MIT Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Mathematics of Voting

Dr. Andy Felt
Associate Professor
Department of Mathematical Sciences
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point


Chris Natzke
Mathematics Major
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

The goal of this video lesson is to teach students about new and exciting ways of holding an election that they may not be aware of. Students will learn three different methods of voting: plurality, instant runoff, and the Borda count. They will be led through a voting experiment in which they will see the weakness of plurality when there are three or more candidates. This lesson will show that not every voting system is perfect, and that each has its strengths and weaknesses. It will also promote thought, discussion, and understanding of the various methods of voting. There are no mathematical prerequisites. The lesson should take approximately one hour to complete. No supplies are needed, but the downloadable ballots (one per student) will be helpful.

Andy Felt is Associate Professor of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point. He teaches courses in Operations Research and Game Theory.

Chris Natzke is a student of Professor Felt.

This site, provided by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, examines voting methods used in the U.S. as well as other voting methods.
http://www.nctm.org/resources/content.aspx?id=7936

This resource, provided by the American Mathematical Association, presents an introduction to various voting systems and an evaluation of those systems.
http://www.ams.org/samplings/feature-column/fcarc-voting-introduction

This page is sponsored by PBS Teachers and provides lessons on various systems of voting that are mapped to the NCTM standards.
http://www.pbs.org/teachers/mathline/concepts/voting/activity1.shtm

This site, sponsored by The Math Forum@Drexel, provides lesson plans on various aspects of the mathematics of elections.
http://mathforum.org/t2t/faq/election.html

We hope to have an Arabic

emurray
April 8, 2012 at 8:01 am

We hope to have an Arabic version soon. Thank you for your comment!

Is there Arabic version for

Anonymous
April 8, 2012 at 5:53 am

Is there Arabic version for this lesson? It will be suitable for Arabs Spring.

Great Lesson

Anonymous
February 16, 2012 at 7:09 am

Great Lesson

Add A Comment
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

We hope to have an Arabic

emurray
April 8, 2012 at 8:01 am

We hope to have an Arabic version soon. Thank you for your comment!

Is there Arabic version for

Anonymous
April 8, 2012 at 5:53 am

Is there Arabic version for this lesson? It will be suitable for Arabs Spring.

Great Lesson

Anonymous
February 16, 2012 at 7:09 am

Great Lesson