Stemming gun violence starts with better data | NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Stemming gun violence starts with better data

illustration of gun shooting bullet with smoke in shape of USA

For nearly 25 years after the passage of the Dickey Amendment, researchers were not able to access critical funding to study gun violence. This moratorium on research robbed citizens and legislators alike of the opportunity to gain a data-driven understanding of the firearms ecosystem, and the subsequent ability to craft effective evidence-based policies. Maurizio Porfiri was the first researcher to receive a Leading Engineering for America's Prosperity, Health, & Infrastructure (LEAP-HI) grant from the National Science Foundation earmarked specifically for gun-related research.  

Now, he and his team at NYU Tandon are working with colleagues at institutions across the U.S. and the globe to harness and analyze data about firearm prevalence and use. This is the first research of its kind to unfold the firearm ecosystem simultaneously on three levels:

  • Macroscale: causality between firearm prevalence and firearm-related harms at the national level
  • Mesoscale: policy diffusion across states
  • Microscale: individual opinions about firearm safety

They are also building new data models to support additional analysis, diagnostics, and predictions of firearm-related harms, and inform reasonable gun policies.

Office Hours with Maurizio Porfiri: The data illuminating gun violence
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A collaborative project that brings together experts from NYU, University of California, Georgia State University, and Northeastern University, working to engineer a safer American firearm ecosystem.



Oded Nov

Technology Management and Innovation Department Chair; Morton L. Topfer Professor in Technology Management


Rayan Succar

Ph.D Candidate; Doctoral Track Student; Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

More members of the NYU Team:

  • Roni Barak Ventura
  • Dmytro Bukhanevych
  • Rishita Das
  • Poorna Talkad Sukumar

Centers and Labs

New York City ariel view

Center for Urban Science and Progress

The Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) is an interdisciplinary research center dedicated to the application of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in the service of urban communities across the globe.

Dynamical Systems Laboratory (DSL)

At the Dynamical Systems Laboratory (DSL), conducts multidisciplinary research in the theory and application of dynamical systems, motivated by the objectives of advancing engineering science and improving society.