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Thursday, December 18, 2014

ASU statistician tapped to help strengthen forensic science

Photo: Connie Borror
"Connie Borror, a professor of statistics in Arizona State University’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, has been selected by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to serve on a group whose goal is to strengthen the field of forensic science through the identification and development of standards and guidelines." according to ASU News.
New College is the core college on ASU’s West campus.

Borror teaches statistics courses for New College’s School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences, which offers bachelor's degrees in both statistics and forensics. She was appointed to the NIST-administered Organization of Scientific Area Committees and will serve on the Subcommittee on Toxicology.

This subcommittee will focus on standards and guidelines related to examination of body fluids or tissues for the presence and quantity of substances such as drugs or poisons in ante- or post-mortem casework. Evidence examples include those substances and metabolites following ingestion, and might include physiological specimens such as blood, urine, hair, teeth, bone, spinal fluid, and organ and muscle tissue.

“A 2009 report by a committee of the National Research Council pointed out the need for improved standards for forensic science and improved analysis of forensic data,” said Roger Berger, director of the School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences. “Statisticians like Dr. Borror can provide valuable assistance in both of these areas. I am sure Connie’s input will be invaluable to this toxicology group.”

Only 402 individuals were selected as members of NIST’s forensic science standards committees, and I’m so proud that Dr. Borror is one of those experts,” said Kimberly Kobojek, faculty director of New College’s forensics degree program. “Her expertise in statistics will be invaluable to the toxicology subcommittee. It is of great value to ASU and the forensics program to have such a representative on the ground-floor of the work that NIST is doing with the forensic sciences. Dr. Borror’s appointment further attests to the national recognition that ASU’s New College and the forensics program are receiving.”

Borror was chosen as one of fewer than 25 statisticians among the members in all of the Organization of Scientific Area Committees subcommittees, which include forensic science practitioners and administrators, researchers, professional association representatives and industry representatives. Statisticians have a vital role to play in elevating forensic standards, she said.
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Dr. Connie M. Borror 

Source: Arizona State University