2012-13 Catalog

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Offering Description

Mathematics in Democracy

Fall 2012 quarter

Allen Mauney mathematics, history of science
Fields of Study
government and mathematics

In a presidential election year, the public is flooded by the media with polls, projections, and political strategies used in various campaigns. The goal of this class is to offer students some basic tools to understand and critically evaluate aspects of the election process. Students will use descriptive statistics to create graphical representations of data and evaluate the information content in general graphics. In order to understand the basics of polling, students will use inferential statistics to see how polling data is collected and what the limitations of polling are. Voting theory is an active research topic and students will be introduced to some surprising current results in this field and get an overview of broadly used voting methods. Apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives is an ongoing, vital political process. Students will be introduced to its long, contentious history and the theory underlying current methods. By the end of the class, students will have some quantitative literacy that relates directly to engagement in democratic government.

Advertised Schedule
6-10p Thu
Online Learning
No Required Online Learning
Greener Store
Offered During