Relatively Prime: Stories from the Mathematical Domain

Relatively Prime features stories and interviews from the mathematical world. Featuring math stories from people like Fields Medalists to indie rockers to linguists on topics ranging as wide as the artificial intelligence which defeated checkers and mathematics haiku battles. Relatively Prime has a mathematics story for anyone and everyone.

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All The Gerrys Mandered(Encore)


Gerrymandering – the dividing of a state, county, etc., into election districts so as to give one political party a majority in many districts while concentrating the voting strength of the other party into as few districts as possible.

Few aspects of politics are as clearly open to mathematical analysis as gerrymandering. Just looking at district maps seems to scream for geometric analysis, and there really are a lot of different tests out there. Samuel spoke to David Austin about some potential gerrymandered districts and ways to test for them, then things got a bit bizarre. Samuel also sat down with Jonathan Hodge to talk about a technique Hodge helped develop to test for gerrymandering called the Convexity Coefficient.

Not all of the ways to test for possible gerrymandering rely on geometry. Duke University Professor Jonathan Mattingly and his former student Christy Vaughn, she is currently a graduate student at Princeton, decided to use probability theory to check to see if the districts used in North Carolina’s 2012 elections had been drawn fairly. The results were eye opening.

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 2017-08-31  23m