Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Mathematicians Fight Gerrymandering

I'm glad that I'm not the only one who believes that something must be done about geometrically offensive congressional districts. From Slate:

The most interesting proposal of the afternoon came from a Caltech grad student named Alan Miller, who proposed a simple test: If you take two random people in a district, what are the odds that one can walk in a straight line to the other without ever leaving the district? (Actually, it's without leaving the district while remaining in the state, so as not to penalize districts like Maryland's 6th, which has to account for Virginia's hump.)

Excellent idea, Alan Miller. I concur. Convex sets.

The article also includes a slideshow of the most bizarrely gerrymandered districts.


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