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CSAFE Graduate Student Wins ASA Statistical Graphics Student Paper Competition

A confocal microscope was used to scan the surface of the cut wire.
A confocal microscope was used to scan the surface of the cut wire.

Yuhang (Tom) Lin’s paper “A Reproducible Pipeline for Extracting Representative Signals from Wire Cuts” has been selected as one of the winners of this year’s student paper competition from the American Statistical Association Section on Statistical Graphics.

Yuhang Lin
Yuhang Lin

Lin is an Iowa State University statistics graduate student and a researcher at the Center for Statistics and Applications in Forensic Evidence (CSAFE). He is mentored by CSAFE researcher Heike Hofmann, a professor of statistics and professor-in-charge of data science at Iowa State University and co-author of the paper.

The award will be presented at the Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM) held Aug. 3-8 in Portland, Oregon. Lin will also give a 20-minute talk about his research during a special session on Aug. 5 at 2 p.m. PDT.

His paper details a new, reproducible, automatic algorithm to analyze the similarity between wires, showing how interpreting the results promises a consistent way of using wires as forensic evidence in the future.

Lin explained that the comparative evaluation of aluminum wire cuts holds considerable significance within the field of forensic science. Nonetheless, there exists an absence of a systematic, algorithmic framework for assessing their degree of similarity.

“We want to have an automatic pipeline for extracting representative signals from given wire cuts,” said Lin. “This pipeline will highly improve the objectiveness and reproducibility of the signals when compared with any existing manual extraction pipeline.”

Lin said that there are no existing systematic, automatic algorithms for comparing wire cut similarities in the literature. “I hope this pipeline can give people some insight into doing it in a more objective and reproducible way to avoid any conflict in accuracy, interpretation, and conclusion.”

Lin is looking forward to presenting his research at JSM. “I hope my presentation can help everyone, including myself, to have a deeper understanding of this project and gain feedback on any possible improvements and limitations.”

If you cannot attend Lin’s presentation at JSM, he discussed his research in the recent CSAFE Learning webinar, “Algorithmic Assessment of Striation Similarity between Wire Cuts.” It is available for viewing on demand at no cost.