Student Talk Series: Charles Wessell, 9/29 @ noon in Olin 268


Title:  Electoral College Math:  How to Become President with 20% of the Popular Vote

Abstract: The Electoral College makes it possible to become U. S. President with less than a majority of the popular vote. In a two-candidate election, what is the minimal percentage of the popular vote possible for a winning candidate? In this talk we’ll first mimic an approach suggested by George Pólya that to find a theoretical solution. We’ll then make use of of tools not readily available to Pólya – spreadsheets and binary linear integer problem software — to see if we can improve on his results using actual presidential election data. Anyone with a vague recollection of high school algebra has the mathematical background necessary to enjoy this talk.