Monday, May 3, 2010

GIS related talk tomorrow (Tuesday) at Engineering

It's by this professor at Michigan who's creating a GIS model of the Rwandan genocide, and using it to find out under whose "jurisdiction" murder took place. Below is the abstract of the research findings, but hopefully he'll elaborate further on the methods.

Abstract - Based on an examination of a new database on Rwandan political violence (Davenport and Stam), I will present an animated GIS analysis of the 1994 fighting which shows that three distinct zones of political violence existed during the 1994 civil war: 1) those killings that occurred under government (FAR) jurisdiction, 2) those where government and rebels are engaged in fighting each other (i.e., the battle-fronts or front lines) and 3) those under rebel (RPF) jurisdiction. The majority of killings take place in the zone under FAR/Rwandan government control (accounting for approximately 90% of deaths). They are the ones proximately responsible for almost all of the political violence though culpability varies tremendously for any individual episode of killing. I will also show that estimating the intensity of the violence requires making empirical assumptions that in other settings would be considered Herculean. Depending on one's priors, plausible posterior estimates of the killing range from 200,000 to 1,000,000. Except for estimates based on the most restrictive priors, Hutu victims account for the substantial majority of total deaths.

Professor Al Stam (University of Michigan)
May 4, 2010
3:30 pm
Engineering Hall - room 106B1

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