Projects are 5-page papers (or commensurate work in another form) that you can choose as an alternative to  Midterm 2.  They are due Friday April 27 at the latest– this is a hard deadline.

Project ideas:

  • Impossibility theorems:  read about Arrow’s theorem in the book, read his original paper, and discuss.
  • Benford’s Law: how an observation about digit frequencies helps detect vote fraud and embezzlement.
  • Weird shapes and district histories:  choose two funny-looking districts and research how they got their shape.  At least one should have a legal history under the Voting Rights Act.
  • GIS project: choose two states and learn to compute several of the popular shape metrics with GIS (I have a tutorial to help you learn to do this).  Discuss what you learn by applying the shape metrics to the districts from your two states.
  • Or choose your own!

If you choose a project, you must make a 5-minute appointment to come discuss it with me in office hours by Thursday April 5 at the latest.  (We can brainstorm a topic together if you are unsure.)

If you choose to take Midterm 2 instead, it will be given out on Wednesday April 4 in class as a take-home and due on Friday April 6.  It’s a closed-book, closed-notes exam and you should budget two hours to complete it.  The exam will cover Chapters 6-10 as they have been covered in class.