Gerrymandering: Can Computing Cut the Gordian Knot?

  • Starts: 3:30 pm on Wednesday, September 19, 2018
  • Ends: 5:00 pm on Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Partisan gerrymandering is an issue that just won't go away for the Supreme Court, but so far they also continue declining to address it definitively. Many had hoped that the "efficiency gap," an arithmetic calculation of partisan imbalance, would be the litmus test that the justices were seeking, but this summer's developments make that seem considerably less likely. At the same time, computing approaches have emerged—specifically the comparison of a districting plan to alternatives neutrally generated by Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithms—that take local law, geography, and demography into account.

In this Cyber Alliance talk, Tufts Prof. Moon Duchin will discuss how the process of sussing out what will happen next is a fascinating look at the role of experts, the court's appetite for statistics and technical details, and the scientific community's ability to make models dovetail with normative arguments.

There will be time for casual conversation and light refreshments before and after the presentation. Please RSVP to
School of Law, 15th Floor Faculty Lounge, 765 Commonwealth Ave.