Johannes Kepler Symposium on Mathematics

As part of the Johannes Kepler symposium on mathematics Dr. Jonathan David Farley will give a public talk (followed by a discussion) on Wed, Dec. 3, 2008 at 16:15 o'clock at HS 10 on the topic of "How to build and how to avoid a perfect terrorist cell" . The organziers of the symposium,

O.Univ.-Prof. Dr. Ulrich Langer,
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Gerhard Larcher
A.Univ.-Prof. Dr. Jürgen Maaß, and
die ÖMG (Österreichische Mathematische Gesellschaft),

hereby cordially invite you.

Series A - General Colloquium:

The intention is to present general information not only to experts, but also to students and guests from outside the mathematical institutes.

How to build and how to avoid a perfect terrorist cell

Since 2001, tremendous amounts of information have been gathered regarding terrorist cells and individuals potentially planning future attacks. There is a pressing need to develop new mathematical and computational techniques to assist in the analysis of this information, both to quantify future threats and to quantify the effectiveness of counterterrorism operations and strategies. Concepts and techniques from mathematics---specifically, from lattice theory and reflexive theory---have already been applied to problems related to counterterrorism. The following is a partial list of such problems.

One problem is the following: How can we tell if a terrorist cell has been broken? That enough members have been captured so that there is a high likelihood they will be unable to carry out a new attack, and military resources can be redirected away from them and towards more immediate threats?

We can use lattice theory to quantify the degree to which a terrorist network is still able to function. This tool may help law enforcement know when a battle against a terrorist network has been won, thus saving the public's money without unduly risking the public's safety.

If one accepts the formalism of the model, then, with a few additional and reasonable assumptions, one can ask, "What is the structure of the 'perfect' terrorist cell? Which terrorist cells are most robust? Which cells are least likely to be disrupted if a certain number of their members have been captured?"

(This talk is non-political in nature and will not violate Austria's neutrality.)