Edward K. Cheng, scholar of evidence law, appointed to Vanderbilt’s law faculty

May 20, 2010

Chris Guthrie, dean of Vanderbilt University Law School, has announced the appointment of Edward K. Cheng to Vanderbilt’s law faculty.

“I’m very pleased to announce that Ed Cheng, a first-rate scholar who brings a unique perspective to the study of evidence law, will join our law faculty,” Dean Chris Guthrie said.

Professor Cheng has been appointed professor of law. He joins Vanderbilt’s law faculty from Brooklyn Law School, where he was a professor of law. His research focuses on scientific and expert evidence, and the interaction between law and statistics. He holds a B.S.E. (summa cum laude) in electrical engineering from Princeton University, an M.Sc. in information systems (with distinction) from the London School of Economics and Political Science, where he was a Fulbright Scholar, a J.D. (cum laude) from Harvard Law School, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in statistics at Columbia University. He is co-author of Modern Scientific Evidence (West 2009-10), and his articles have been published in the Columbia Law Review, the Stanford Law Review, the Michigan Law Review, the Duke Law Review and the Northwestern Law Review, among others. He will teach evidence, torts, and a seminar on statistical inference and law.

"Ed Cheng’s move to Vanderbilt will cement our Branstetter Litigation and Dispute Resolution Program‘s status as one of the true powerhouse centers for research about our civil litigation system," said Professor Richard Nagareda, who heads the Branstetter Program. "Across a vast swath of litigation contexts today, debate centers on aggregate statistical analysis. This is true all the way from an individual tort case to a multimillion-dollar employment discrimination class action. Ed’s doctoral work in statistical analysis gives him a unique tool set to translate social science into law, and vice versa."

Professor Cheng will also be affiliated with Vanderbilt’s Criminal Law Program, headed by Christopher Slobogin, a criminal law expert who holds the Milton Underwood Chair in Law. “Ed will provide a real interdisciplinary boost to our program,” Professor Slobogin stated. “He is producing some of the most exciting work in academia on the intersection of science and proof issues, an area that is extremely important in criminal law domains as diverse as the investigative profiling, the insanity defense and assessments of dangerousness.”

Professor Cheng will spend the 2010-11 year completing coursework at Columbia University and begin teaching at Vanderbilt in fall 2011.

“I have long been impressed by the energy and quality of the Vanderbilt faculty and its commitment to interdisciplinary studies,” Professor Cheng said. “I very much look forward to becoming a member of the community and hope to contribute to that tradition.”

Founded in 1875, Vanderbilt University Law School trains excellent lawyers for careers throughout the nation and around the world. Located on the Vanderbilt University campus in Nashville, Tennessee, Vanderbilt Law School combines the advantages of a top-tier faculty, a stimulating university community; a small, carefully selected student body, and one of the nation’s most modern, state-of-the-art facilities.


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