Clarkson University Professor Speaks at National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Workshop

March 19, 2024

Clarkson University Computer Science Professor Jeanna Matthews recently spoke at a workshop held by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine focused on law enforcement use of probabilistic genotyping, forensic DNA phenotyping, and forensic investigative genetic genealogy technologies. The workshop ran March 13 and 14 at the National Academy of Sciences Building in Washington DC.

Jeanna Matthews posed in front of a computer screen showing code.

Matthews spoke on a panel focusing on probabilistic genotyping and on the final wrap up panel of future research directions across all three technologies of focus at the workshop: probabilistic genotyping, forensic DNA phenotyping, and forensic investigative genetic genealogy.

“Probabilistic genotyping software (PGS) compares DNA evidence found at crime scenes to the DNA of possible suspects,” Matthews explained. “My team and I have done comparative studies of PGS systems and argued for the need for independent software verification and validation of PGS systems, forensic software more broadly, and artificial intelligence (AI) systems even more broadly.”

Matthews has published several books and papers at the intersection of technology and evidence gathering. Her work has focused on the trustworthiness of autonomous systems, regulating AI, and accountability in critical software systems including forensic DNA software systems.

In her talk at the National Academies workshop, Matthews brought to light that forensic software developers are not required to follow software engineering best practices. She advocated for probabilistic genotyping software to be required to follow software engineering standards, and for software engineering to be a key part of the relevant scientific community.

To learn more about the National Academies Workshop, visit

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