Course Description

IN PERSON: Have you ever wondered if your vote counts? Elections and voting are crucial to the proper functioning of a democracy, and underpinning them is mathematics. In this lecture-based course, we explore various voting systems from the perspective of mathematicians. We investigate the origins and histories of various systems, as we look to understand whether there is a “perfect” voting system. History and mathematics undergird two election issues of vital importance to our time: apportionment and the electoral college. We consider the history and mathematics behind these issues, why they exist, how they have evolved over time and how we might consider reforming them. We examine how mathematics is used to gerrymander voting districts and how mathematics can be used to quantify gerrymandering. Through all these topics, we consider how our voting and election systems impact our choice of leaders in our political systems. | Lecture + Q&A.

Max enrollment: 30.

Location: Judea Reform Congregation, 1933 W. Cornwallis Rd, Durham NC 27705

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Section Title
The Mathematics of Voting
Classroom - In Person
11:00AM to 12:30PM
Jan 31, 2024 to Apr 03, 2024
Schedule and Location
Contact Hours
Delivery Options
Classroom - In Person  
Course Fees
Section Notes

Please note: Some facility with high-school-level algebra and basic number skills is required. Some knowledge of spreadsheets is especially useful.

Recommended reading:
Jonathan K. Hodge and Richard E. Klima, "The Mathematics of Voting and Elections: A Hands-On Approach" (9781470442873)

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