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Texas State University

Texas State to host online seminar on political gerrymandering

Jayme Blaschke | September 25, 2020

deford headshot
Daryl DeFord, an assistant professor of mathematics at Washington State University

Texas State University will host an online seminar, "Graphs, Geometry and Gerrymandering: Mathematics of Political Districting," 3-5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2.

The event is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required at Free Registration.

The focus of this event is a conversation on political districting with a mathematical perspective. It will feature a presentation by Daryl DeFord, an assistant professor of mathematics at Washington State University. He previously worked in the Geometric Data Processing Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he focused on building tools and developed theory for detecting and combating gerrymandering. The presentation will be followed by a panel discussion with members of academia, voting rights groups and a citizens' commission on redistricting:

  • Nestor Guillen, moderator, assistant professor of mathematics, Texas State
  • T.J. Costello, vice chair of Austin Independent Citizens’ Redistricting Commission
  • Michael Faber, assistant professor of political science, Texas State
  • Joaquin Gonzalez, staff attorney at the Texas Civil Rights Project
  • Stephanie Swanson, issue chair of redistricting and census, League of Women Voters of Texas

At the start of each decade the law mandates that the boundaries of congressional districts must be redrawn in order to reflect the most recent changes to the population distribution. This is a process of immense importance for the proper functioning of the United States' democracy — the shape of congressional districts greatly influences who runs and who wins in congressional elections, and even influences who controls congress, state legislatures and city councils. This process is meant to guarantee the adequate and just representation of the voices of every citizen, but this ideal is not always met.

This event is sponsored by the Common Experience, Department of Mathematics, Department of Political Science, the Honors College and Mathworks.

For more information, visit https://www.ndguillen.com/PoliticalDistricting2020/.

For more information, contact University Communications:

Jayme Blaschke, 512-245-2555

Sandy Pantlik, 512-245-2922