American Roulette (Russian Roulette with a Twist)

Investigating the Probability of Encountering Mass Shootings in the US Using Stochastic Modelling

  • Alex Mackie MacEwan University


With the plethora of mass shootings occurring in the US, we asked ourselves: what is the probability that one of the tourists will encounter a mass shooting? Using stochastic modelling we constructed 8 different scenarios where individuals travelled throughout the US for 5 years. We assumed that each US state would experience mass shooting events that follow a Poisson process with a rate equivalent to the state’s actual daily rate between Jan 1st and Oct 31st, 2018. We used the simulated estimate of the probability of being in the same state as a mass shooting event to get an idea of the risk posed to tourists.


Faculty Mentor: Cristina Anton

Department: Mathematics and Statistics