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Web Resources on Mathematics and Elections

The Review of Resources for this week is a listing of articles on the mathematics of elections. Thus, it is only appropriate that complementary web sites be reviewed as well.

Much has been written about the mathematics of Presidential elections or voting systems, at varying levels of complexity. These web sites and resources are offered as being useful or accessible at the secondary level:

  • Keith Devlin's article "The Perplexing Mathematics of Presidential Elections" is a good place to start and is filled with examples from recent elections
  • The Math Forum web site offers links to lesson plans connected to mathematics and voting...and some of the resources are quite good (e.g. Larry Bowen)
  • In part of a MIT lecture series, Alexander Belenky offers a historical perspective (complete with mathematics and logic) about "the increasing difficulty (and possible danger) of relying on the Electoral College to determine the outcome of elections."
  • COMAP offers a great set of UMAP materials on "Voting Games, Power Indices, and Presidential Elections," but to gain access, you will need to become a member
  • The publisher Pearson offers a 2008 Election Kit that has merit and additional links, but remember it has a "context"
  • 270towin.com offers an interactive Electoral College map for 2008, a blog, simulations, interesting discussions, and a history of Presidential elections in the United States...not sure who runs it?
  • As it claims, the web site Mistakes of the Month offers an analysis of "The Mathematics of a Tied Election, Political Polling, the Election Paradox, and "Fuzzy Butterfly Ballots"
  • For those who missed the fact that April 2008 was Math Awareness Month around the theme of "Mathematics and Voting," the MathAware organization offers multiple resources...but I suggest a focus on the two lectures available from Don Saari on "Creating Voting Paradoxes" and "Mathematics of Voting"
  • American University's newlsetter Discrete Observer offers the interesting article "Pennsylvania More Powerful than Texas: USing Math to Determine the Relative Power of Individual States in Presidential Elections"
These should be enough to gwet you started. I am sure more surface after vthe elction, providing mathematical analyses of "what happened."

If you know of other resources related to the mathematics of elections, please send them to me for inclusion on this list.