Beyond IQ

Election Day Math

  • 06 Nov 2018
  • 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
  • 5


Register for the full two-hour class.
Registration is closed

It's Election Day in the United States!  It's time to exercise your right to vote - well, once you're old enough - so that your voice can be heard and your government represents you.


To fully understand HOW your government represents you, it's useful to understand the math behind the representation.  In this class, we'll begin with a short overview of how the three branches of government function, with a focus on the bicameral (two house) US Congress.  Then, we will discuss how the seats in the House of Representatives are apportioned out to the states using the Huntington-Hill method of apportionment and why that method was deemed particularly fair as compared to other methods.  We will then consider how that translates, once every four years, into Electoral College votes and discuss possible intentions and functions for the Electoral College.  We will then look at how the states divide into voting districts, discuss the history and current use of gerrymandering, and look at potential mathematical solutions to gerrymandering.  

We will actively reflect on how these things impact the current election cycle, with an emphasis on how the math behind everything reflects on the current statistical analyses of the election.  We will discuss exit polls (including any available exit poll data by that time) and how they tend to reflect on the actual results, looking at how well they can represent the electorate.

This class will not shy away from political discussion, but rather try to provide a space for civil discourse.  Feel free to come with strong opinions, but be prepared to need to substantiate your claims.  We will focus on rational discussion grounded in logic and mathematics.  Claims based on emotions will be acknowledged, but may be refuted with data.  We will establish rules together for civil discourse and post these on each page.  Our goal as we examine math and policy is to determine what is most fair, not what is best for any given group.

If you would like to be part of the conversation, but can only make one of the two hours of the course, please use the other sign-up link to reserve a spot in either hour.  

This class will include 2-3 five minute breaks.

Instructor: Lisa Fontaine-Rainen

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