Law Professor's Math Helps Identify Terrorists

Voting Power Analysis Helpful In Determining Most Dangerous Terrorists
WASHINGTON - May 4, 2023 - PRLog -- A novel mathematical technique developed by a law professor while he was still a student in law school has been adapted to help determine the most dangerous terrorists in a network.

The mathematical tool, named "The Banzhaf Index" or sometimes "The Banzhaf Index of Voting Power," was invented by John Banzhaf while he was still a law student at Columbia Law School.

It was created, says Banzhaf, now a well-known professor of public interest law at George Washington University Law School, to disprove the claim of one of his law professors that systems of weighted voting - widely used at the time in New York as well as in other states - was a viable solution to the Supreme Court's new constitutional requirement of equal voting power ("One Man, One Vote").

While still in law school, Banzhaf also managed to convince New York State's highest court that weighted voting plans were unconstitutional, and its ruling - unique because it was based solely on an abstract mathematical and computer analysis - led to the invalidation of several voting plans among New York counties.

Banzhaf's mathematical index was also used to analyze voting power under the Electoral College (where he almost persuaded Congress to abolish it), in multi-member electoral systems, legislative bodies in Great Britain and other countries, the distribution of voting power in various international organizations, and in many other contexts.

Now, in an newly published article ( entitled "Risk Analysis Sampling Methods in Terrorist Networks Based on the Banzhaf Value," it has been found to be very helpful in determining which terrorists present the greatest danger.

As the abstract explains: "This paper introduces the Banzhaf and the Banzhaf-Owen values as novel measures of risk analysis of a terrorist attack, determining the most dangerous terrorists in a network."

On a broader note, although law schools try to argue that some of their professors are interdisciplinary - e.g., modern Renaissance men or women - very few truly are.

But perhaps Prof Banzhaf in an exception, since his proposals aimed at a variety of problems have been based upon many different scientific concepts.   @profbanzhaf

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