2015-16: Forensics: Opening Workshop: August 31-September 4, 2015


This workshop was held at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center’s Hamner Conference Center, 15 T.W. Alexander Dr., Research Triangle Park, NC.


The Opening Workshop for this program was held on Monday – Friday, August 31 – September 4, 2015. The workshop provided an overview of the core topics relevant to the Forensics program, which is devoted to the development of methodological, theoretical, and computational treatments of statistical and applied mathematical analysis and modeling with applications to forensic science and forensics practice. For a more detailed description of the topics to be covered, see the Forensics homepage.

On Monday, August 31 the workshop opened with overview lectures by leading researchers in forensic science and mathematical science for forensics. From Tuesday through Wednesday, invited speakers addressed specific challenges presented by forensic work focused on pattern evidence, its analysis, the challenges for its interpretation and its presentation in court. Technical issues in imaging, image identification and image matching comprise one series of topics; quality control and quality metrics constitute another; maximizing the impact of new research in the mathematical sciences by setting research priorities is a third. A poster session and reception with a distinguished speaker took place on Monday, August 31.

On Wednesday, September 2, Working Groups were introduced, centering on problems and research directions identified in the Workshop. These groups will meet weekly over the course of the program, with the initial meetings on Thursday and Friday, September 3-4.

Questions: email forensics@samsi.info

Forensics Program – Tutorial

Schedule and Supporting Media

Participant List
Speakers Titles Abstracts

Monday, August 31, 2015
Hamner Conference Center

Time Description Speaker Slides Videos
8:30-8:45 Registration
8:45-9:00 Welcome Richard Smith, SAMSI
9:00-9:45 What Is Forensic…?
Evaluating Phases of Forensic Practice: Comparative Bullet Lead Analysis
Bill Tobin, Forensic Engineering International  
9:45-10:00 Open discussion Anne-Marie Mazza, The National Academies
10:00-10:15 Break
10:15-11:15 The Role of Statistics in Forensic Science
Open Discussion
Karen Kafadar, University of Virginia    
11:15-12:00 Distinguished Lecture
Upstream Remedies to Prevent Wrongful Convictions: The Statistical Significance of Research
Peter Neufeld, Innocence Project    
12:00-1:15 Lunch (Galleria)
1:15-2:00 Fundamental Tenets of Latent Fingerprint Examination John Black, Black & White Forensics, LLC    
2:00-3:00 Automated Fingerprint ID
Open Discussion
Elham Tabassi, NIST    
3:00-3:30 Break
3:30-4:15 Shoeprints, Casts and Imaging Sarena Wiesner, West Virginia University    
4:15-5:30 Imaging Science and Shoeprints
Open Discussion
Jacqueline Speir, West Virginia University    
5:30-7:00 Poster Session and Reception

Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Hamner Conference Center

Time Description Speaker Slides Videos
8:45-9:00 Registration
9:00 Challenges in Image Analysis of Fingerprints Stephan Huckemann, University at Gottingen    
9:45 Open Discussion
Challenges in Image Analysis of Shoeprints
Yoram Yekutieli, Hadassah Academic College, Jerusalem    
10:30-11:00 Break
11:00 Forensic Pattern Recognition Anil Jain, Michigan State University    
12:00-1:30 Lunch (Galleria)
Research Priorities and Funding Opportunities at the National Institute of Justice
Lunch Speaker: Gerald LaPorte, National Institute of Justice  
1:30 Managing Contextual Bias in Forensic Science William Thompson, University of California at Irvine    
2:15 Open Discussion
Blinding: Examples and Approaches
Sandy Zabell, Northwestern University    
3:00-3:15 Break
3:15 Evaluation and Interpretation of Evidence: What Can Be Done, What Is Done, What Should Be Done Colin Aitken, University of Edinburgh    
4:00 Open Discussion
Firearm/Toolmarks: The Practice of Firearm/Toolmarks and a Reasonable Path Forward
Clifford Spiegelman, Texas A&M University    

Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Hamner Conference Center

Time Description Speaker Slides Videos
8:30-8:45 Registration
8:45 Panel: Two Perspectives on Crime Laboratory Quality Control Peter Stout, Houston Forensics Science Center
Dennis Lin, Pennsylvania State University
9:45-10:15 Break
10:15 Panel: Presenting Evidence to Be Relevant, Correct and Convincing
Open Discussion
Cedric Neumann, South Dakota State University
Kathleen O’Malley, Federal Circuit Court of Appeals
Dana Delger, Innocence Project
Linda Jackson, Virginia Department of Forensic Sciences
11:15 Education: Connecting Forensic and Mathematical Sciences
Open Discussion
Gene Fiorini, Rutgers University    
12:15-1:30 Lunch (Galleria)
1:30 Making Forensic Science More Scientific: Statistics and the Evaluation of Forensic Evidence
Open Discussion
Stephen Fienberg, Carnegie Mellon University    
2:30-3:00 Break
3:00 Working Group Formation

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Time Description Speaker Slides Videos
9:00-12:00 Initial Meetings of Working Groups
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-5:00 Working Group Meetings

Friday, September 4, 2015

Time Description Speaker Slides Videos
9:00-12:00 Working Group Meetings
12:00-1:00 Box Lunch
1:00 Adjourn