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­sing Science Against Suicide Bombs


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Zeeshan-ul-hassan Usmani

Computer scientist and Fulbright Scholar Zeeshan-ul-hassan Usmani is the founder of Pakistan Body Count, a comprehensive portal of Suicide Bombing and Drone attacks in Pakistan.

Credit: Amazon.com

Software that models the effects of suicide bombings has been developed by computer scientist Zeeshan-ul-Hassan Usmani, a Fulbright Scholar whose expertise could help inform the construction of a planned software park in Lahore, Pakistan, in order to minimize casualties.

Bomb-blast software employed by U.S. government analysts is expensive and their research is classified, so Usmani produced a less costly version of the software by mining information that was freely available in published academic texts on controlled explosions. So that his model also could predict injuries suffered by suicide bombing victims, Usmani culled autopsy records of many fatalities.

Though Usmani acknowledges that high-tech computational fluid-dynamic research facilitates more accurate explosion models, he says the high expense and skill needed to run such software make it impractical in Pakistan. Usmani determined through his modeling system that explosions are less deadly in situations in which people are arrayed in rows rather than distributed randomly or in a circle.

From The Wall Street Journal
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Abstracts Copyright © 2010 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


 

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