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Mathematical Digest

Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"Compass" by various authors. Science, 12 October 2001, pages303-306.

This section of Science contains three letters regarding an editorial(written by Steven Brams and Dudley Herschbach in the 25 May issue ofScience) about voting procedures. The first letter lists advantages ofinstant runoff voting, in which voters rank all candidates. If no candidatereceives a majority, then the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated andpreferences are recalculated based on the narrowed field. The runoff continuesin this manner until a candidate receives a majority. The second letter,answering points made in the first letter, is written by the editorial authors,who favor approval voting. The final letter describes a method known as proxyrepresentation. Mathematics can be used to model and evaluate different votingmethods.

--- Mike Breen

American Mathematical Society