Biology, Medicine &
Psychology
  Discrete Math

  6 - 9 Grades Social Science
  10 - 12 Grades Social Science
  10 - 12 Grades Science
  10 - 12 Grades Social Science
This module is part of a series produced at The Universtiy of Nevada at Reno for the National Numeracy Network under a grant from the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship Foundation through the National Council on Education and the Disciplines. These brief modules are envisioned as a resource for teachers to use in a classroom setting and also for quantitative literacy workshops for teachers. Each module typically contains one or two examples related to "real world" quantitative literacy issues and includes exercises for students. There is also a section "for the instructor" that contains discussions of some of the topics, solutions to the exercises, and resources for further explorations.

 

DNA as Evidence

Julie A. Ellsworth
Truckee Meadows Community College

DNA evidence entered the courtroom for the first time in 1985, and is now commonly submitted as evidence to try to prove guilt or innocence. At least 100 people have been exonerated using DNA testing and 10 of those people have been freed from death row. In this module students will be presented with a basic introduction to DNA and how it can be used as evidence in forensic investigations or identity disputes. They will answer questions to clarify their understanding and calculate the probability of a perfect DNA profile match for two datasets. Understanding the power of DNA evidence requires understanding the multiplication rule of probability. As more pieces of a personís DNA are analyzed, the probability that the resulting DNA profile will perfectly match another person becomes smaller and smaller.

The mathematics is use of percentages and proportions; understanding and applying the multiplication rule of probability.