

What *regularly* happens
https://www.forensicfocus.com/Forums/viewtopic/t=14528/
https://www.forensicfocus.com/Forums/viewtopic/p=6587750/#6587750

jaclaz

Ah yes, I am aware of this set of projects on here. I suspect not many people take them up as I dont think the list has been edited in a few years.

My thoughts are that this may be due to more detail being required or some context, or even a lack of a contact from which to have an initial contextualising discuss of the project and then set off on the research journey.

This is an example of what worries me about doing something like this, as it is an existing strategy but one that doesnt seem to have work in the context of getting project uptake and collaboration.

I wonder if practitioners have maybe disengaged from it and students just haven't got on board or seen something which is in their opinion some they can tackle.

I also think that to make sure wasted time is cut down, it needs managing from a level above the student. A middle man- sort of. Someone to oversee the project and make sure that it is implemented and disseminated effectively. In this sense, it could fit in quite well with existing dissertation formal requirements if managed well.

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Posted : 27/07/2017 11:03 pm
jaclaz
(@jaclaz)
Community Legend

I suspect not many people take them up as I dont think the list has been edited in a few years.

Your suspects are exactly what I gave as certainty in my post
https://www.forensicfocus.com/Forums/viewtopic/p=6587750/#6587750

My thoughts are that this may be due to more detail being required or some context, or even a lack of a contact from which to have an initial contextualising discuss of the project and then set off on the research journey.

With all due respect ) , very unlikely to be the issue, or IF this is the actual issue we are doomed ( .

Going back to this particular pet peeve of mine, that list of ideas/topics is not aimed to the "general public", it is aimed to a rather narrow subset of people that
1) are studying or have studied exactly the same matter (or very contiguous one)
2) are near the end of their course of studies (let's say 1 year before the degree)
3) their course of studies is related (or should be related ) to a career as (digital) forensics investigator or expert
4) that are (hopefully) within (say) 2 years from entering the professional world as a (digital) forensics investigator or expert (junior as much as you want, but still an investigator or expert)
5) need - in order to get the degree - to work on a dissertation on a related topic

In my perverted mind a (digital) forensics investigator or expert is someone whose work is to find here and there traces or fragments of information and from these (limited) traces or fragments be able to rebuild (with as much detail as possible) a whole (plausible and provable) story of what happened.

Is it really *needed* (for this specific, narrow subset of people) to (say)? šŸ˜Æ
a.) number the ideas with an unequivocal reference
b.) provide an article explaining in detail the possible applications of the idea, its possible branching, the similarities to similar existing approaches, cross reference to previous work and current state-of-the-art
c.) provide the name of a "tutor" that on a 11 basis will counsel on further details, steps to take, etc. or however guide through the initial taking of the project
d.) keep a register of who ("applicant") has taken what idea and periodically update on the status of the project
e.) whatever else

It seems to me that if any of the above is actually *needed*, the level of the "applicant" in 2 years time (i.e. on the job) won't and cannot be the one that anyone in the industry would expect.

Now, that list (right or wrong) has been compiled by jamie based on suggestions of members, if we exclude that the ideas there have been submitted in bad faith or in order to trick the poor student into unneeded work, they represent what people more or less in the field (often since many years) find lacking.

So, *somehow* this is the problem

I wonder if practitioners have maybe disengaged from it and students just haven't got on board or seen something which is in their opinion some they can tackle.

Practitioners are NOT engaged at all, they provide(d) some ideas, that's it.
Students seem to find the board just fine (even if the fact that a soon-to-be-investigator ALWAYS needs to start a new topic asking for the ideas/dissertation topics as noone finds it should say something). (just for the record besides searching for it, it is one of the 3 stickies in the "Education and Training Forum")

If in their opinion they don't even begin to tackle ANY of the ideas in there because they are ALL too difficult or complex, and they cannot find even one suitable. then there is a BIG problem (IMHO).

Remember that those ideas are what the (experienced) members of the board find missing/lacking, it is not that you can change the list replacing topics with "easier" ones, or (like I suspect happens in academia) with "re-known" ones.

When these students will be on the job, (I repeat not decades in the future, possibly 1 or 2 years from now) they will most probably need to tackle much more complex and serious problems with no or little counsel/assistance and it is not like in real life you can choose to face this simpler problem instead of that more difficult one.

And BTW the future profession of these students is not one that has not heavy consequences, they will contribute to put people in jail or to exonerate them, to make people and/or firms pay (or not pay) huge sums of money, it would be much better for the society if they know what they are doing.

I also think that to make sure wasted time is cut down, it needs managing from a level above the student. A middle man- sort of. Someone to oversee the project and make sure that it is implemented and disseminated effectively. In this sense, it could fit in quite well with existing dissertation formal requirements if managed well.

Yes ), that may be - as said - a role that I would find extremely useful, though it will be needed (provided that the list a.-e. I made above makes any sense and is actually *needed*) to decide who does what.
I would guess that
a.) could be made by jamie or scar
b.) ???
c.) maybe tootypeg
d.) possibly (provided that feedback is given) by scar or some other member of the board
e.) ???

jaclaz

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Posted : 28/07/2017 1:50 am
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