Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications

Product ID: MathServe
Supplementary Print

Data Detectives: ShotSpotter in Chicago

Author: Team from Wheaton College Directed by Paul Isihara


ShotSpotter is a technology to detect, locate, and report gunshots to police. Its deployment in Chicago has led to claims of saving lives and apprehending violent offenders, but also activists objecting that it is ineffective in reducing violence, expensive, and discriminatory in locations surveilled. In light of concerns about ShotSpotter, the leadership of Sunshine Gospel Ministries' Flourishing Community Initiative (FCI), a faith-based violence reduction program located in Chicago's South Side, sought an analysis of the effectiveness of ShotSpotter in its local area. We, a team of undergraduates from Wheaton College (IL) under the direction of Prof. Paul Isihara, conducted an analysis and prepared a report for FCI. Our project involved interaction with FCI leadership, a ShotSpotter representative, and staff of the Office of Inspector General, an independent watchdog agency whose report on ShotSpotter in August 2021 was followed by a Chicago City Council hearing.
©2022 by COMAP, Inc.
The UMAP Journal 43.2
28 pages

Mathematics Topics:

  • Geometry

Application Areas:

You must have a Full Membership to download this resource.

If you're already a member, login here.

Not yet a member?


COMAP develops curriculum resources, professional development programs, and contest opportunities that are multidisciplinary, academically rigorous, and fun for educators and students. COMAP's educational philosophy is centered around mathematical modeling: using mathematical tools to explore real-world problems.

© 2022 COMAP, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.