College of the Atlantic math and physics professor David Feldman will explore computational approaches for drawing more equitable political districts at College of the Atlantic’s next Human Ecology Forum on Tuesday, Oct. 24, at 4:10 p.m. The event takes place in McCormick Lecture Hall and is free and open to the public.
Gerrymandering – the drawing of political lines to favor one group over another – has long been used in the United States to deny minorities an opportunity to elect representatives of their choice and also by one political party to gain an unfair advantage over another, Feldman says.
Feldman will present a historical overview of gerrymandering in the United States and discuss attempts to use the legal system to fight against racial and partisan gerrymandering. This survey will include a discussion of Gill v. Whitford, a case concerning the constitutionality of Wisconsin’s 2011 redistricting that was recently argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. Feldman will present and critique the efficiency gap, a measure of partisan bias that played a role in Gill v. Whitford. He will then focus on specific mathematical techniques for measuring the fairness of a districting plan. He will look at computational approaches for drawing districts and measuring their fairness, and argue that these approaches hold considerable promise as a tool that can be used to generate fairer districting plans.
For more information, visit www.coa.edu.