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Crack, Cocaine and Operations Research

It might not be the most “Christmas-y” posting, but Al Blumstein of Carnegie Mellon (whose work I have discussed before) is quoted in the AP news coverage of the sentencing guidelines for crack versus powder cocaine.  In particular, he talks about the violence that crack created:

When crack first became popular, there was an increase in murders and other crimes associated with the drug. But the bloodshed was not necessarily the result of something inherent in crack.

Instead, most of that violence was typical for what happens when any illegal drug is introduced and drug dealers with guns compete for new markets, said Dr. Alfred Blumstein, a professor of urban systems and operations research at Carnegie-Mellon University.

This shows the sort of clear-thinking that OR engenders.  It also shows the value of having “Operations Research” in a professorial title:  it is important for more of our work to be associated with that term.

On that note, my very best wishes for the holidays to all!