Science and the Universe - The Mathematics of Voting

CLLC-L 130 / CLASS 10686 — Spring 2022

Foster Martin 012B
Days and Times
M/W 1:45 p.m. - 3:00 p.m., 3 credits
Course Description

You and your fellow students play the role of a democratic activists in a fictional democracy. You will use what you learn in the class to report on political developments in the region and lobby for or against changes to the rules of the democracy. You will also act as voters and will learn how political strategists can manipulate the rules of democracy to their advantage. This is a course in the procedural, rather than social, aspects of elections. We will study the mathematics of such procedures as first-past-the-post voting, ranked-choice voting, approval voting, districting, and district apportionment, to see how the specific rules of a democracy impact different notions of ‘fairness.’ These and other examples will help us to see how rigid notions of fairness may contradict each other or be undermined. The course is driven by activities and discussions, though these will focus on ideas introduced by lecture.

Instructor: Daniel Condon

Collins Seminars: Selected by Board of Educational Programming (BOEP)