Just Talking Testimony

In this special episode of the IPTES season recorded live in Crystal City, Just Science covers the panel titled, “Statistics and Testimony from the Practitioner and Juror Point of View.” Moderators for the panel were Dr. John Morgan, Just Science host from RTI International, and Xiaoyu Alan Zheng, a mechanical engineer at the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Prior to this recording, panelists gave presentations during the symposium on various statistical topics, including:

“Statistical Interpretation and Reporting of Fingerprint Evidence at the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory”  presented by Mr. Henry Swofford.

“LR Testimony Cross-Examined” presented by Dr. Hari Iyer, and Dr. Steven Lund from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and Mr. Chris Fabricant.

“Factors Which Influence Juror’s Interpretation of the Value of Forensic Science Testimony” presented by Dr. Alicia Wilcox. Dr. Wilcox goes further into her research on a previous just science episode “Just A Juror’s Perception”

If you would like to watch their presentations, you can find them on them here.

This episode of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110].

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Additional Resources:

2018 IPTES Archives

Just Bayesian Brawl

In episode nine of the IPTES season, Just Science is covering the Statistical Approaches to Forensic Interpretation panel, recorded live at IPTES. Moderators for the panel was your host, Dr. John Morgan, from RTI International and Dr. Jose Almirall, Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Florida International University.

Panelist gave presentations during the symposium on various statistical topics, these presentations were:

“Reality Check – What Is Expected from Expert Witnesses”, by Dr. Steven Lund.

“Challenges Faced by Experts When Communicating Forensic Evidence to Triers of Fact: A Statistician’s View” by Dr. Hari Iyer.

“The Use of Similarity Measures (Scores) to Quantify the Weight of Forensic Evidence” by Dr. Cedric Neumann, from South Dakota State University.

“Statistical Analysis in Forensic Science Evidential Value of Multivariate Data” by Dr. Daniel Ramos, from the Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain.

“The Anatomy of Forensic Identification Decisions: Rethinking Current Reporting Practice in a Decision-Theoretic Perspective” by Dr. Alex Biedermann.

If you would like to watch their presentations you can find them here.

This episode of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110].

Listen/Download at:
    Listen on Google Play Music
You can also find us on Stitcher or Soundcloud 

 


Additional Resources:

2018 IPTES Archives

Just Handwriting Statistics

In episode eight of the IPTES season, Just Science interviews Cami Fuglsby, from South Dakota State University, to discuss Sufficiency and Complexity Factors in Handwriting Examination. Did you know that increasing the size of the document improves the sufficiency of the document? Or that the likelihood of chance matches decrease as complexity increases? Follow along as we discuss Flash ID, shape-codes, and flipping algorithms on their heads.

This episode of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110].

Listen/Download at:
    Listen on Google Play Music
You can also find us on Stitcher or Soundcloud 


Ms. Cami Fuglsby is in her first year of the Computational Science and Statistics PhD program in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at South Dakota State University. Recently a graduate of the Master’s program in the same department, her thesis focused on the sufficiency of an automated handwriting verification system using various comparison methodologies. Ms. Fuglsby had the opportunity to present on her research at the Joint Statistical Meetings and the International Conference on Forensic Inference and Statistics; at the latter, she was a recipient of a Stephen E. Fienberg Center for Statistics and Applications in Forensic Evidence (CSAFE) Young Investigator Travel Award. Ms. Fuglsby has supported researchers and developments within the questioned document community and is collaborating with researchers at the FBI over analysis of trace evidence

 


Additional Resources:

2018 IPTES Archives

Just Consecutively Manufactured Toolmarks

In episode seven of the IPTES season, Just Science interviews Robert Thompson, a Senior Forensic Science Research Manager at the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST). Mr. Thompson discusses his research on consecutively manufactured barrels and his recent research on “Objective Comparison of Striated Toolmarks Produced from Ten Consecutively Manufactured Cold Chisels Measured by Contact and Optical Surface Profilometry and Comparison Microscopy”. The profile’s similarity and differences were compared using two mathematical methods, cross-correlation function, and the recently developed congruent matching profile segments method.

This episode of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110].

