Still digesting my last two weeks, and with some spare time at the moment, to digest the amount of information I got, I need to write this post before the mood is gone.
So on my last blog, if you read it, I was stuck in Istanbul due to weather conditions.
Eventually (hopefully tbh!), I got a new flight to my final destination, Beijing.
Before talking about the city itself, let’s talk about serious content: my data collection and my project discussed with Chinese examiners.
It was very interesting the way Chinese examiners found my project relevant. Honestly I was surprised with so many common points I found on their motivations to carry their job as fingerprint examiners. Probably I was expecting much more differences as I was, actually(!), in the other side of the world. But apparently, their motivations were, in some cases, pretty similar to examiners I’ve been speaking with in western countries. I started the data collection on the laptop experiments. This was very interesting as well, their approach was in the beginning a bit reluctant as I am presenting my stimuli for a short period of time, and examiners were a bit afraid of their performance. I ensured them that this was only an experiment, and not a real case work. The main objectives were explained, and after some discussion we were ready to start. I did 9 interviews and laptop experiments, which in my opinion was pretty good, taking into consideration that I lost two days of work due to the delay of my flight.
Dr Liu Shiquan arranged four students (two PhD and two MSc) fromPeople’s Public Security University of China to be with me at all time. This was amazing for either translations reasons, and also to make me feel comfortable. I really need to say:
THANK YOU for all of your hospitality Ai Le, Liu Zhe, Dan Song and Luoxi Liu!!!
I also had the chance to meet Professor Luo Yaping, who was extremely kind during my stay. We had the chance to discuss an article that her student is writing which was really interesting, and during lunches I had the opportunity to meet Professor Christophe Champod and Dr Alexander Gyrod, with whom I had a very good discussion about my project. At the beginning I found that I was being tested to be honest, but afterwards it all went alright, and some new ideas came to the table, which by the way, was full of food!
[oh man, the food was always coming in astronomic quantities!!! Some new experiences which were a bit different for a simple western guy, but some others really delicious!]
Dr Shiquan also arranged his old colleague Wong Jyu who took me to do some sightseeing on Sunday and Monday before the time for my flight. Although the cold was way more than I expected (-18º), the walking mixed with good food and tea was an amazing time. Thanks a lot for your time Jyu!!! 🙂
Finally, I would like to thank again to Liu Shiquan, for all of the hospitality and kindness he provided me as well to all of the fingerprint examiners who were really keen taking part on my research. I’m very grateful for all you have done for me during my journey! If it wasn’t for the distance, I would come along next week! (with no flight delays on the way though!!!).
If you want to know People’s Public Security University of China, just click here! 🙂 (there is an official website which you can visit and use a tool to translate the contents if you don’t know Chinese).
On my way, I was supposed to arrive in Brussels to visit Frédéric Quewet at the Belgium Bureau of Identification and his colleagues who do fingerprint analysis to continue the data collection journey. But of course, Murphy was watching me, and thought it could be important to remember him again, so my flight from Istanbul to Brussels got cancelled… Instead of three hours at the Ataturk airport, I needed to stay 6 hours. I cancelled my appointments for that day since I would arrive later than it was suppose, and after a – more or less – battle with the ground team, I surrended I went to a hotel for three hours to have a shower and two hours of sleep, which btw, seemed like 8!
12:50pm I was already in my flight. Destination Brussels!
Brussels was trying to remember me and Silke, who also went to visit the Belgium Bureau, UK’s weather, as we only got one day without any rain.
[ANNOUNCEMENT: I will never speak badly about UK’s weather. Actually, I LOVE UK’s WEATHER!!!] – at least the next few months…
On Wednesday morning Silke and I went to the bureau, but not without getting “une sandwich avec le brie et un èclair”. Belgium is the most danger place for people who love chocolate! I would say that maybe even more than Switzerland..!
At the bureau, we met with Xavier De Borggraef who showed us around and the rooms the team provided us to do our data collection. The day before Silke did a presentation and the team was already expecting us to come and to start our research. They all were extremely keen and generous in their time, since some examiners took some of their non working hours to complete our experiments. Thank you very much to all!
[fingerprint analysis it’s not only made with technology and computers… check the picture below!]
On my part, I found that the examiners were very keen also in the bit of the focus to the motivations to the work, as well as the laptop experiment. I don’t have analyzed results yet, but I’m sure they will be very receptive to some results and possible suggestions. Even had the opportunity to see their informatic system working when Hoa Nguyen who is also a fingerprint examiner at the bureau showed it to me!
Frédéric Quewet was really keen in our work, and we had some great discussions with him about possibilities to present the work in the future, and within one of them, Silke and I with also Etienne, were invited to present some results at one webinar held by the European Division of the IAI!! – This got us surprised, since we were (at least I was) only tasting a great Orval (amazing Belgium beer) and some cheese!
At the night, we also did kind of a marathon through the places to see in Belgium with Frédéric, which was amazing! Ah… and the Belgium fries with fricadelle!
What an amazing journey. There would be more to say, but then this wouldn’t be a blog post, and would become a chapter… I am extremely grateful to all of the examiners who took part on the research and to all of the great insights I was provided with.
I’m looking forward to continue this journey, but now let me rest, rehearse my presentation for the 5th Feb as we will present our works at the mid-term review of the INTREPID Forensics Programme (nervous!) and cook some meal – they say it’s important to eat!
See you all very soon!
Ps. Yes, I didn’t forget my video. And yes, now I have to videos coming out soon. But priorities first. Although I must say, one of the videos will make Leicester very happy, even (still) cloudy xD
Pss. Sorry Etienne…