David-Olivier, tell us a bit about yourself. What first sparked your interest in digital forensics, and what is your current role?
I studied Mathematics and did my PhD in number theory! You may wonder what the link with DF is?
Mathematics led me to cryptology, then to privacy and data protection, and eventually to new forms of identities in the information society.
I am currently full professor at the School of Criminal Sciences of the University of Lausanne. I recently created and now lead a new master program in digital investigation and identification.Talk us through a typical day in your life; what does your job entail?
There is no typical day… My job entails all responsibilities of a full professor: research activities; coaching of students, mainly Master and PhD students; teaching; projects acquisition; links with partners, companies, law enforcement, etc.; last but not least, administrative responsibilities to support our school.
You're Event Chairman at DFRWS EU in Switzerland this year. Tell us a bit about the conference and what attendees can expect from the programme this year.
DFRWS EU is a unique opportunity for attendees to meet leading researchers, developers, practitioners and educators in digital forensics from all around the world, in an informal and collaborative environment. The program is, as usual, a perfect mixture between academic results, practical workshops and new challenges.
In your opinion, what are some of the foremost challenges facing digital forensic investigators today, and how does DFRWS help to address these?
One of the foremost challenges in digital forensics is to cope with the rapid changes and new developments in the digital world: How to stay up-to-date? How to share experiences in order to become globally more efficient? How to transfer knowledge and best practices between practitioners? How to see new tendencies and forthcoming technical challenges?
DFRWS social events, the famous digital “rodeo challenge” as well as the variety of addressed topics during the presentations help address these challenges.
A conference like DFRWS helps to identify important players and potential partners in our field.
The conference is taking place in Switzerland at the end of March. Why was this venue chosen, and what local sights will attendees be able to visit as part of the social programme?
The University of Lausanne is home of the School of Criminal Sciences (ESC), the oldest academic forensic institution in the world, which was created in 1909. The ESC is also a founding member of the ENFSI and is famous worldwide for its broad expertise in forensic science. Several ESC PhD graduates lead academic forensic department on other continents, for example in Canada and in Australia.
Last but not least, the Uni campus is a beautiful place overlooking the lake of Geneva with a striking view of the Swiss and French Alps.
Attendees will be very busy with the conference itself. However we have organized a few social and cultural events. For example, we will visit the Olympic museum on Tuesday evening. Indeed, the city of Lausanne is the home of the World Olympic Committee. I have heard that some attendees will stay longer and take the opportunity to visit the Alps and other parts of Switzerland.
Finally, when you're not working and chairing conferences, what do you like to do in your spare time?
I appreciate going to the movie theatre or watching a good DVD! My family also likes to play the typical Swiss game of cards “Jass”. I also like skiing, biking, swimming and taking long walks with my family and our wolf-like dog.
During the holidays, I like to travel with my family, to discover new countries and different cultures.
DFRWS EU 2016 runs from the 29th-31th of March in Lausanne, Switzerland. Find out more and register to attend here.