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Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society

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Geometry, inference, complexity, and democracy


Author: Jordan S. Ellenberg
Journal: Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 58 (2021), 57-77
MSC (2010): Primary 91B12, 05C90
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1090/bull/1708
Published electronically: November 2, 2020
MathSciNet review: 4188808
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Abstract | References | Similar Articles | Additional Information

Abstract: Decisions about how the population of the United States should be divided into legislative districts have powerful and not fully understood effects on the outcomes of elections. The problem of understanding what we might mean by “fair districting” intertwines mathematical, political, and legal reasoning; but only in recent years has the academic mathematical community gotten directly involved in the process. Here I report on recent progress in this area, how newly developed mathematical tools have affected real political decisions, and what remains to be done. This survey represents the content of a lecture presented by the author in the Current Events Bulletin session of the Joint Mathematics Meetings in January 2020.


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Additional Information

Jordan S. Ellenberg
Affiliation: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin
MR Author ID: 366432
Email: ellenber@math.wisc.edu

Received by editor(s): June 24, 2020
Published electronically: November 2, 2020
Article copyright: © Copyright 2020 American Mathematical Society