15 September 2017
Lecturer of Information and Library Sciences (IIP), Faculty of Social and Political Sciences (FISIP), UNAIR, Imam Yuadi received prestigious award from National Chiao Tung University (NCTU), Taiwan. He earned a PhD with the status, outstanding contribution award.
With a social science education background, Imam Yuadi’s intention to study science didn’t decrease by taking up digital forensics. His journey itself was winding, but his motivation was one, and that was to quickly graduate.
Imam had to adapt with digital forensics as a computer science. His dissertation titled Digital Forensics of Printed Sources Identification was pursued within five years, a relatively short time for doctoral studies at NCTU. Because, Imam stated, to enter or be accepted in NCTU doesn’t necessarily mean that they could graduate easily. “It’s quite difficult to get out of this university (graduate, Red),” he said.
Among the seven Indonesian students studying there, only two have graduated. One of them is Imam who was lucky to graduate quickly.
His studies in NCTU were received from a scholarship. At that time Imam’s only thought was getting a Letter of Acceptance (LoA) or a recommendation from the professor of the intended department. Imam was then successful in getting a promoter.
Initially, he imagined he would take the study of information management, something certainly related to social research methods and statistics. However, his estimation slipped and he was shocked. It turned out his campus was full with electro studies. Many students were involved in digital forensics. The laboratory also dealt with multimedia business applications.
Already in too deep, Imam had to keep going. Inevitably, he had to adapt, and it took him two years to do that.
If it can be compared, NCTU is like the ITB of Indonesia. Many technicians are milling about and eventhough Imam had chosen the information management department, his lecturers came from electoral engineering, industrial engineering, and computer science. “Stressed for two years. I doubted I could follow the course, especially from my professors,” he said.
In the first two years, Imam had to take 38 credits. He must also pass the course qualification exam drawn from four different professors, including the professor who guided Imam.
Actually, the husband of Five Seodisa Adha Purnama Hidayat chose another professor. Namely, a professor who handled statistical analysis with quantitative data. However, it seemed the professor wasn’t available. The proof was no replies came up in Imam’s email. ''The email reply I got was my professor now,'' he said.
Apparently other students tried to avoid that professor. In addition to his research field which was difficult, the person was very stubborn. ''Other students already knew this, while I didn’t know. But, I had already chosen him,'' he said.
In the first two years, Imam admitted how hard it was to go to college. He had no knowledge of science at all. However, he did not give up and kept learning. He began to follow the material after the second year. '' For the qualifying exam, I took his course (professor, Red),'' he explained.
The man who has been teaching in UNAIR since 1999 has not been able to start research until the second year. Because, he still has a lot to learn. Only in the third year did he start writing. This included attending conferences and writing journals.
Imam said, writing a journal in NCTU is also not easy. It has to be in the Scopus index, the page that contains the reference library of the work of scientists from around the world. Students are required to write a journal that is indexed in science citation index (SCI). Usually, he explained, if it was indexed in SCI is would also be indexed in Scopus. ''Although not always,'' he emphasized.
Imam, also the father of three children had to adjust to the campus. Luckily, the academic atmosphere on campus was very supportive. In the NCTU neighborhood, there was a science park.
There were several information technology companies behind the campus area. The companies and campuses are interconnected. Research in NCTU is immediately sold to the company and the company orders from the researchers on campus. It’s like the campus is a place for research and development (RnD) for these companies. '' If Indonesia could do that, it would be good. Our people wouldn’t lose'' he said
The man who teaches digital library explained that his dissertation carries an investigation of printed documents to determine the type of original printer using machine learning method. "Digital forensics is vast. I focus on digital images, not closing the possibility on digital voices, '' he explained.
Falsification of diplomas, for example. A diploma document can be known to be genuine or not quickly through digital forensics. There are certain methods used to know authenticity. When an image or document is printed, the printout used can be identified.
Digitalization of documents or books will go through scanning process. When the document is limited and only belongs to a particular agency, similar documents that exist in public should be investigated. It could be due to a leak or counterfeiting. ''This can be traced. Its related to criminal law,'' he said.
Alumnus S-2 Technology Management Institute of Technology Sepuluh Nopember mentioned, although difficult, he had his own motivation to immediately complete the study. He wanted to graduate fast. Moreover, he was far from his family and hometown. The heaviest moment was not being able to see his son attending the mathematics Olympiad in 2016.
During his studies and research, the road was not always smooth. He was even reviled by his professor. It was because the algorithm he made was considered wrong. The data was considered overlapping. Even though, overlapping is really necessary so that information is not lost. ''According to him it was wrong. In fact, the journal has been published,'' he said.
Imam could only be silent when his professor complained. Because, he also realized that he didn’t have supporting material that could strengthen his research. ''It's useless to supervise you if you’re like this,'' Imam mimicked his professor. After that Imam's mentality fell and he fell ill.
Although regretting having chosen a professor with a electrical engineering background, he didn’t surrender. He continued to browse about research that matched his research. He managed to find one journal. The journal stated that the technique used in taking pictures or images by the researcher was the same as that of Imam. Imam feeling relieved, then presented it.
Imam explained, the overlapping method could also be done to identify lung cancer a.k.a medical forensics. That data is then used as a reference. '' My professor finally thought it over and even asked me to explore this cancer, '' he said.
During his research, he often spent time in the laboratory to conduct experiments. In fact almost every day he would sleep in the laboratory and rarely return to his campus dormitory. According to Imam, because the educational rules, spending 24 hours in the lab is common.
In the lab, he could work on his research program. Therefore, it took at least 26 days nonstop to select the data. Imam needed to finish this in fast time, because if the data was not updated right away, he will lose time.
To relieve stress, Imam filled his time by painting. He also rewarded his professor with a picture of waves. He liked to paint since junior high school. ''My professor is glad I gave him a painting,'' he said.
During the study, Imam produced eight internationally published works. Among these, four international journals are indexed in the science citation index (SCI) and Scopus. Also, four international publications at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) conference were presented in Seattle and Arizona (USA), Lisbon (Portugal), as well as Moscow (Russia).
In the future, digital forensics could be used not only for the library field, but also for other scientific fields. For example, the field of anthropology studies related to the identification of human skeletons. ''Taken pictures, can be identified. With data, it is very possible,'' he explained. It could also be for linguistics, medicine, and other fields of science.
A motivation to quickly graduate, it seems, became the spirit of Imam. While studying D-3 at the UNAIR Library Technique Studies Program, Imam also finished it within 2.5 years. The man who was born in Ponorogo, May 4, 1975, did not want to burden his parents at that time. He also lives frugally by cooking by himself and bringing rice from the village. He succeeded in becoming the youngest, fastest, and best graduate.
EDITOR : MIFTAKHUL F.S