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Mathematics in Solving Crimes

The Resource review for this week focuses on using mathematics to solve crimes ala the television show NUMB3RS. But, is mathematics actually used to solve crimes...other than the intense probability discussions surrounding the DNA analysis during the O.J.Simpson murder trial?

These internet resources may prove helpful in answering this question:

  • Two simplistic responses to the WikiQuestion: How is math used in crime scene investigation? Response 1 and Response 2
  • University of Bath Press Release in 2005 about how "the next Miss Marple or Sherlock Holmes could well be a mathematician."
  • Great article by the online Plus Magazine entitled "Crime Fighting Maths."
  • General article about how the Director of NUMB3RS made "math sexy" by integrating it into a crime show.
  • General article about the roles and involvement of mathematicians and students in the scripting and shooting of NUMB3RS specific to Cal Tech.
  • General article about the roles and involvement of a group of Wolfram researchers in the scripting and shooting of NUMB3RS and its use of Mathematica.
  • Lesson Plan #1 on the use of mathematics and science in crime scene investigations.
  • Lesson Plan #2 on the use of mathematics and science in crime scene investigations.
  • And last, a recent interview with David Krumholtz, the actor who plays the role of Charlie, the mathematician...especially read his responses to the questions "Do you work with mathematicians?" and "What is the best part of playing a mathematician?"
If you know of other resources, please send me links to them so that I can expand this initial offering.