You cant solve the crime if you cant do the math.

Thats the message West Virginia Universitys Forensic Science Initiative is taking to western Pennsylvania high school students next week.

WVU forensic professionals will hold sessions in the North Allegheny Math Partnership Tuesday, Oct. 24, at Pittsburghs North Allegheny High School. Some 150 students from nine other school districts in the area will also attend.

The idea, WVU Forensic Science Initiative technician Marlene Shaposky said, is to show once-and-future sleuths how the discipline of math factors into the work at the crime scene or lab.

They watch all the crime shows on TV and they see that the work can be exciting and definitely rewarding,she said,but what they dont see is the amount of math thats required for the job.

How much?

Well, trigonometry is needed to effectively analyze blood spatters, she said.

A firm handle on physics is a must for anyone wishing to reconstruct a car crash.

By tapping into the right formula, an investigator can reasonably estimate a suspects heightby using the size of a footprint as a starting point.

And one cant cop a plea on the course work, Shaposky said. Math-based courses are an absolute requirement for Forensic and Investigative Science Program majors at WVU .

Our students have to complete two semesters of calculus and one of calculus-based statistics,she said.But it doesnt have to be chore. Especially when you see how it works in conjunction with forensic science. Thats what the partnership is all about.

The numbers keep adding up in WVU s Forensic and Investigative Sciences Program, as well. The program boasts nearly 500 majors from 35 states and five countries.