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Mathematics & Statistics Colloquium : Gerrymandering

  • Thursday, February 24, 2022
  • 3:40 PM–4:45 PM
  • North Hall 251

The Mathematics and Statistics Department welcomes you to their February 24 Colloquium, when University of Colorado Mathematics Professor, Dr. Jeanne Clelland, will deliver a lecture on Gerrymandering.

Join us in North Hall 251 at 3:40 pm to hear Dr. Jeanne Clelland's lecture, entitled "Gerrymandering: What is it, how can we measure it, and what can we do about it?"

Gerrymandering refers to the practice of drawing legislative districts so that one political party wins a disproportionate number of seats relative to their share of the electorate.  But how can we tell whether or not districts have been drawn fairly?  This is a legal question and, increasingly, a mathematical one, but the mathematical tools used to measure gerrymandering are relatively new and are still evolving rapidly. 

> One promising approach involves using computational and statistical tools to compare a specific districting plan to an “ensemble” consisting of a large number of potential districting plans.  This approach, referred to as “ensemble analysis," has the advantage of taking into account the inherent political geography of a region in a way that simpler measures cannot, and it has already begun to play a role in major court cases regarding redistricting in many states. 

> In this talk, Dr. Clelland will describe how gerrymandering works and some of the mathematical tools that are being developed to detect it, with a focus on ensemble analysis.  He will also talk about how this type of analysis is being applied to evaluate district plans during the current redistricting cycle - happening now!

 Dr. Jeanne Clelland is Professor of Mathematics at the University of Colorado at Boulder.  Her research spans the fields of differential geometry, partial differential equations, and the mathematics of elections..

Location details

North Hall 251

February 2022
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