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Math in Forensic Science

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Fiona D'mello

on 16 August 2013

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Transcript of Math in Forensic Science

Math in Forensic Science
Students seeking a career in forensic science and crime-scene investigation must have a solid education not only in science, but also in mathematics.
DNA Analysis
DNA analysis is based on locating similar patterns from a human sample and samples located at the crime scene.
This is a process by which more patterns create a more positive match in the investigation.
Probability is used to determine if there is enough of a DNA match to convict of the crime.

Psycho-physical Detection
Psycho-physical detection of deception exam are based on the scientific theory that when someone is telling a lie, their body responds differently.
Mathematically, a forensic scientist can tell if suspect is lying by measuring their pulse rate, blood pressure and breathing patterns.
DNA Analysis- Fingerprinting
Compare fingerprints found at a crime scene to those of a potential suspect or to those they have on file.
Measure distances between grooves and look for pattern between the fingerprints.
Different types of fingerprints
Measurements- Time of Death

Part of crime-scene investigations involves determining when a death occurred.
This time frame can be constructed by using measurements such as the temperature of the victim and the surrounding area.
The longer a body remains in an area, the closer to the environment's temperature it becomes.
Heights and Distances
When examining foot prints in dirt or mud, investigators are able to determine how much a suspect weighs by comparing the depth of the print to a list of constants.
The length between foot prints can also be used to determine the height of the suspect.
Using time and distance, crime-scene investigators are able to create a radius in which the suspect could have traveled to and from.
Heights and Distances
Forensic scientists use the length of human bones to estimate the height of individuals. A person’s height, h, in centimeters, can be determined from the length of the femur f , in centimeters, using the following formulas:
Man: h = 69.089 + 2.238f
Woman: h= 61.412 + 2.317f

Skid Mark Analysis
Using the equation v=√d/k, where d is the length of the skid marks, k is a constant based on the car and the friction of the road, and v is the velocity in miles per hour, scientists are able to determine how fast a car was going at the time of impact.
Whether it is bullet holes or blood splatters, crime-scene investigators are able to use mathematics (geometry) to determine the trajectory of a falling object.
Forensic scientists are able to use math in other forms of trajectory as well. For example, if a victim suffered a blow to the head, scientists are able to determine the height of the suspect based on the angle of the impact.
Blood Spatter Analysis
Investigators analyze blood spatter by using trigonometry – the branch of math that measures triangles.
From here, they can deduce more information such as how hard the attacker hit the victim.
Forensic scientists analyze the evidence found in and around the crime scene,in search of clues pointing to a possible suspect, cause of death or other key piece of information.
Math is used to determine how crimes are committed, when they were committed, and even who committed them.
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