Listen/Download at:
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You can also find us on Stitcher or Soundcloud 


Mr. Robert M. Thompson has been a Senior Forensic Science Research Manager with the Special Programs Office-Forensic Sciences at the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) for 9 years. He has over 38 years of experience as a Forensic Scientist and Criminalist. He is certified in Criminalistics by the American Board of Criminalistics (ABC) and is a past Chairman and current member of the Association of Firearm and Toolmark Examiners (AFTE) Certification Program Committee. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and a Distinguished Member of AFTE. Mr. Thompson was awarded a MFS from The George Washington University in Washington, DC and a BS in Forensic Science with a Chemistry minor from the California State University in Sacramento, California. Prior to joining NIST, Mr. Thompson was a Senior Firearms and Toolmark Examiner for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Forensic Science Laboratories and as a Forensic Scientist and Criminalist in crime laboratories with the Washoe County Sheriff ’s Department (Reno, Nevada), Oregon State Police, and the GeneLex Corporation (Seattle, Washington). His court-accepted expert testimony includes Firearms/Toolmark Identification, Proximity Testing, Serology and DNA analysis, Drug Analysis, Hair and Fiber Examination, Blood Spatter Reconstruction, Shoe Print Comparison, and Crime Scene/ Shooting Reconstruction. Mr. Thompson has testified as an expert in numerous Federal and State courts and has active professional affiliations with several regional, national, and international forensic science societies. He is published in the Journal of Forensic Sciences, Forensic Science International, Journal for the Association of Firearm and Toolmark Examiners, Proceedings of SPIE – The International Society for Optical Engineering, NIST Journal of Research, Inside ATF, Measurement Science and Technology, FBI Crime Laboratory Digest, and the Proceedings of Saratov University (Russia)

 


Additional Resources:

2018 IPTES Archives

Just Footwear Size Does Matter

In episode six of the IPTES season, Just Science interviews Chris Hamburg, from the Oregon State Police Forensic Services Division, and Jeff Jagmin from the WSP Crime Laboratory Division in Seattle. Our guests discuss the process a footwear examiner goes through in order to capture test impressions. Their interactive workshop “Intra- and Inter-variability of Footwear Test Impressions” had attendees go through this footwear examiner process. The attendees could then see for themselves what variations occur on the test impressions depending on the examiner’s physical variations, such as height and weight.

This episode of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110].

Listen/Download at:
    Listen on Google Play Music
You can also find us on Stitcher or Soundcloud 


Mr. Chris Hamburg is a Senior Forensic Scientist for the Oregon State Police Forensic Services Division. Mr. Hamburg graduated from the Willamette University in 1996 with a BS degree in Chemistry. His forensic career started with the Washington State Patrol (WSP) Tacoma Crime Laboratory in 2003 where he was assigned to the Microanalysis section. In this role, he performed examinations of evidence related to hairs, fibers, impressions, glass, and general criminalistics and responded to major crime scenes. In October 2008, Mr. Hamburg left WSP, moved to his home state of Oregon, and joined the Trace Evidence section of the Portland Metro laboratory. Mr. Hamburg is a member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, International Association for Identification (IAI), Northwest Association of Forensic Scientists (NWAFS), and American Society of Trace Evidence Examiners. He is currently a member of the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) Footwear and Tire Subcommittee and is certified in General Criminalistics by the American Board of Criminalistics.

 

Mr. Jeff Jagmin is a Supervising Forensic Scientist for the WSP Crime Laboratory in Seattle. Jeff graduated from the University of Washington in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. His forensic career started in 1996 with the WSP Tacoma Crime Laboratory where he was assigned to the chemistry section, performing examinations of controlled substances and suspected clandestine laboratory samples. He joined the WSP Statewide Incident Response Team in 1997. In this role, he responded to suspected clandestine laboratory scenes, and his 134 duties included scene evaluation, safety, and collection. In 2002, Mr. Jagmin was assigned to the microanalysis section, where he was responsible for the examination of evidence in suspected explosives, fibers, impressions, hair screening, general criminalistics, and microscopy. In January 2008, he transferred to the WSP Seattle Laboratory when he was promoted to Supervisor of the Microanalysis Section. Mr. Jagmin is a member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, IAI, NWAFS, and American Society of Trace Evidence Examiners. He is currently a member of the OSAC Footwear and Tire Subcommittee and was also a member of the Technical Working Group for Fire and Explosives (TWGFEX), where he was a co-chair of the explosives database committee. He has been involved with the NWAFS as a Special Research Mentor for three projects (two of which involve footwear) and two technical working group meetings (one for explosives and one for footwear).

 


Additional Resources:

2018 IPTES Archives

Just Geeking Out on Patterns

In episode five of the IPTES season, Just Science interviews John Vanderkolk from the Indiana State Laboratory. In a previous episode, Vanderkolk used the term Nature’s patterns, now he will discuss the philosophy behind the term and how he uses his Fracture Examination workshop to teach these ideas.

