Courses of Study 2018-2019 
    Oct 01, 2023  
Courses of Study 2018-2019 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Add to Favorites (opens a new window)

ORIE 4360 - A Mathematical Examination of Fair Representation

Fall. 3 credits. Letter grades only.

Prerequisite: students should be comfortable manipulating spreadsheets in Microsoft Excel and should have mathematical background at least at the level attained by successful completion of two college-level courses in math, probability, statistics or optimization.


Covers the mathematical aspects of the political problem of fair apportionment. The most recognizable form (in the United States) of apportionment is the determination of the number of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives awarded to each state. The U.S. Constitution indicates that the apportionment should reflect the relative populations, but does not prescribe a specific method. Indivisibility of seats leads us to interesting mathematical questions and a long, rich, and fractious political history involving many famous figures. The basic ideas extend beyond apportionment of legislatures (in both federal systems and proportional representation systems) to other realms where indivisible resources are to be allocated among competing constituencies. We will also touch on several topics concerning fair allocation of divisible assets or costs, e.g. among participating entities in public projects.

Add to Favorites (opens a new window)