Gerrymandering

Overview

Sophie Guo, Math/PoliSci major, Bridget Dou, ECE/CompSci major, Sachet Bangia, Econ/CompSci major, and Christy Vaughn spent ten weeks studying different procedures for drawing congressional boundaries, and quantifying the effects of these procedures on the fairness of actual election results.

Project Results

There has already been research done with North Carolina districts, described in http://today.duke.edu/2014/10/mathofredistricting. There, Jonathan Mattingly and Christy Vaughn showed that randomly re-drawing district boundaries would have dramatically changed election results. This summer's team extended the analysis to many more states, and found that states with independent election commissions (like Iowa) had statistically fairer results than states with very partisan districting systems (like Maryland).


L-R: Christy Vaughn; Sachet Bangia; Sophie Guo; Bridget Dou. Hard at work in SSRI.

Download the executive summary (PDF).

See Quantifying Gerrymandering, a website developed by Sachet Bangia, for more details about the project.

Gerrymandering work now posted on Arvix: https://arxiv.org/abs/1704.03360

Disciplines Involved

  • Political Science
  • Mathematics

Project Team

Undergraduates: Sophie Guo, Bridget Dou, and Sachet Bangia

Faculty Lead: Jonathan Mattingly, Professor, Mathematics

Graduate student mentor: Christy Vaughn, Program in Applied and Computational Mathematics, Princeton

Additional information

Relatively Prime podcast on the project: