Numbers Rule

Numbers Rule

The Vexing Mathematics of Democracy, From Plato to the Present

Book - 2010
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The author takes the general reader on a tour of the mathematical puzzles and paradoxes inherent in voting systems, such as the Alabama Paradox, in which an increase in the number of seats in the Congress could actually lead to a reduced number of representatives for a state, and the Condorcet Paradox, which demonstrates that the winner of elections featuring more than two candidates does not necessarily reflect majority preferences. Szpiro takes a roughly chronological approach to the topic, travelling from ancient Greece to the present and, in addition to offering explanations of the various mathematical conundrums of elections and voting, also offers biographical details on the mathematicians and other thinkers who thought about them, including Plato, Pliny the Younger, Pierre Simon Laplace, Thomas Jefferson, John von Neumann, and Kenneth Arrow.
Publisher: Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c2010
ISBN: 9780691139944
Branch Call Number: 510 SZPIRO
Characteristics: xi, 226 p. ; 24 cm


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Jan 17, 2011

Who knew that simple arithmetic questions could be so impossible to settle? Interesting that there is no way to conduct a completely fair election or allocation of representative seats.

Highly recommended


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