Mathematics and Politics: Conundrums of Representative Democracies

POLS-Y 110 — Fall 2020 — Themester

Days and Times
Tues/Thurs, 4:00-5:15 p.m.
Course Description

This course explores substantive public policy concerns through a mathematical lens that clarifies the systemic intricacies of a democracy. At the heart of any notion of democracy lies a recurrent and practical task of producing “societal” decisions through voting and other group choice mechanisms. However, both the historical record and current affairs clearly demonstrate that attempts to “represent” whole societies—especially large and diverse ones—is not a trivial task, sometimes resulting in conflict and/or gridlock. Math and logic can be utilized for a basic yet systematic examination of the conditions under which democratic governments can be more effective. Students will enhance their own understanding of how democracy operates and how they themselves can become more effective participants.

Instructors: Dr. Armando Razo, Political Science and Dr. Larry Moss, Mathematics