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Apply our Research in Practice

Individuals in the courtroom, including judges, attorneys, and jury members, are challenged with interpreting the probabilistic evidence provided by new forensic methods. CSAFE is committed to providing up-to-date training to allow the legal community to fairly evaluate and communicate forensic conclusions. Judges, who under Daubert have the role of gate-keepers for the science that gets admitted into evidence in federal (and many) state courts, need specific knowledge to make appropriate decisions on matters of admissibility and expert testimony and to guide jurors in their deliberations when complex technical evidence is presented at trial.

Through collaborations with other national agencies, CSAFE provides legal education offerings at the intersection of forensics, statistics, and law –– both online and in-person –– to promote quantitative literacy among the legal community. Check back regularly for new offerings, and please contact us with any interest in educational collaborations or with questions.

Upcoming Events

Registration is now open for these events.

Introduction to Statistical Thinking for Judges

In the second edition of the Science Bench Book for Judges, a new section written by CSAFE researchers helps explain some of the common concepts used in statistical analysis. Judges will gain an understanding of the basics, including populations and samples, before moving on to different types of data that might arise in legal proceedings.

Available Resources
For the Legal Community

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Statistical Methods for the Forensic Analysis of Geolocated Event Data

Type: Research Area(s):

Published: 2020 | By: Christopher Galbraith

A common question in forensic analysis is whether two observed data sets originated 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. Here…

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Statistical methods for the forensic analysis of geolocated event data

Type: Research Area(s):

Published: 2020 | By: Chris Galbraith

A common question in forensic analysis is whether two observed data sets originated 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. Here…

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Implementation of a Blind Quality Control Program in a Forensic Laboratory

Type: Research Area(s): ,

Published: 2019 | By: Callan Hund

A blind quality control (QC) program was successfully developed and implemented in the Toxicology, Seized Drugs, Firearms, Latent Prints (Processing and Comparison), Forensic Biology, and Multimedia (Digital and Audio/Video) sections at the Houston Forensic Science Center (HFSC). The program was…

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Comparison of three similarity scores for bullet LEA matching

Type: Research Area(s):

Published: 2020 | By: Susan VanderPlas

Recent advances in microscopy have made it possible to collect 3D topographic data, enabling more precise virtual comparisons based on the collected 3D data as a supplement to traditional comparison microscopy and 2D photography. Automatic comparison algorithms have been introduced…

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Error Rates, Likelihood Ratios, and Jury Evaluation of Forensic Evidence

Type: Research Area(s):

Published: 2020 | By: Brandon Garrett

Forensic examiners regularly testify in criminal cases, informing the jurors whether crime scene evidence likely came from a source. In this study, we examine the impact of providing jurors with testimony further qualified by error rates and likelihood ratios, for…

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The Costs and Benefits of Forensics

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Published: 2020 | By: Brandon L. Garrett

Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis famously wrote that states can be laboratories for experimentation in law and policy. Disappointingly, however, the actual laboratories that states and local governments run are not a home for experimentation. We do not have adequate…

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How do latent print examiners perceive proficiency testing? An analysis of examiner perceptions, performance, and print quality

Type: Research Area(s):

Published: 2020 | By: Sharon Kelley

Proficiency testing has the potential to serve several important purposes for crime laboratories and forensic science disciplines. Scholars and other stakeholders, however, have criticized standard proficiency testing procedures since their implementation in laboratories across the United States. Specifically, many experts…

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An Exploratory Analysis of Handwriting Features: Investigating Numeric Measurements of Writing That Are Important for Statistical Modeling

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Published: 2019 | By: Amy Crawford

The goal of this presentation is to provide insights into which features of handwritten documents are important for statistical modeling with the task of writer identification and to discuss how these features overlap with features that questioned document examiners typically…

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An algorithm to compare two‐dimensional footwear outsole images using maximum cliques and speeded‐up robust feature

Type: Research Area(s):

Published: 2020 | By: Soyoung Park

Footwear examiners are tasked with comparing an outsole impression (Q) left at a crime scene with an impression (K) from a database or from the suspect's shoe. We propose a method for comparing two shoe outsole impressions that relies on…

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Statistical Learning Algorithms for Forensic Scientists

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Published: 2020 | By: Alicia L. Carriquiry

The goals of this workshop are to: (1) introduce attendees to the basics of supervised learning algorithms in the context of forensic applications, including firearms and footwear examination and trace evidence, while placing emphasis on classification trees, random forests, and,…

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Statistical Analysis of Handwriting: Probabilistic Outcomes for Closed-Set Writer Identification

Type: Research Area(s):

Published: 2020 | By: Amy M. Crawford

The goal of this presentation is to provide insights into features of handwritten documents that are important for statistical modeling with the task of writer identification.

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Similarity between outsole impressions using SURF

Type: Research Area(s):

Published: 2020 | By: Soyoung Park

The learning objectives of this presentation include the following: Introduce an objective method to quantify the similarity between two outsole impressions, show that this algorithm is accurate and reliable even when outsoles share class characteristics and degree of wear, and…

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Applications of a CNN for Automatics Classification of Outsole Features

Type: Research Area(s):

Published: 2020 | By: Miranda R. Tilton

After attending this presentation, attendees will be familiar with the ways that CNNs can be applied to classify forensic pattern evidence, specifically with shoe outsole features.

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Android App Forensic Evidence Database (AndroidAED)

Type: Research Area(s):

Published: 2020 | By: Chen Shi

After attending this presentation, attendees will better understand how AndroidAED will be beneficial for academic researchers whose studies relate to mobile applications that grant them the ability to search through many of the available applications across various third-party app stores.

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A Wild Manhunt for Stego Images Created by Mobile Apps

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Published: 2020 | By: Li Lin

As mobile Internet and telecommunication technology develops at high speed, the digital image forensics academic community is facing a growing challenge. • Mobile applications (Apps) allow a user to easily edit/process an image for a variety of purposes. • Thanks…

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A database of handwriting samples for applications in forensic statistics

Type: Research Area(s):

Published: 2020 | By: Amy Crawford

Handwriting samples were collected from 90 adults for the purpose of developing statistical approaches to the evaluation of handwriting as forensic evidence. Each participant completed three data collection sessions, each at least three weeks apart. At each session, a survey…

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Quantifying the association between discrete event time series with applications to digital forensics

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Published: 2020 | By: Christopher Galbraith

We consider the problem of quantifying the degree of association between pairs of discrete event time series, with potential applications in forensic and cybersecurity settings. We focus in particular on the case where two associated event series exhibit temporal clustering…

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Score-based Likelihood Ratios for Camera Device Identification

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Published: 2020 | By: Stephanie Reinders

Many areas of forensics are moving away from the notion of classifying evidence simply as a match or non-match. Instead, some use score-based likelihood ratios (SLR) to quantify the similarity between two pieces of evidence, such as a fingerprint obtained…

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Algorithm mismatch in spatial steganalysis

Type: Research Area(s):

Published: 2019 | By: Stephanie Reinders

The number and availability of stegonographic embedding algorithms continues to grow. Many traditional blind steganalysis frameworks require training examples from every embedding algorithm, but collecting, storing and processing representative examples of each algorithm can quickly become untenable. Our motivation for…

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Score-based likelihood ratios in device identification

Type: Research Area(s):

Published: 2020 | By: Stephanie Reinders

Many areas of forensics are moving away from the notion of classifying evidence simply as a match or non-match. Instead, some use score-based likelihood ratios (SLR) to quantify the similarity between two pieces of evidence, such as a fingerprint obtained…

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