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
Frank Brown celebrated his retirement by earning an M.A. in mathematics from East Carolina University. He has been teaching mathematics courses for OLLI since 2016. His previous OLLI course topics included the Fibonacci numbers, the history of calculus and cryptography. Frank is a graduate of Duke with a B.S. in chemistry.