A mathematician and a political scientist joined forces this week to give a two-part talk at Bowdoin about gerrymandering, which is the practice of redrawing congressional districts to help ensure partisan outcomes. Though gerrymandering lands squarely in the political realm, math has always played a big role in congressional districting. Math determines how the U.S. counts voters in its Census and how those voters get divided up to apportion representatives to the government. And today, math could possibly lead the way to a more fair and just political system that is based on mathematically derived voting districts, according to an academic who visited Bowdoin this week. Moon Duchin, an associate professor of mathematics at Tufts University, gave a talk Monday evening about how she is applying her expertise in the geometry of groups and surfaces to gerrymandering. “We’re looking at aspects of this big mess that is US congressional and legislative redistricting, and trying to find places where math has something to say,” she said.
In addition to her research, Duchin has also created a program — the Metric Geometry and Gerrymandering Group — to train expert court witnesses on the mathematical concepts behind congressional redistricting, which happens every decade after the decennial Census. More courts are hearing cases challenging new electoral maps, creating a need for people who can provide educated testimony, Duchin told the Higher Ed Chronicle.
Full Article: Can Geometry Fix Partisan Gerrymandering? | Bowdoin News.