This episode of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110].

Listen/Download at:
    Listen on Google Play Music
You can also find us on Stitcher or Soundcloud 


Mr. John R. Vanderkolk received a Bachelor of Arts degree in forensic studies and psychology from Indiana University in 1979. He became an Indiana State Police trooper in 1979 and then a crime scene technician in 1983. In 1984, he was assigned as a criminalist in the laboratory, where he was trained in the disciplines of latent print, shoe/tireprint, firearm/toolmark, and fracture/physical comparative examinations. He was promoted to laboratory manager in 1996. He retired as a police officer in 2005, was rehired as a civilian, and is currently the manager of the Indiana State Police Laboratory in Fort Wayne. Mr. Vanderkolk has delivered many lectures and workshops related to forensic comparative science at many international or regional seminars, criminal justice agencies, and universities. Some of his other professional activities include having been a member of the Scientific Working Group on Friction Ridge Analysis, Study and Technology and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)/National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Expert Working Group on Human Factors in Latent Print Analysis. He is currently a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Forensic Identification and the Physics/ Pattern Scientific Area Committee for the NIST Organization of Scientific Area Committees. Mr. Vanderkolk was awarded ‘Distinguished Member’ in the International Association for Identification (IAI), was a member of the IAI’s Standardization II Committee, was the chair of the IAI’s Forensic Identification Standards Committee, and is the chair of the IAI’s Forensic Comparative Examination Committee. Mr. Vanderkolk has authored or co-authored numerous journal articles on topics related to forensic comparative science. Additionally, he authored the ‘Examination Process’ chapter of The Fingerprint Sourcebook and the book, Forensic Comparative Science – Qualitative Quantitative Source Determination of Unique Impressions, Images, and Objects. He has been collaborating with Dr. Thomas Busey of the Indiana University Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences since 2002, studying expertise in latent print examiners. He has been collaborating with Drs. Ashraf Bastawros and Barbara Lograsso of Iowa State University on fractured metal examinations. Furthermore, he was a consultant for the US Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General, and addressed the erroneous determination that Brandon Mayfield was the source of a fingerprint in the Madrid bombing case.

 


Additional Resources:

2018 IPTES Archives

Just Shoeprint Statistics

In episode four of the IPTES season, Just Science interviews Andrew Kimble, a student at Albany State University. Mr. Kimble explains his research in how incorporating statistical models in forensic shoeprint analysis can assist in identification. This episode shows how a young forensic professional is finding his own path, along with aiding others in his community.

This episode of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110].

Listen/Download at:
    Listen on Google Play Music
You can also find us on Stitcher or Soundcloud 


Mr. Andrew Kimble III is a 20-year-old senior forensic science major from Long Island, New York. He currently attends Albany State University in Albany, Georgia, and his future endeavors will involve working with the FBI in their Crime Scene Department.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Additional Resources:

2018 IPTES Archives

Just A Juror’s Perception

In episode three of the IPTES season, Just Science interviews Dr. Alicia Wilcox from Husson University and Heidi Eldridge from RTI International. Our guests discuss how visual aid and other tactics have been proven to help jurors interpret subject matter expert testimony. Listen and find out what Jurors say is effective in communicating forensic evidence in court.

This episode of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110].

Listen/Download at:
    Listen on Google Play Music
You can also find us on Stitcher or Soundcloud 

 


Dr. Alicia Wilcox earned her Bachelor’s degree with double honors in Chemistry and Statistics from the National University of Ireland. She holds MS degrees in Forensic Science, Criminal Justice, and Business Administration from Strathclyde University in Glasgow, Scotland and Husson University, Bangor, Maine, respectively. She earned her PhD from the University of Dundee, Scotland, with a particular focus on how juries interpret forensic science evidence. Dr. Wilcox has practiced forensic science for the past 17 years. She was responsible for researching and implementing procedures for analyzing anabolic steroids and the date rape drug γ-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) at the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform in Dublin, Ireland. She was employed by the Maine State Police Crime Laboratory for almost a decade as a forensic scientist specializing in impression evidence. She has processed numerous crime scenes and has qualified as an expert witness in Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Mississippi. Since 2012, Dr. Wilcox has worked as a forensic consultant on current and post-conviction cases. She is currently an assistant professor of legal studies at Husson University in Maine. She holds four certifications from the International Association for Identification (IAI): Certified Senior Crime Scene Examiner, Certified Latent Print Examiner, Certified Footwear Examiner, and Certified Forensic Photographer. In addition to Dr. Wilcox’s responsibilities at Husson, she is a past president and current board member of the New England Division of the IAI, is a member of the IAI footwear certification board, and sits on the footwear/tire subcommittee of the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC).


