Forensic Statistics: Solving crimes and other legal problems with statistics (4.5 hp)

This course is intended to give an introduction into the field of forensic statistics, as well as a more thorough introduction to statistical methods for using DNA in forensics, in particular for determining familial relationships. The target audience is PhD students or advanced master students in mathematical statistics. The theory will include Bayesian inference, decision theory, and modelling with and inference for Bayesian networks. The course will include computer labs where we use R and various R packages.

The plan is to meet twice a week in the 6-week period 2014-11-03 to 2014-12-12, with an oral exam at the end. The exact schedule will be agreed with the participants at the first meeting, which will be held at

TUESDAY NOVEMBER 4, 10:00 - 11:45, IN ROOM MVF23


Computer labs:

The computer labs are an integral part of the course, and sufficient attendance is required to be approved in the course. We will be using R, and several different R packages, but in particular the Familias package.

Plan for lectures:




Tuesday Nov 4, 10:00 - 11:45


Course introduction. What is forensic statistics?

Thursday Nov 6, 10:00 - 11:45


Bayesian inference and the law: Are they compatible? Lecture notes + BTW chapter 2

Thursday Nov 13, 8:00 - 9:45


Examples of forensic problems and data types, and related statistical models. The use of Bayesian networks for modelling. (Various papers).

Thursday Nov 13, 10:00 - 11:45


Forensic DNA evidence for criminal cases and for relationship inference: Methods and models. BTW chapters 1, 3, 4

Thursday Nov 20, 8:00 - 9:45


Computer lab. Exercise is handed out.

Thursday Nov 20, 10:00 - 11:45


The use of dependent markers. Models for linkage and linkage disequilibrium. Lecture notes. (EKM chapters 5+6)

Thursday Nov 27, 8:00 - 9:45


Computer lab. Exercises EKM chapter 5

Thursday Nov 27, 10:00 - 11:45


Handling parameter uncertainty. EKM chapter 8.

Thursday Dec 4, 8:00 - 9:45


Computer lab. Exercises EKM chapter 8

Thursday Dec 4, 10:00 - 11:45


Decision theory and forensics, in particular related to relationship inference based on DNA. EKM chapter 9.

Thursday Dec 11, 8:00 - 9:45


Planning of master student projects.

Thursday Dec 11, 10:00 - 12:40


Oral exam

Preliminary course plan as a GU course