Core 139
, Spring, 2011

The course description contains details about the topics of this course and the organization of the course, including grading.

This syllabus presents the weekly topics and assignments. The details of the syllabus and adjustments will be filled in as the course proceeds.

The assignments are due on the day they are listed and the quizzes should be done online before the class for which they are listed. Quizzes are on Blackboard.

The readings refere by author to the following books:

Chaotic Elections, Donald Saari
Deliver the Vote, Tracy Campbell
Stealing Elections, John Fund
Hacked, High Tech Election Theft in America, DeLozier and Karp eds.
Electronic Elections, Michael Alvarez and Thad Hall

Other readings will be given as handouts or links to web pages.     

Course Schedule

date                topic                                   reading                                       assignment/quiz

Jan    17         Introductions, Course Preview
         19         Weighted voting                                                                    solution to Nassau County problem due

         24        Banzhaf index of power         Banzhaf-1
                     apply to methods developed in class
         26         Lab on weighted voting         Banzhaf-2                 lab1   

         31         Lab continued                                                                        Quiz 1 on Banzhaf readings due
Feb     2         Electoral College, fair?          Saari pp 1-16                            

           7         Third candidates,                  Saari pp 17-27                          
                      Voting methods overview 
           9         Arrow's theorem                  Saari pp 27-31                           Quiz 2 on voting methods due

         14           Analysis of voting methods   Saari pp 33-45                            
         16           Analysis of voting methods   Saari pp 45-68                           Quiz 3 on Arrow's theorem due

         21           Other methods                     Saari, ch 3                                    
         23          Lab on voting methods -- constructing a profile                        lab 2

         28           Strategic voting                     Saari, ch. 4, Sections 1-4
Mar    2            What voters want?               Saari, ch. 5   

          7           Review                                  review sheet, sample exam                            Quiz 4 on strategic voting and solutions (Saari, ch 4 and 5)
                                                                    sample exam solutions
          9           Exam                                    

        14           Spring Break

        21          No Class                              Read Deliver the Vote, Introduction and part 1            Voting Fraud Paper assignment
        23          No Class                              Read Deliver the Vote, parts 2 and 3                 Quiz 5 on Deliver the Vote part 1 due

       28          Discussion: How voting methods and technology developed in the early years -- up to 1900    Quiz 6 on Deliver the Vote part 2 due
       30          Discussion: Fraud in voting -- can we depend on the politicians? What can be done?                 Topic and Sources due for paper

Apr   4          Voter Registration - issues and problems    Read Stealing Elections
         6          Voting Machines - issues and problems      Read Hacked

       11         Criticisms of electronic voting                     Read Alvarez and Hall, Ch 1-3, Ch 6      Also read Alavarez and Hall ch 8 to get ready
                                                                                                                                                    for presentation selection   Quiz 8 on Hacked due
       13         Voter eligibility and registration                  Read Alvarez and Hall, Ch 4-7                  Voting fraud paper due    Group project selection

       18         Assessing different systems                        Read Alvarez and Hall, Ch 8
       20         No class -- office hours for consultation about presentations during class time

       25         Group project presentations     DREs, Optical Scan-Precinct, No-excuse Absentee, Mail-in

       27         Group project presentations     Optical scan-Central, Paper Ballots, Internet

       Sample final1, final2

Final Exam: Tuesday, May 3, 9-11, 312 McGregory