Mathematics of Terrorism
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The Mathematics of Terrorism August 31-September 2, 2009, Santa Fe NM
Description: Conventional studies of violent political conflict, and terrorism in particular, tend to have a strong qualitative emphasis, focusing often on the psychological motives of the perpetrators and on discovering correlations between the incidence of terrorism and various national political factors, such as level of democracy, population, region, economic development, etc.
Recently, several independent research groups have begun developing an alternative understandings, sometimes using tools from statistics and physics, to discover and explain regularities across different conflicts in the frequency and severity of individual events and in the strategic behavior of actors on both sides of the conflict. This approach has great potential to shed new light on old questions about why, when and how violent political conflict emerges, and promises to reveal novel principles and constraints that unite apparently disparate conflicts under a single, quantitative framework.
To date, these research groups, which span physics, political science, economics, mathematics, statistics and computer science, have largely worked independently of each other. The purpose of this working group is to bring these groups together, along with specific members in the defense industry (through SFI's Business Network), to address and formalize the larger research program of quantitative analysis, modeling, and prediction in this area.
The working group goals include (i) identifying existing and new opportunities for collaboration (both among the existing groups, and with other researchers), (ii) identifying new opportunities for interaction with other areas of research, e.g., organizational theory, group formation, micro-economics, geospatial analysis, etc., (iii) identifying and characterizing the quality of existing and new sources of data (potentially from government sources), and (iv) characterizing the major theoretical questions in the area and their relationship with other bodies of theory.
*Please note that attendance to this event is by invitation only.