"It's not an example of forensic science in any way, shape or form," says the 22 year-old student in her fourth year. "We're actually told not to watch the show. But it's how the interest starts for most students."
Prospective students can't help but admire the way the CSI characters master complicated procedures and technologies while also kicking a little butt and looking so darn good. But as much as the show perverts true forensic science, the program at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology includes its fair share of gadgets.
First-year students in forensic science receive a laptop filled with specialized software. (UOIT provides laptops to all students.) In their third year, students exchange their laptop for a tablet and also work with UBS-powered microscopes and special software that helps them process evidence at crime scenes. That's where UOIT goes the extra mile.
The school has created a simulated crime scene on a property close to the university, replete with fake blood and other kinds of evidence. "We use the tablet to take all of our scene notes," Ms. Bygarski says. "The whole school is also on a wireless network so no matter where you are on campus you can print, get class notes or read a last-minute e-mail from a professor."
So what kind of forensic work does she hope to do after graduation? "I'm interested in forensic entomology," she says. "That's the study of insects [in criminal matters]" Kind of like what the character Gil Grissom did on the original CSI. "Yeah, like Grissom," she says.