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Department seminar by Karen Kafadar, University of VirginiaExport this event to calendar

Thursday, September 13, 2018 — 4:00 PM EDT

The Critical Role of Statistics in Evaluating Forensic Evidence


Statisticians have been important contributors to many areas of science, including chemistry (chemometrics), biology (genomics),  medicine (clinical trials), and agriculture (crop yield), leading  to valuable advances in statistical research that have benefitted multiple fields (e.g., spectral analysis, penalized regression,  sequential analysis, experimental design).  Yet the involvement of statistics specifically in forensic science has not been nearly as extensive, especially in view of its importance (ensuring proper administration of justice) and the value it has demonstrated thus far (e.g., forensic DNA, assessment of bullet lead evidence, significance of findings in the U.S. anthrax investigation,  reliability of eyewitness identification).  Forensic methods in many areas remain unvalidated, as recent investigations have highlighted (notably, bite marks and hair analysis).  In this talk, I will provide three examples (including one with data kindly provided by Canadian Forensic Service) where statistics plays a vital role in evaluating forensic evidence and motivate statistical research that can have both theoretical and practical value, and ultimately strengthen forensic evidence.

Location 
M3 - Mathematics 3
Room: 3127
200 University Avenue West

Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1
Canada

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