Home page for ECOL 208, Forensic DNA Evidence

 You are visitor number 
 since 19 October 2007 

Final grades are now posted on the Grade tracker

Based on a class vote, the final (a standard 100 point exam) will be given the last day of Class, 6 May. Remember that you do not have to take the final if you are happy with your present grade (see grade tracker for this).


Details for student presentation:

Current groups


Each presentation is worth up to 50 points. You will be scored on the following (5 points each)

  1. Organization/preparation
  2. Clarity
  3. Background Research
  4. Use of Audiovisuals/creativity
  5. Was this an Interesting topic

Each presentation will get two scores using these, one from me, the other from the class (I'll use the average totals, throwing out the lowest and highest score).

Contact information for speakers:

Useful websites

General Course Information

Lecture Time and Place: Tuesday/Thursday Bio W 208

Instructor: Bruce Walsh

Reading Material: No Assigned text. However, you will be responsible for reading assignments posted here (the official course website).

Grading and Course Policy

Grading: Your class grade will be based four items

Missed exams will be awarded a zero.

Assignment of Final Grades: The second highest total in the class will be set equal to 100. If you get 90 percent (or higher) of this total you get an A, 80 percent a B, 70 percent a C, 60 percent a D.

Class policy on "academic integrity": Your academic work (exams and problem sets) must be your own; do not copy answers to problem sets or anything else; cheating and plagiarism will not be tolerated. If you are caught, any combination of the following will occur (UA Code of Academic Integrity): a zero grade will be assigned for the work; course grade dropped one letter grade; course grade of F; disciplinary probation from University; suspension from the University; notation "Declared guilty of violation of the Code of Academic Integrity" put on student's permanent record.

Lecture Notes and Readings

Date Lecture number Topic Practice Problems Readings
17 Jan 1 Introduction    
22 Jan 2 no class    
24 Jan 3 no class    
29 Jan 4 Intro to Genetics Practice Problems--- Solutions  
31 Jan 5 Intro to probability 1    
5 Feb 6 Intro to probability 2 Practice Problems-- solutions  
7 Feb 7 Intro to DNA structure and sequencing Practice Problem-- solutions (corrected and updated Feb 14)  
12 Feb 8 DNA Markers    
14 Feb 9 Review    
19 Feb 10 Guest Speaker: DNA- Beyond CSI, Barbara Fransway, Human Origins Genotyping Laboratory, U of A    
21 Feb 11 Exam 1 -- key -- curve    
26 Feb 12 Guest speaker : Jelena Myers from the Tucson crime lab -- powerpoint   
28 Feb 13 Match probabilities and NRC Practice Problems -- solutions  
4 March 14 DNA databases: Structure, history, and concerns    
6 March 15 Admissibility of Scientific Evidence, Statistical Mistakes in the Courtroom    
11 March 16 Discussion    
13 March 17 .NO CLASS -- meet with your group to work on group presentation    
18 March   Spring Break    
20 March   Spring Break    
25 March 18 Y Chromosome and mtDNA Markers    
27 March 19 DNA Mixtures Practice Problems


1 April 20 Famous DNA cases    
3 April 21 Famous DNA cases    
8 April 22 Review    
10 April 23 Exam 2    
15 April 24 Guest speaker: Elizabeth Wood, GATC Group of Arizona Research Laboratory: MMDD: Missing Migrant DNA data base project: powerpoint -- pdf    
17 April 25 Beyond CIS: I. Genetic markers for disease    
22 April 26 Beyond CSI: II. Using DNA predict hair and eye color, ancestral origins    
24 April 27 student presentations:

  • Group 9: The Peruvian Ice Maiden
  • Group 3: Using DNA to ID unknown soliders
  • Group 7: The Palo Verde Killer
29 April 28 student presentations:

  • Group 5: Paternity Tests
  • Group 8: Using animal DNA
  • Group 6: DNA barcoding: Using DNA to classify life forms
1 May 29 student presentations:

  • Group 4: DNA and the war on Terror
  • Group 2: Student opinions on DNA evidence
  • Group 1: DNA and the Kennedy Brewer case
6 May 30 FINAL