FAQ for Geometry of Redistricting Summer School
What is the structure of the August summer school at Tufts? Will the regional workshops be similar?
Out of the five days of the August program, the first three days will be open to the public and made available online. Minicourses will cover the legal, historical, civil rights, and mathematical aspects of redistricting. We will ask participants to pre-register so we can plan appropriately. Registration will open on this website on June 1, 2017.
For the last two days, we will offer three more specialized parallel tracks, focusing on (a) expert witnessing, (b) teaching, and (c) GIS. All three tracks will foreground the geometric considerations of the redistricting problem. Participants for the specialized tracks were chosen by an application process in March.
There are four regional sites planned. The structure will be similar, except that the public talks will run Thursday-Friday and the specialized training sessions will run Saturday-Sunday. Join the mailing list to receive announcements as we set dates and open applications for the regional sites.
What qualifications are necessary for the three specialized tracks?
Expert witness track: PhD required; all fields will be considered.
Teaching track: current high school and college teachers.
GIS team: significant GIS experience.
I’m not sure which track is most appropriate for me. Can I apply for more than one?
Yes. Our application process allows you to apply for multiple tracks and indicate your preferences.
Will everyone who completes this training get to be an expert witness?
That’s certainly not guaranteed. However, there is a genuine and pressing need for a diverse next generation of mathematically sophisticated expert witnesses for redistricting cases in the post-Shelby landscape. Furthermore, the training will give participants generalized background that will be transferable to other civil rights areas, like employment discrimination and criminal justice.
If I can’t make the school or I’m not chosen for a specialized track, can I still contribute?
Yes! We’ll need an ongoing team to help with the preparation of expert witness reports as cases come up. We’re maintaining a database of locations, skills, and interests so that we can coordinate our community with the needs of local organizations. And you can certainly support us financially. Please get involved.
What is the cost to attend the summer school?
There is no fee for any portion of the program.
Is funding available?
Yes, partial funding for lodging and travel expenses will be available for participants in the three specialized tracks at all the workshops.
I’m not available during the August summer school. Will there be later trainings?
Yes, we are planning regional sites in North Carolina, Wisconsin, Texas, and California for the coming year. Join the mailing list to stay informed.
Will you be putting lecture videos and other materials online for public use?
Can I have access to your dropbox?
Sure. Send us an email and we’ll add you.
Can I contribute to your dropbox?
Yes. If you find a relevant resource that our dropbox is missing, please send us an email.
Who are you?
The Geometry of Redistricting Summer School is being organized by a small (for now) team called the Metric Geometry and Gerrymandering Group (MGGG), run by Mira Bernstein, Moon Duchin, Ari Nieh, and Justin Solomon, together with Megan Gall of the Lawyers’ Committee.
Is the MGGG a partisan organization?
No. Our mission is research and education, and we are not affiliated with any partisan group. However, we will happily collaborate and share resources with all other groups working on this topic, whether partisan or not.
How do I get to the workshop?
From South Station: Somerville Theatre is in Davis Square, accessible from South Station via the Red Line towards Alewife. Tufts University’s Medford campus is approximately a 15 minute walk from Davis Square, and is also accessible via the 94 and 96 bus lines from Davis and the 80 bus line from Lechmere (Green Line).
From Logan Airport: Follow signs for the T and take the Silver Line shuttle (free, the buses that say SL1) to South Station, then follow directions above.
Driving and parking: We encourage you to take the T and save gas and time! There is very limited parking available in Davis Square, but there is a paid lot behind the CVS (Herbert St lot, 44 Day St, Somerville, MA 02144). On the Tufts campus, the best place to park is the Dowling Hall Garage (419 Boston Ave, Medford MA 02155), where there is an elevator up to the 7th floor, from which you can cross the bridge to main campus.
Please send further questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.