Dec 11, 2023  
Course Catalog 2021-2022 
Course Catalog 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

MATH 217 - Mathematics, Voting, and Democracy

Every ten years, the United States conducts a census to determine the population of the nation. These results are used to determine the number of seats each state receives in the House of Representatives, as well as to draw the boundaries for every Congressional and state legislative district. This course examines the mathematics behind the theory of apportioning seats to each state as well as mathematical techniques for detecting gerrymandering (when one political party has manipulated the district lines to gain a structural advantage). In addition, we will explore the structure underlying different methods of voting. We will see that different procedures for determining the winner can give dramatically different outcomes, even if no voter changes their preferences, and that there is a beautiful geometric framework that will help us understand these differences. These techniques have applications well beyond politics since any group decision process can be viewed as a voting procedure. 

MATH 104  or Permission of Instructor

Credits 1

Math and Computer Science


Compass Attributes
Quantitative Analysis