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NUMB3RS - Season 3 - "Killer Chat" - Stylometry

Published on 10/17/2008

Activity Overview

In "Killer Chat," the FBI has obtained a collection of online chat dialogues from a suspected killer. Charlie proposes he use Statistical Linguistic Analysis to identify the author. The style and language can essentially fingerprint the writing. Stylometry, the practice of applying statistical analysis to linguistic style, has been used to answers questions of authorship.
This activity will focus on analyzing writing samples based on sentence length and paragraph length.

Before the Activity

Download the attached PDF and look over the Teacher Page.

During the Activity

Discuss the materials from the Student Page with your class. Download the attached writing samples for your students to use during the activity.

After the Activity

Encourage students to explore web sites and questions from the Extensions Page.