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Forensic Science Professionals

CSAFE Forensic Learning Opportunities

Harness tools and training that will help improve your accuracy, objectivity and communication as a forensic scientist or stakeholder.

In a joint collaboration between CSAFE researchers and forensic scientists, we develop and facilitate publicly available programs that amplify existing knowledge or build new competencies in the statistical analysis and interpretation of forensic evidence. These programs include short courses, webinars, workshops, and research updates that touch on a variety of topics relevant to the diverse forensic and applied forensic science communities. Check back regularly for new programs, and please contact Anthony Greiter, learning and development specialist, with any interest in educational collaborations or with questions.

Upcoming Events

Registration is now open for these events.

Available Courses

SAMPLING FOR FORENSIC PRACTITIONERS

Session 1: September 30, 2021 — 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. CDT
Session 2: October 7, 2021 — 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. CDT

STATISICAL THINKING FOR FORENSIC PRACTITIONERS

Session 1: October 22, 2021 — 10 a.m. – Noon CDT
Session 2: November 5, 2021 — 10 a.m. – Noon CDT
Session 3: November 19, 2021 — 10 a.m. – Noon CST

Stay Tuned

CSAFE is constantly developing programs to share with the student community. Watch here for news of upcoming events and other programs.

Available Resources
for Forensic Science Professionals

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Latent print quality in blind proficiency testing: Using quality metrics to examine laboratory performance

Type: Research Area(s):

Published: 2021 | By: Brett O. Gardner

Calls for blind proficiency testing in forensic science disciplines intensified following the 2009 National Academy of Sciences report and were echoed in the 2016 report by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Both practitioners and scholars have…

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Using mixture models to examine group difference among jurors: an illustration involving the perceived strength of forensic science evidence

Type: Research Area(s):

Published: 2021 | By: Naomi Kaplan-Damary

The way in which jurors perceive reports of forensic evidence is of critical importance, especially in cases of forensic identification evidence that require examiners to compare items and assess whether they originate from a common source. The current study discusses…

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Battling to a draw: Defense expert rebuttal can neutralize prosecution fingerprint evidence

Type: Research Area(s):

Published: 2021 | By: Gregory Mitchell

The present study examined whether a defense rebuttal expert can effectively educate jurors on the risk that the prosecution's fingerprint expert made an error. Using a sample of 1716 jury-eligible adults, we examined the impact of three types of rebuttal…

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Recognition of Overlapping Elliptical Objects in a Binary Image

Type: Research Area(s):

Published: 2021 | By: Tong Zou

Recognition of overlapping objects is required in many applications in the field of computer vision. Examples include cell segmentation, bubble detection and bloodstain pattern analysis. This paper presents a method to identify overlapping objects by approximating them with ellipses. The…

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CSAFE 2021 Field Update

CSAFE 2021 Field Update

Type: , Research Area(s): ,,,,,,,,

The 2021 Field Update was held June 14, 2021, and served as the closing to the first year of CSAFE 2.0. CSAFE brought together researchers, forensic science partners and interested community members to highlight the organization’s achievements, identify areas for…


Computer program source code on computer screen

Algorithms in Forensic Science: Challenges, Considerations, and a Path Forward

Type: Research Area(s): ,

This CSAFE webinar was held on May 25, 2021. Presenter: Henry Swofford Ph.D. Candidate – University of Lausanne Presentation Description: Over the years, scientific and legal scholars have called for the implementation of algorithms (e.g., statistical methods) in forensic science…


Mt. Everest—we are going to lose many: a survey of fingerprint examiners’ attitudes towards probabilistic reporting

Type: Research Area(s):

Published: 2021 | By: H. Swofford

Over the past decade, with increasing scientific scrutiny on forensic reporting practices, there have been several efforts to introduce statistical thinking and probabilistic reasoning into forensic practice. These efforts have been met with mixed reactions—a common one being scepticism, or…

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Assessing Footwear Examiner Performance

Type: Research Area(s):

This CSAFE webinar was held on May 13, 2021. Presenter: Corey Katz Graduate Researcher, University of California, Irvine Presentation Description: There has recently been increased attention on the reliability and validity of methods used in the analysis of forensic evidence.…


