Math in the Media

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Mathematical Digest

Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"Science on the Case," by Larry Stevens. Popular Science, October 2002.

Stevens covers how "new databases and digital techniques are broadeningthe kinds of evidence available to the crime scene investigator." Thesection entitled 'Pixel by Pixel' is on a digital image processingtechnique in which "the tiny dots known as pixels are converted intonumbers that represent the brightness of each dot. Software thenunleashes algorithms to search for 'noise' and remove it or increasecontrast at those spots in the tape." This digital technique is beingused to help clarify videotapes to identify individuals such as robbersin banks and stores and child-abductors in shopping malls.

--- Annette Emerson