Fac Chats

Info and suggested readings for the Intercultural Center and the Library's "Fac Chats" series

Talk Description

Photo of Dr. Ellen VeomettOn September 30, Dr. Ellen Veomett, presented "Make your Vote Count: Using Mathematics to Detect and Prevent Gerrymandering."

How can we use mathematics to improve democracy? Certainly we can agree that each person's vote should be able to impact the outcome of an election; we want each vote to count. But understanding the mathematical impact of a person's vote isn't always straightforward. In this Fac Chat, we'll focus on the practice of gerrymandering: the drawing of district lines so as to disenfranchise a group of voters, and unfairly amplify the voting power of a different group of voters. We'll discuss how gerrymandering happens, the history of gerrymandering in the United States, and the tools that mathematicians have recently used in order to combat the practice of gerrymandered district drawing. Please join us as we learn one way that mathematics is fighting to protect our democracy!

Suggested Resources

FiveThirtyEight (n.d.). The Gerrymandering Project. https://fivethirtyeight.com/tag/the-gerrymandering-project/

Duchin, M. (2018). Geometry versus gerrymanderingScientific American319(5), 48-53. https://doi.org/10.1038/scientificamerican1118-48

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