Terror solutions

Mathematicians are in vogue to solve the security threat posed by terrorism.

by World Business

Stephen Flynn of the Council on Foreign Relations and Stanford's Lawrence Wein used models to analyse the threats posed to the US by international terrorism and made recommendations to the US government on a security system for containers coming into US ports.

Using 'total quality management' principles, Stanford professors Hau Lee and Seungjin Whang developed a model that put the emphasis on the beginning of the supply chain by equipping containers with sensors that detect changes in temperature or air pressure.

Professors Glen Carroll and J Richard Harrison use a mathematical model to understand how a terrorist organisation can have a persistent culture in an era of change. The best way to hurt an organisation such as Al Qaeda, they say, is by disrupting the flow of recruits.

Calculating ways to stop terrorists
John B Stafford
Stanford Business Magazine, August 2006

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