The Mathematics of Criminal Behavior: Modeling and Experiments

Job Candidate Talk
Thursday, November 29, 2012 - 11:00
1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Skiles 006
In this era of "big data", Mathematics as it applies to human behavior is becoming a much more relevant and penetrable topic of research. This holds true even for some of the less desirable forms of human behavior, such as crime. In this talk, I will discuss the mathematical modeling of crime on various "scales" and using many different mathematical techniques, as well as the results of experiments that are being performed to test the usefulness and accuracy of these models. This will include: models of crime hotspots at the scale of neighborhoods -- in the form of systems of PDEs and also statistical models adapted from literature on earthquake predictions -- along with the results of the model's application within the LAPD; a model for gang retaliatory violence on the scale of social networks, and its use in the solution of an inverse problem to help solve gang crimes; and a game-theoretic model of crime and punishment at the scale of a society, with comparisons of the model to results of lab-based economic experiments performed by myself and collaborators.