Project Summary

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.

Themes and Categories
Jonathan Mattingly

Project Results

There has already been research done with North Carolina districts, described in 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:

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:

Related People

Related Projects

Devri Adams (Environmental Science), Annie Lott (Statistics), and Camila Vargas Restrepo (Visual Media Studies, Psychology) spent ten weeks creating interactive and exploratory visualizations of ecological data. They worked with over sixty years of data collected at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest (HBEF) in New Hampshire.

Ana Galvez (Cultural and Evolutionary Anthropology), Xinyu Li (Biology), and Jonathan Rub (Math, Computer Science) spent ten weeks studying the impact of diet on organ and bone growth in developing laboratory rats. The goal was to provide insight into the growth dynamics of these model organisms that could eventually be generalized to inform research on human development.

Robbie Ha (Computer Science, Statistics), Peilin Lai  (Computer Science, Mathematics), and Alejandro Ortega (Mathematics) spent ten weeks analyzing the content and dissemination of images of the Syrian refugee crisis, as part of a general data-driven investigation of Western photojournalism and how it has contributed to our understanding of this crisis.