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{ Category Archives } Election

How Operations Research Helps Me Understand Politics and Voting

Over the years, operations research, politics, and voting have intersected often for me. Going back almost 25 years now, I have done research on voting systems. I have blogged on elections, and written about predicting results and presenting results. I have written about political leaders who were trained in operations research, and even countries run […]

Don’t Forget to Vote!

If you are an INFORMS member (if you are interested in operations research, why aren’t you a member?), you should have received an email yesterday directing you to a website to vote for the next set of members of the Board of Directors.  That email has all the information you need to vote:  your member […]

Presenting results and the election

In operations research, we often have problems presenting our results in a reasonably provocative yet accurate way.  I swear I have spent 10% of my life sitting through powerpoint tables with the presenter saying “Well, you can’t really see the numbers but they really show my approach is better” (and perhaps I spent a further […]

Electoral College Power

There is an op-ed piece in today’s New York Times entitled “How Much is Your Vote Worth?” by Sarah Cowan, Stephen Doyle and Drew Heffron. Doyle and Heffron are graphic designers, which explains the lovely graphic: Beautiful graphic, making it clear that the worth of a vote is far higher in smaller states. Unfortunately, the […]

Minimum Democracy

A few weeks ago, I pointed out that Barack Obama (or John McCain) could win the upcoming Presidential Election with a tiny fraction of the popular vote.  I wrote: It is possible to win the election for President of the United States with .00001% of the vote. For instance, suppose only one voter shows up […]

More on Majority Judgement

Michel Balinski has provided the references related to his IFORS Distinguished Lecture in Washington.  I have included them in the original post. He also is encouraging people to try out the system themselves (he did this for INFORMS conference, but this is a more global experiment).  Here is the invitation: Dear Friends and Colleagues, This […]

Another look at OR and US Presidential Elections

Mike Sheppard of Michigan State has a wonderful page that answers the question:  For each US Presidential Election, how few votes needed to change in order to reverse the result?  Most of us remember that in Bush-Gore 2000, just a few hundred Floridians needed to change their vote (269 by the official count:  I won’t […]

Operations Research and the US Presidential Election

I am in Cork, Ireland, attending the Irish Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science (I gave a talk on sports scheduling and three themes of modern integer programming: complicated variables, large scale local search, and logical Benders constraints). Conversation here (when an American is in the group: presumably without an American conversation is about […]