[Neuroscience] Call for Applications: Mathematics of Gun Violence, a NIMBioS Investigative Workshop

Catherine Crawley via neur-sci%40net.bio.net (by ccrawley from nimbios.org)
Wed Oct 10 09:22:56 EST 2018

The National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis 
(NIMBioS) is now accepting applications for its Investigative Workshop, 
"Mathematics of Gun Violence," to be held May 1-3, 2019, at NIMBioS.

*Objectives:* Gun violence is a central public concern in the United 
States, annually leading to the deaths of 31,000 individuals and the 
non-fatal injuries of 78,000 others. It has been called an epidemic and 
a public health crisis. For infectious disease epidemics and associated 
public health planning (including recent Zika and Ebola outbreaks), 
officials relied on mathematical models to evaluate immediate responses 
and develop preventative policies. The construction of policies to curb 
the spread of gun violence could benefit from the development of 
mathematical models linked with available data. This workshop will bring 
together researchers from diverse disciplinary backgrounds to (i) review 
the existing approaches on the mathematics and modeling of gun violence, 
(ii) identify and prioritize areas in the field that require further 
research, (iii) develop cross-disciplinary collaborations to gain new 
perspectives, and (iv) suggest research and data-collection that could 
assist evidence-based policy recommendations. A direct outcome from this 
workshop will be a comprehensive review of existing models on this topic 
with suggestions for further effort. It is expected that collaborations 
arising from the workshop will result in novel efforts to enhance the 
quantitative underpinnings of the science of gun violence.

The workshop will incorporate discussions and critiques of the existing 
approaches to gun violence modeling and how these relate to the 
objectives for which models could be developed. Comparisons of various 
modeling approaches (including dynamical systems, agent-based, spatial, 
and statistical) and the parameterization of these models will be 
considered. Through discussions of existing and future models, we will 
also assess the available data and suggest new data collection.. The 
workshop will consider the variety of scales at which models of this 
system can be developed and the associated implications at these 
different scales. The relationship to models for human behavior, 
including those from social psychology and game theory, will be evaluated.

Effective approaches to building a theory of gun violence, which will 
then inform a science of gun violence, will require perspectives from 
multiple disciplines. The workshop will consider a systems approach that 
bring together interacting factors and components operating on multiple 
scales of time and space. Attendees will incorporate ideas from various 
quantitative fields (including mathematics, computer science, 
statistics, and informatics), social science areas (including geography, 
psychology, and criminology), and biological disciplines (including 
behavior, medicine, and ecology). The necessary research will be 
informed by practitioners involved in policy and law enforcement and 
will account for ethical issues of social justice and privacy. An 
objective is to consider how models might inform potential 
interventions, communication formats, educational initiatives, and 
control methods.

The workshop will include presentations from participants, a poster 
session to indicate the diversity of methods currently being used in the 
field, and breakout groups on topics chosen with input from 
participants. Participants will be expected to contribute to a review 
outlining the current approaches identifying gaps in the literature, and 
presenting potential future directions.

*Location:* NIMBioS at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville

*Co-Organizers:* Andrea L. Bertozzi, Mathematics and Mechanical and 
Aerospace Engineering, UCLA; Louis J. Gross, Mathematics and Ecology & 
Evolutionary Biology, NIMBioS, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville; Andrew V. 
Papachristos, Sociology, Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern 
Univ.; Shelby M. Scott, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Univ. of 
Tennessee, Knoxville; Martin B. Short, Mathematics, Georgia Tech

For more information about the workshop and a link to the online 
application form, go to http://www.nimbios.org/workshops/WS_gunviolence

Participation in NIMBioS workshops is by application only. Individuals 
with a strong interest in the topic are encouraged to apply, and 
successful applicants will be notified within two weeks after the 
application deadline. If needed, financial support for travel, meals, 
and lodging is available for workshop attendees.

*Application deadline: November 30, 2018*

The National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis 
(NIMBioS) (http://www.nimbios.org) brings together researchers from 
around the world to collaborate across disciplinary boundaries to 
investigate solutions to basic and applied problems in the life 
sciences. NIMBioS is supported by the National Science Foundation, with 
additional support from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.


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