(Tufts University, USA and Metric Geometry and Gerrymandering Group)
7pm, 7th April 2020, Bute Hall
How we divide ourselves up to vote, and why it matters
The UK is the birthplace of the field of political geography, which broadly studies the spatial structures in elections and governance. In the 1970s, an infusion of math jolted the field, bringing new tools for studying the conversion of votes to representation. In the last few years, the mathematicians are at it again, trying to understand the consequences of relying on territorial districts– and making some headway. I'll survey the research frontier, with an emphasis on what's hard but approachable, and explain why some of this work is currently shaking up US politics.