MATH 209 Voting, Fairness, and Power


Course DescriptionMost US elections use plurality voting. However, there are a many other voting methods, and they don’t always return the same winner. This course explores the relative merits of various voting methods and their limitations, as demonstrated by Arrow’s theorem and other impossibility results. It will also examine the notion of fairness, specifically methods for dividing items among several recipients and desirable properties for such methods. Finally it will consider quantitative measures of power, such as the Banzhaf and Shapley-Shubik power indices. Applications will include examples from economics, politics, and international relations.

Degree Requirements