Vanderbilt Law School Background Image

Edward K. Cheng

Professor of Law
FedEx Research Professor for 2017-18

Ed Cheng's research focuses on scientific and expert evidence, and the interaction between law and statistics. Professor Cheng is a coauthor of Modern Scientific Evidence, a five-volume treatise that is updated annually, and he is the host of Excited Utterance, a podcast focusing on scholarship in evidence and proof. His articles, in which he explores evidence law from an empirical and statistical perspective, have been published in the Yale Law Journal, Columbia Law Review and Stanford Law Review, among other prestigious law journals. He holds a B.S.E. (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) in electrical engineering from Princeton University, where he also earned a certificate from the Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs; an M.Sc. in information systems (with distinction) from the London School of Economics and Political Science, where he was a Fulbright Scholar; and a J.D. (cum laude) from Harvard Law School, where he was the articles, book reviews, and commentaries chair of the Harvard Law Review. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in statistics at Columbia University. Professor Cheng teaches Evidence, Torts, and Statistical Concepts for Lawyers, and is a six-time winner of the Hall-Hartman Outstanding Professor Award for excellence in teaching. He was also selected by the graduating classes of 2013 and 2017 to be their commencement speaker.

Research Interests

Statistical approaches to evidence

Representative Publications

  • Modern Scientific Evidence: The Law and Science of Expert Testimony, Thomson West (5 volumes, 2015-16 edition) (with David Faigman, Jennifer Mnookin, Erin Murphy, Joseph Sanders, and Christopher Slobogin)
  • "Reconceptualizing the Burden of Proof," 122 Yale Law Journal 1254 (2013)
    Full Text | SSRN | HEIN
  • "When 10 Trials Are Better Than 1000: An Evidentiary Perspective on Trial Sampling," 160 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 955 (2012)
    Full Text | SSRN | HEIN
  • "A Practical Solution to the Reference Class Problem," 109 Columbia Law Review 2081 (2009)
    Full Text | SSRN | HEIN
  • "Will Quants Rule the (Legal) World?," 107 Michigan Law Review 967 (2009) (book review)
    Full Text | PDF
  • "The Myth of the Generalist Judge," 61 Stanford Law Review 519 (2008)
    Full Text | SSRN | HEIN
  • "Independent Judicial Research in the Daubert Age," 56 Duke Law Journal 1263 (2007)
    Full Text | SSRN
  • "Same Old, Same Old: Scientific Evidence Past and Present," 104 Michigan Law Review 1387 (2006) (book review)
    Full Text | HEIN | PDF
  • "Structural Laws and the Puzzle of Regulating Behavior," 100 Northwestern University Law Review 655 (2006)
    Full Text | SSRN
  • "Does Frye or Daubert Matter?: A Study of Scientific Admissibility Standards," 91 Virginia Law Review 471 (2005) (with Albert Yoon)
    Full Text | SSRN