Statistical Thinking for Forensic Practitioners Short Course – Session 3

Type: Research Area(s):

Session 3 of this three-part CSAFE short course was held on April 23, 2021. Presenter: Hal Stern Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor, Chancellor's Professor, University of California, Irvine CSAFE Co-Director Presentation Description: The National Academies report in 2009 and the…


Statistical Thinking for Forensic Practitioners Short Course – Session 2

Type: Research Area(s):

Session 2 of this three-part CSAFE short course was held on April 9, 2021. Presenter: Alicia Carriquiry Distinguished Professor in the Department of Statistics, CSAFE Director Presentation Description: Statistical ideas such as sampling, point and interval estimation of population quantities,…


IRT for Forensics

Type: Research Area(s):

This CSAFE webinar was held on April 8, 2021. Presenter: Amanda Luby Assistant Professor of Statistics, Swarthmore College Presentation Description: In this webinar, Amanda Luby explored how Item Response Theory (IRT), a class of statistical methods used prominently in educational…


Judges and forensic science education: A national survey

Type: Research Area(s):

Published: 2021 | By: Brandon L. Garrett

In criminal cases, forensic science reports and expert testimony play an increasingly important role in adjudication. More states now follow a federal reliability standard, which calls upon judges to assess the reliability and validity of scientific evidence. Little is known…

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Statistical Thinking for Forensic Practitioners Short Course – Session 1

Type: Research Area(s):

Session 1 of this three-part CSAFE short course was held on March 26, 2021. Presenter: Hal Stern Chancellor's Professor in the Department of Statistics, CSAFE Co-Director Presentation Description: Probability Concepts and their Relevance to Forensic Science is the first session…


Latent print comparison and examiner conclusions: A field analysis of case processing in one crime laboratory

Type: Research Area(s):

Published: 2021 | By: Brett O. Gardner

Scholarship on the latent print comparison process has expanded in recent years, responsive to the call for rigorous research by scholarly groups (e.g., National Academy of Sciences, 2009; President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, 2016). Important to the…

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Computer software source code on a screen.

Source Code on Trial

Type: Research Area(s): ,

This CSAFE symposium was held on March 12, 2021. Presenter: Professor Edward Imwinkelried Edward L. Barrett, Jr. Professor of Law Emeritus, University of California - Davis School of Law Panelists: Professor Ric Simmons, The Ohio State University, Moritz College of…


Writing CSAFE

Handwriting Analysis at CSAFE

Type: Research Area(s):

This CSAFE webinar was held on March 11, 2021. Presenter: Alicia Carriquiry Distinguished Professor and President's Chair in Statistics, CSAFE Director Presentation Description: Forensic handwriting analysis relies on the principle of individuality: no two writers produce identical writing, and given…


A clustering method for graphical handwriting components and statistical writership analysis

Type: Research Area(s):

Published: 2020 | By: Amy M. Crawford

Handwritten documents can be characterized by their content or by the shape of the written characters. We focus on the problem of comparing a person's handwriting to a document of unknown provenance using the shape of the writing, as is…

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Treatment of Inconclusive Results in Error Rates of Firearm Studies

Type: Research Area(s):

This CSAFE webinar was held on February 10, 2021. Presenters: Heike Hofmann Professor and Kingland Faculty Fellow, Iowa State University Susan VanderPlas Research Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska, Lincoln Alicia Carriquiry Distinguished Professor and President's Chair in Statistics, CSAFE Director…


Statistical Methods for the Forensic Analysis of User-Event Data

Type: , Research Area(s):

Published: 2020 | By: Christopher Galbraith

A common question in forensic analysis is whether two observed data sets originate from the same source or from different sources. Statistical approaches to addressing this question have been widely adopted within the forensics community, particularly for DNA evidence, providing…

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Psychometric analysis of forensic examiner behavior

Type: Research Area(s):

Published: 2020 | By: Amanda Luby

Forensic science often involves the comparison of crime-scene evidence to a known-source sample to determine if the evidence and the reference sample came from the same source. Even as forensic analysis tools become increasingly objective and automated, final source identifications…

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