Math 217, Mathematics, Voting, & Democracy, Spring 2022

This page uses MathJax to display mathematical notation, so please let me know if any part isn't
clear.

Be sure to check back, because this page will be updated often during the semester.

Some of the main references for the course are:

- Balinski & Young, Fair Representation, Second Edition, Brookings Institution Press
- Saari, Chaotic Elections! A Mathematician Looks at Voting , American Mathematical Society

- From Balinski & Young:
Chapter 1 Apportionment

Chapter 2 Representation in the United States

Chapter 3 The Methods of Jefferson and Hamilton

Chapter 4 The Method of Webster

- From Balinski & Young:
Chapter 5 Paradoxes

- From Balinski & Young:
Chapter 6 The Controversy over Bias

Chapter 7 Overview of Methods

- From the Census Bureau, The U.S. Census and the Amazing Apportionment Machine. This is actually Hill's Method. Really.

- From Balinski & Young:
Chapter 8 Resolving the Paradoxes

- Everything you wanted to know about redistricting but were afraid to ask from the ACLU (2010)
Sections II - V (pp 8 - 21)

Section VII (pg 27) - Drawing the Line, How redistricting turned America from blue to red at The New Yorker (2016)
- Power on the Line(s) from LDF, MALDEF, and AAJC (2021)
Chapters 1 & 2 (pp 4 - 27)

Appendix 1 may be a handy reference, too

- Skim The Gerrymandering Jumble: Map Projections Permute Districtsâ€™ Compactness Scores by Bar-Natan, et al. Pay attention to the statements of Theorems 1, 2, & 3, and to Section 7 Discussion.
- Rucho v. Common Cause at the Brennan Center
- Gill v. Whitford at the Brennan Center
- The Mathematicians' Brief in Rucho v. Common Cause. This short webpage has the most important ideas, although you can also download the full brief if you would like.

- A Formula Goes to Court: Partisan Gerrymandering and the Efficiency Gap by Mira Bernstein and Moon Duchin

- Moon Duchin's Public Math Lecture at Stanford, from May 2019. Note this is from before the Supreme Court ruling in June 2019.

- Skim The Geography and Election Outcome (GEO) Metric: An Introduction by Campisi, et al.

- Colorado in Context: Congressional Redistricting and Competing Fairness Criteria in Colorado
by Clelland, et al.

Read Sections 1 & 2 in detail, and skim the remainder of the paper

- How does the German general election work? from Deutsche Welle
- Election of Members of the German Bundestag from the German Bundestag

- Saari

Preface (pp ix-xiii)

Sections 1.2.1 & 1.2.2 (pp 17-27)

Section 2.2 (pp 40-45)

- Saari

Sections 2.2 & 2.3 (pp 40-52)

- Saari

Section 5.3 (pp 129-135)

- Saari

Re-read Section 5.3 (pp 129-135)

- Saari

Section 2.5 (pp 60-68)

Section 1.2.3 (pp 27-31)

- "Selecting Committees," by T. Ratliff, Public Choice (2006), posted to onCourse
- "Is racism a public health crisis? Lowellâ€™s mostly white City Council says no", Boston Globe, July 20, 2020, posted to onCourse
- Skim Huot v Lowell Consent Decree