Mathematics and Counterterrorism


Abigail Thompson
Mentor: Dr. Kim Jongerius
Department of Mathematics

Mathematics has historically been used in political, military, and ideological conflicts for generations. With the emergence of the War on Terror and the heightened presence of terrorist networks, mathematicians are once again searching for a way to use mathematics to understand, analyze, predict, and respond to these growing threats. 

This project explores the application of mathematics to counterterrorism efforts, and attempts to reiterate some of the developments that have been made by leading mathematicians in the global effort to dissolve terrorism. This project focuses on the mathematical modeling and analysis of terrorist networks, the use of mathematics in forecasting techniques, the consideration of mathematics as it relates to subversive techniques used against terrorist networks, and the application of game theory to counterterrorism tactics. This project concludes with a consideration of the Boston Bombing attack that occurred in the United States on April 15, 2013, and of how mathematics might be used to analyze the attack.