Amanda Luby

aluby1 [at] swarthmore dot edu

I am an Assistant Professor of Statistics at Swarthmore College, on sabbatical for the 22/23 academic year. I primarily work on statistical methods for understanding complex decision-making, often using Bayesian tools. Right now, my work focuses on adapting and advocating for Item Response Theory-flavored models for forensic science, particularly in fingerprint analysis.

I’m also interested in statistics pedagogy, particularly in trying to better understand (and fix!) misconceptions among introductory students, and better integrating computing, applications, and theory in upper-level courses.

I’m always seeking new collaborations in the social and criminal justice space. Please get in touch if you’d like to work together on a quantitative project in this realm!

I use she/her pronouns, and my last name is pronounced “loo-bee”.


  • AY 22/23: I’m on research leave!

  • Oct-Nov 2022: Research visit at the Netherlands Forensic Institute

Recent (ish):

  • August 2022: Presented ``Characterizing variability in forensic decision-making with IRT’’ at JSM in Washington DC

  • July 2022: Presented ``Analyzing spatial responses: a comparison of IRT-based approaches’’ at IMPS in Bologna, Italy

  • April 2022: ``Think-aloud interviews: A tool for exploring student statistical reasoning” was accepted for publication at JSDSE!

  • Feb 2022: Presented ``Measuring Proficiency Among Latent Print Examiners: A Statistical Approach From Standardized Testing” at the American Academy of Forensic Sciences Annual Scientific Conference

  • Gave the April 2021 CSAFE webinar (nearly 400 registrants!)