Amanda Luby

aluby1 [at] swarthmore dot edu

I am an Assistant Professor of Statistics at Swarthmore College and a researcher with the Center for Statistics and Applications in Forensic Evidence. 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”.


  • Fall 2023: I’m teaching Mathematical Statistics I at Swarthmore

  • Oct 2023: I’ll be the October presenter in Swarthmore’s Faculty Lecture Series

Recent (ish):

  • August 2023: Presented in a forensics session (and caught up with old friends!) at JSM in Toronto

  • August 2023: Gave a presentation on Item Response Theory at the International Association for Identification annual educational meeting in Baltimore

  • June 2023: I was awarded the Stephen E Fienberg Young Investigator award for Best Project at the International Conference for Forensic Inference and Statistics in Lund, Sweden. I presented joint work with Erwin Mattijssen (NFI) on applying IRT to firearms analysis.

  • April 2023: Gave a talk at the NYU Biostat seminar

  • Oct-Nov 2022: I was a visiting researcher at the Netherlands Forensic Institute during my sabbatical leave. I worked with the Statistics & Methodology group and the Big Data Analysis group, along with firearms researchers.