Courses Taught

Undergraduate

Environmental Criminology (CJ3402)

Description

This course offers an introduction to set of crime theories that emphasize the role of the built environment in shaping human behavior and consequently where crime happens. The basic question asked in environmental criminology is why crime occurs where it does. In other words, the course focuses on place-based analysis of crime. This perspective is very different from more traditional crime theories that try to answer the question of why people commit crime. The basic starting point in environmental criminology is human behavior and place characteristics rather than offender motivation. The shift in focus from offender motivation to criminal events in their immediate built and social environments requires a different way of thinking about crime that is supported by a new set of data sources, tools, and techniques to analyze crime.

Syllabus

 

Commmunities and Crime Prevention (CJ4102)

Description

This course offers an introduction to set of crime theories that emphasize the role of community in crime generation and prevention. This course takes the approach of place-based criminology which examines why some neighborhoods and not others have high crime rates. This perspective is very different from more traditional crime theories that try to answer the question of why people commit crime. During the course of the semester we and how they have been applied. We begin with an introduction to data and tools for studying communities,then discuss theories of communities and crime prevention. Finally, we examine a wide variety of crime prevention strategies.

Syllabus

 

 

Graduate

Introduction to Simulation Modeling (CJ8100)

Description

Social problems involve complicated systems of individuals/families, organizations/institutions and places in which they are embedded. These components of society interact with one another in intricate fashions. Modeling all that complexity is a fascinating challenge. This class focuses on one approach, agent-based models (ABMs). Specifically, ABMs work by representing the components of societies as a dynamic system of interacting 'agents'. The modeler creates a virtual world for the agents by setting the initial conditions and deciding which of the components are necessary for the model. We then observe and record the interactions that take place as the society moves forward in time. The results of these virtual experiments can be used to improve the model but they can also be used to strengthen our theories and in doing so provide the foundation for more complete proposals for empirical research.

This class provides the opportunity to explore a different approach to research question under the guidance of someone who has been down that road. We start with an overview of modeling and discuss where agent-based modeling 'fits'. Class members are encouraged to use the readings and discussion in class to form their own frameworks. While the readings are from a variety of disciplines, the common focus is on the development and application of agent-based models.

Syllabus