Additional Resources:

2018 IPTES Archives

Just Fracture Matches

In episode two of the 2018 IPTES season, Just Science interviews Dr. Ashraf Bastawros from Iowa State University. Dr. Bastawros discusses how fracture mechanics principles can be used with statistical learning tools to give quantitative results. Explore the mind of an engineer and hear how leveraging other disciplines can aid forensic science. 

This episode of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110].

Listen/Download at:
    Listen on Google Play Music
You can also find us on Stitcher or Soundcloud 


 

Dr. Ashraf Bastawros’ research focuses on the micro-scale properties and behavior of engineered materials, including single-crystal and polycrystalline materials, thin films and multi-layers, porous solids, and biological materials. His strength is in linking microstructures and continuum theory through fundamental and applied experimental research. He has developed novel experimental techniques to (1) reveal the nature of deformation heterogeneity at the material microstructure length scale and (2) measure the thickness and properties of ultrathin films in the nanometer range. He has redeveloped almost the entire curriculum of mechanics of materials at Iowa State University (ISU). He has nurtured and mentored undergraduate and graduate students and junior faculty in the area of the micromechanics of materials: two assistant professors, one laboratory technicians, three post-doctoral scholars, eight PhD candidates (including two underrepresented racial and/or ethnic minority students [URMs]), 22 MS students, and 50 research experience for undergraduate participants (five URMs). Five undergraduate research assistants have attended graduate school, and one former PhD student has started a tenure-track faculty position at Georgia Tech. As the lead principal investigator (PI) or Co-PI, Dr. Bastawros has managed research grants in excess of $10 million. He has authored and coauthored more than 80 technical publications in journals and conference proceedings with 100 citations annually, on average, and nearly 1,600 total citations. He is also the recipient of a National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) award, an ISU Young Engineering Faculty Research Award, and many other honors and best paper awards.


Additional Resources:

2018 IPTES Archives

Just Nature’s Patterns

Season three, episode one of Just Science kicks off with our host, Dr. John Morgan, interviewing John Vanderkolk from the Indiana State Crime Laboratory. Vanderkolk discusses his belief in the importance of challenging your teachers and how nature’s patterns are apparent throughout friction ridge evidence.

This episode of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110].

Listen/Download at:
    Listen on Google Play Music
You can also find us on Stitcher or Soundcloud 


 

Mr. John R. Vanderkolk received a Bachelor of Arts degree in forensic studies and psychology from Indiana University in 1979. He became an Indiana State Police trooper in 1979 and then a crime scene technician in 1983. In 1984, he was assigned as a criminalist in the laboratory, where he was trained in the disciplines of latent print, shoe/tireprint, firearm/toolmark, and fracture/physical comparative examinations. He was promoted to laboratory manager in 1996. He retired as a police officer in 2005, was rehired as a civilian, and is currently the manager of the Indiana State Police Laboratory in Fort Wayne. Mr. Vanderkolk has delivered many lectures and workshops related to forensic comparative science at many international or regional seminars, criminal justice agencies, and universities. Some of his other professional activities include having been a member of the Scientific Working Group on Friction Ridge Analysis, Study and Technology and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)/National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Expert Working Group on Human Factors in Latent Print Analysis. He is currently a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Forensic Identification and the Physics/ Pattern Scientific Area Committee for the NIST Organization of Scientific Area Committees. Mr. Vanderkolk was awarded ‘Distinguished Member’ in the International Association for Identification (IAI), was a member of the IAI’s Standardization II Committee, was the chair of the IAI’s Forensic Identification Standards Committee, and is the chair of the IAI’s Forensic Comparative Examination Committee. Mr. Vanderkolk has authored or co-authored numerous journal articles on topics related to forensic comparative science. Additionally, he authored the ‘Examination Process’ chapter of The Fingerprint Sourcebook and the book, Forensic Comparative Science – Qualitative Quantitative Source Determination of Unique Impressions, Images, and Objects. He has been collaborating with Dr. Thomas Busey of the Indiana University Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences since 2002, studying expertise in latent print examiners. He has been collaborating with Drs. Ashraf Bastawros and Barbara Lograsso of Iowa State University on fractured metal examinations. Furthermore, he was a consultant for the US Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General, and addressed the erroneous determination that Brandon Mayfield was the source of a fingerprint in the Madrid bombing case.


Additional Resources:

2018 IPTES Archives