Filling the Research Gap: Mathematics of Gun Violence

NIMBioS/DySoC Investigative Workshop on the Mathematics of Gun Violence, May 1-3, 2019

Coronavirus is capturing headlines around the world, and infectious disease experts are relying on data and mathematical models to help to curb its spread.

Another public health menace capturing news headlines would also benefit from data and mathematical models: the scourge of gun violence.

The NIMBioS/DySoC Investigative Workshop on the Mathematics of Gun Violence, held in May 2019, helped to fill the research void, and activities from the workshop were recently described in an article, “The Mathematics Underlying Gun Violence” in the January/February 2020 newsletter of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM).

The three-day interdisciplinary workshop brought together 29 scholars from a variety of quantitative fields including mathematics (computer science, statistics, and informatics), social science areas (geography, psychology, and criminology), and biological disciplines (behavior, medicine, and ecology). The workshop included presentations from participants, a poster session to indicate the diversity of methods currently being used in the field, and breakout groups on topics chosen with input from the participants.

The article summarized the existing literature presented at the workshop and identified some promising ideas that emerged from the workshop, spanning stakeholder collaboration, evidence-based interventions, effects of rare events, epidemiological criminology, theoretical models, technology, spatiotemporal characteristics, and network models.

The article also highlighted the need for more cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary collaboration, better evaluation techniques, improved data, and increased funding support.

Read more at SIAM News at

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