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Problem Title: Are Fingerprints Unique?

  Year: 2004      
  Student Level: Undergraduate      
  Source: MCM      
  Commentary: Yes (3)      
  Student Papers: Yes (3)      

It is a commonplace belief that the thumbprint of every human who has ever lived is different. Develop and analyze a model that will allow you to assess the probability that this is true. Compare the odds (that you found in this problem) of misidentification by fingerprint evidence against the odds of misidentification by DNA evidence.


Judge's Commentary: The Outstanding Fingerprints Papers

Michael Tortorella
Dept. of Industrial and Systems Engineering
Rutgers University

Practitioner's Commentary: The Outstanding Fingerprints Papers

Mary Beeton
A.F.I.S. Technician
Durham Regional Police Service

Editor's Commentary: Fingerprint Identification

Paul J. Campbell
Mathematics and Computer Science
Beloit College

  Student Papers      

The Myth of "The Myth of Fingerprints"

Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, CA


Can't Quite Put Our Finger On It

University College Cork, Cork, Ireland


Not Such a Small Whorl After All

University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO