Next Thursday at 4pm the Math Department Colloquium will be given by Michael Orrison of Harvey Mudd College. He is speaking to high school students for Math Day on the mathematics of voting. This talk will be to the math department on a similar subject, but the math will be above a high school level. The main subject of his talk will be how you can use group theory to study different methods of voting.

If you know about groups and linear algebra, then that’s the main things you need to know to understand this talk. In fact, most of Mike’s research in this area is with undergraduate students and the results he’ll be talking about are things they have done with him!

The details are below:

# Algebraic Voting Theory

## Mike Orrison, Harvey Mudd College

Thursday, November 13, 2008 | 4:00 PM | PHSC 1105 |

Abstract If the results of your election procedure can be realized as a matrix- vector product, then the representation theory of the symmetric group can probably say something interesting about the way you are voting. In this talk, I’ll describe some of the recent work that my students and I have been doing to better understand voting and voting paradoxes from an algebraic perspective. Along the way, I’ll describe how our work fits inside the more general framework of harmonic analysis on finite groups.