Schedule Dec 6, 2000
An Election Year Mess! Finding Relief through Tools of Chaos and Symmetry from Physics and Mathematics
Dr. Donald G. Saari, University of California, Irvine
As this year's Presidential election proved, our current voting procedures can create a mess where it is not clear whether the "winner" is who the voters really wanted. This is not a new problem; already in 1770 the mathematician -physicist J.C. de Borda warned the French Academy of Sciences that serious difficulties can emerge if the "wrong" voting procedure is used. Since then, this search for a reliable election and decision method has been widely studied and hotly debated. Finally, answers now are emerging thanks to the use of tools commonly used in mathematics and physics. In particular, answers are being found through the use of chaotic dynamics and the orbit structure of symmetry groups.

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