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Despite many advances in the scientific equipment and the computing technology used to collect valuable pattern and digital evidence for forensic investigations, the probative value of such evidence remains limited due to a lack of statistical foundation for its use.  Unlike forensic DNA analysis, which has an underlying biological foundation, a well-defined measurement process, and statistically-based error rates and clear and repeatable standards for analysis, interpretation, and reporting, many other forms of forensic analysis lack the same degree of statistical rigor. 

To address this issue, CSAFE marshals the breadth and strength of the statistical community in the U.S. and abroad to collaborate with forensic and statistical scientists at NIST, the FBI, and state and local crime labs to ensure the quantification of uncertainty associated with various pattern and digital evidence analyses.  Read more about



September 2, 2016

Shelby KhandasammyThis summer, Shelby Khandasammy from the University of Central Florida spent 10 weeks, participating in the Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI) Program at the Ames Laboratory – US Department of Energy on the campus of Iowa State University.  Both undergraduate and graduate students from around the country are part of this program every year, working with faculty mentors.  This

May 20, 2016

cover page of statistical thinking presentationCSAFE staff visited the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office crime lab in early March along with students and faculty from our partners at Eastern New Mexico University, Albany State University and Fayetteville State University.  After  a day of laboratory tours, the CSAFE staff presented a minicoure (pdf) on Statistical Thinking for Forensic Practitioners to the staff of the Laboratory, guests from crime labs around the state of Florida and our university partners.

August 31, 2015

As part of a national collaborative effort to strengthen the scientific basis for forensic evidence used in the criminal justice system, the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has awarded Iowa State University (Ames, Iowa) up to $20 million over five years to establish a Forensic Science Center of Excellence focused on pattern and digital evidence.

August 28, 2015

AMES, Iowa – The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has awarded a five-year, up to $20 million grant to establish a Forensic Science Center of Excellence to be based at Iowa State University. - See more at:


A Successful Kickoff Event


The 2015 Kickoff Event Completed this Week

We experienced a full agenda with some great speakers.

Thank you to all who attended and all those who are excited to continue their support of the Center for Statistics and Applications in Forensic Evidence (CSAFE).