Friday, October 14, 2005

Spatial Murder-Mystery Event Spring 2006 Semester

LordKingSquirrel.com's recent post about the CBS show Numb3rs reminded me about an idea I have been tossing around for a while now about planning a large-scale (well, as large as I can make it) murder-mystery event which solves the crime using GIS and mathematics, similar to Numb3rs. Except, of course, we will be using computers and electronic GIS. The handful of episodes that I have seen showed the math detectives doing spatial analysis on a chalkboard, which I simply would never even contemplate doing...

Well, here is the idea. Circulate in as many university publications (newsletters, newspapers and such) about a mock crime, maybe a mock murder. For the next 4 weeks or so, follow up with more details. This will culminate in a GIS workshop where we use GIS and mathematics to solve the murder-mystery. Now, if I can also create some good signs/posters around campus, and talk this up as much as possible, I think this can get many students excited about math and GIS that would normally scoff at them. (I know as I was one of these during much of my social science undergrad career.) Nothing at work gives me greater pleasure than to see the light in some student's eye when he/she finally and for the first time understands how mathematics and analysis is actually a powerful tool for solving useful real world problems.

2 comments:

Joso said...

Hi there. Thanx for a great blog. This murder-solving event sounds very interesting. I´m looking forward to read more about the details. Will you present some more facts before the event or are you afraid of spoiling for the participants?

mapz said...

Joso, thank you so much for your interest in this idea. I must keep blogging more about this because my blog has turned out to be such a creative outlet for me. If I get an idea that I really want to pursue, I cannot help myself from blogging about it. As you say, however, I will try hard not to let the cat out of the bag.

More details to come...