Project Examples

Statistical Crime Analysis for the City of Lowell

Course: 14.286 - Probability & Statistics for Engineers
Semester: Fall 2005
Instructor: Oguz Gunes
Partner: City of Lowell, Lowell Police Department

Brief Description:

The goal of this project was to provide a general outlook of crime trends in Lowell, MA and its interaction with the rate of unemployment by performing statistical analysis of crimes in the city. The overall goal was for students’ concepts of statistics and probability to increase due to the interaction with concrete data.

Full Description:

The City of Lowell, with over 105,000 residents, is the fourth largest city in Massachusetts. As many other cities, the local police department has been working hard to reduce the crime rate in this city. From 1993 to 1999, Lowell residents experienced a dramatic decline in crime level up to 57%. However, in the past few years, Lowell residents have again seen an increment in crime of about 10% each year. The statistics of the city gave Professor Gunes the opportunity to reinforce his students’ understanding on his course material by implementing an analysis of real life data.

The goal of this project was to provide a general outlook of crime trends in Lowell, MA and its interaction with the rate of unemployment by performing statistical analysis of crimes in the city. The overall goal was for students’ concepts of statistics and probability to increase due to the interaction with concrete data. Six students out of thirty-seven volunteered to do the analysis as a way to improve their course grade. This project served the local community by providing feedbacks to the city officials. The analysis result, which was based on historical data, reflected their performance in reducing the unemployment rate and crime level in Lowell. This project allowed the students to understand a very abstract concept of probability and statistics, through a quantitative assessment of crime trends and let them draw conclusions based on its correlation with essential indicators, such as, the rate of unemployment.

Learning objectives met by the S-L project:

  • To reinforce the students’ understanding of the fundamental concepts of probability and statistics
  • To expand the student’s knowledge through additional studies on regression analysis
  • To determine the correlation between unemployment rates and crime levels

Community objectives met by S-L project:

  • To provide valuable feedback to the city officials about the crime trend and its correlation with the unemployment rate
  • To provide annual feedback regarding the crime status
  • To provide a mean for performance evaluation for the city