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Burden of Proof: A Review of Math on Trial

dc.contributor.authorEdelman, Paul H.
dc.contributor.authorEdelman, Paul H.
dc.identifier.citation60 Notices of the Am. Mathematical Society 910 (2013)en_US
dc.descriptionarticle published in mathematical journalen_US
dc.description.abstractIn "Math on Trial," Leila Schneps and Coralie Colmez write about the abuse of mathematical arguments in criminal trials and how these flawed arguments "have sent innocent people to prison" (p. ix). Indeed, people "saw their lives ripped apart by simple mathematical errors." The purpose of focusing on these errors, despite mathematics "relatively rare use in trial" (p. x), is "that many of the common mathematical fallacies that pervade the public sphere are perfectly represented by these trials. Thus they serve as ideal illustrations of these errors and of the drastic consequences that faulty reasoning has on real lives" (p. x). The author's strategy is to identify common mathematical errors and then illustrate how those errors arose in trials. They seek to accomplish two goals: first, to impress upon the general public the importance of being able to "distinguish whether the numbers brandished in our faces are legitimately providing information or being misused for dangerous ends"; second "to identify the most important errors that have actually occurred" so that such mistakes can be eliminated in the future.en_US
dc.format.extent1 PDF (6 pages)en_US
dc.publisherAmerican Mathematical Societyen_US
dc.subjectMath on trialen_US
dc.subjectMathematical errorsen_US
dc.subject.lcshSchneps, Leilaen_US
dc.subject.lcshColmez, Coralie, 1988-en_US
dc.subject.lcshFallacies (Logic)en_US
dc.subject.lcshEvidence, Criminalen_US
dc.subject.lcshEvidence (Law)en_US
dc.subject.lcshForensic statisticsen_US
dc.subject.lcshJudicial erroren_US
dc.titleBurden of Proof: A Review of Math on Trialen_US

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