A use of math models to save lives in Chicago’s bad neighborhoods

October 6, 2009 at 11:35 am 1 comment

Another non-traditional use of mathematics to keep people safe… in this case a probability model was built using past data to try to predict which children are most at risk… and when.

There are patterns to be found in everything… the trick is to find them!

… but if Mr. Huberman’s hunch is right, about 10,000 high school students with the highest risk of becoming the next victims will be better off once his plan is in place this winter.

Financed by federal stimulus grants for two years, the $60 million plan uses a formula gleaned from an analysis of more than 500 students who were shot over the last several years to predict the characteristics of potential future victims, including when and where they might be attacked. While other big city school districts, including New York, have tried to focus security efforts on preventing violence, this plan goes further by identifying the most vulnerable students and saturating them with adult attention, including giving each of them a paid job and a local advocate who would be on call for support 24 hours a day.

From the study of the 500 shootings, Mr. Huberman said officials know that deadly violent outbursts are not truly random. The students at highest risk of violence, by statistics, are most likely to be black, male, without a stable living environment, in special education, skipping an average of 42 percent of school days at neighborhood and alternative schools, and having a record of in-school behavioral flare-ups that is about eight times higher than the average student.

Attacks have typically happened beyond a two-hour window from the start and end of school — that is, late at night or very early in the morning — and blocks away from school grounds, where neighborhood boundaries press against one another.

Within the three-dozen or so schools where 80 percent of the victims in the study attended classes, the plan calls for a rethinking of the security philosophy so that policies favor mental health strategies and prevention over policing and punishment. And officials are becoming more strategic about providing safe passage to school by keeping tabs on gang and clique activities in real time as their turf wars hopscotch around school catchment areas.

“We were hoping the analysis would reveal what we should do, and in fact it has,” Mr. Huberman said.

via School Violence Plan Focuses on Potential Victims

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  • […] Another non-traditional make use of of arithmetic to keep people safe… in this box a luck indication was built regulating past interpretation to try to envision that young kids have been many during risk… as well as when. There have been patterns to be found in everything… a pretence is to find them! … though if Mr. Huberman’s camber is right, abo … Blog Source […]

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