A recent article from Math in the News titled *Preventing Crime with Math *discusses the work of University of California-Santa Clara Professor of Mathematics George Mohler. Mohler has applied an algorithm used in modeling seismic activity to crime in Los Angeles. The model developed by Mohler models burglaries and gang violence.

According to the article, crime is similar to seismic activity in that it is initially difficult to predict, but is usually followed by smaller “afterschocks”. The model uses the algorithm to compute which houses are likely to be struck by a burglar given their initial crime. This model has been considered so effective that the Santa Cruz Police Department is working with Mohler to adapt the model for their use.

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Kyle, this is very interesting. I read the articles, and I couldn’t really find where they give any statistics about the model’s effectiveness in practical application. Now that Mohler has collected his data and created the model, have they actually been able to stop crimes as they expected?

I’m not sure. I haven’t been able to find any follow up reports. It would be cool if they had, though.