Compactness Measures for Legislative Districts

Student: Isaac Weiss
Majors: Mathematics, Political Science
Minor: Computer Science
Advisors: Dr. John Ramsay, Dr. Bas van Doorn
Gerrymandering has been around for centuries and the past few decades have seen dramatic changes in the way that it has shaped our democracy. In this project, we will explore how the Supreme Court has shaped how we can utilize tools to help us examine gerrymandering, and, more importantly, we focus on building a compactness measure that will allow us to test constitutionality. We find that a weighted average of nearly six-tenths times a convex hull score plus four-tenths of the Polsby-Popper score should be our measure. We also discover a cut off system for determining constitutionality. Any district scoring less than 0.45, we should say is unconstitutional. We, finally, examine why we may not want to consider compactness measures at all.

Isaac will be online to field comments on May 8:
Noon-2pm EDT (PST 9am-11am, Africa/Europe: early evening)

Posted in I.S. Symposium, Independent Study.

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Related Areas of Study

Political Science

The study of power, with concentrations in U.S. politics, international relations, political theory and comparative politics.

Major Minor


Numbers + patterns + structures multiplied by a zest for analysis and inquiry

Major Minor

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