FSem 132, Fall, 2012

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
Electronic Elections, Michael Alvarez and Thad Hall

Other readings will be given as handouts or links to web pages.
Quizzes are on Moodle.     

All classes meet 12:20-1:10, unless otherwise noted.

Course Schedule

date                topic                                   reading                                       assignment/quiz

Aug   24         Get syllabus and first assignment                                           Nassau County problem
                                                                                                                  Voting tech and eligibility assignment

Aug   27         No Class
         29         Weighted voting                                                                   solution to Nassau County problem due
         31         Overview of voting technology and registration issues            Voting tech and eligibility assignment due
                                                                                                                  Voting technology sources      
                                                                                                                  Voter eligibility and registration sources

Sept   3        Banzhaf index of power         Banzhaf-1                                                                  
          5        Apply Banzhaf index to methods developed in class
          7        The Electoral College             Banzhaf-2 

        10        Lab on weighted voting                       lab1                            Quiz 1 on Banzhaf readings due    
        12        Lab continued                 
        14        Introduction to information technology and research tools -- Librarian Peter Tagtmeyer
                    Meeting at Cronin Lab in 501 Case Geyer at the usual time, 12:20.    Paper assignment (This is the final paper due at the end of semester)

         17         Electoral College, fair?          Saari pp 1-16   
         19         Third candidates,                  Saari pp 17-27                          
         21         How can voters be sure their vote has been cast?
                       -- Discussion in preparation for the science colloquium           Writing Quiz A (Composing and Revising) due
         21         Special Event: Science Colloquium 4:00, location to be announced 
                      Using encryption methods for voter verification of votes

         24         Voting methods overview                     
         26         What makes a good election method?                                      Quiz 2 on voting methods due
         28         Arrow's theorem                  Saari pp 27-31

Oct     1           Analysis of voting methods   Saari pp 33-45                            Quiz 3 on Arrow's theorem due  
           3           Analysis of voting methods   Saari pp 45-68
           5           Other methods                     Saari, ch 3      

Oct     8          Fall Break
         10          Lab on voting methods -- constructing a profile                        lab 2
         12         Chaotic results                      Saari, ch 3      

        15          Strategic voting                     Saari, ch. 4, Sections 1-4       
        17          What voters want?               Saari, ch. 5 
        19          Review                                 sample exam                  Quiz 4 on strategic voting and solutions (Saari, ch 4 and 5)  

        22          Exam
        24          Voting in the 19th and 20th centurys      Read Deliver the vote parts 1& 2  
        26          The 2000 election debacle     Read Deliver the Vote, part 3     Assignment "Oops!" for class discussion         Quiz 5 on Deliver the vote, part 1

        29           The 2000 election debacle, continued                                      Quiz 6 on Deliver the Vote part 2 due
        31          Voting machines, issues and problems       Voting technology sources     CountingVotes-2012 (VerifiedVoting)              
                                                                                      A very recent article                    Your own sources from the current election
Nov   2          Voting machines, issues and problems, continued                                   Think about your paper topic

          5           Voter Registration - issues and problems           Read Stealing Elections
          7           Voter registration and Voter Fraud                  Can you find sources on voting fraud?
          9           Evaluating Voting systems      Read Alvarez and Hall, Ch 1-4                Topic and Sources due for paper

        12          Evaluating Voting systems        Read Alvarez and Hall, Ch 5-7
Tues 13 12-1  Evaluating Voting systems      Handouts from Voting Technology: The not-so-simple Act of Casting a Ballot
        14          Evaluating Voting systems        Alvarez and Hall, Ch 8                           Debate selection   (form groups for debates, 2 or 3 to a side)
        16          No Class!                                                                        Debate Teams

        19          No Class!
  21          Thanksgiving Break 

        26           The future                              scantegrity-1  scantegrity-2  scantegrity-3-how verification works   Josh Benaloh
        28           The future, continued
        30           Discussion

Dec   3          Debate prep
Tues! 4   11:20-1:20  Debates 
          5         Finish debates if needed
          7         No Class!     Final papers due via email

No Final Exam