January 23, 2018
Mathematical Sciences Professors influence PA congressional map
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has declared the state’s congressional map is unconstitutional, thanks in part to expert testimony given by Carnegie Mellon University Associate Professor of Mathematical Sciences Wesley Pegden. Pegden has published a number of studies that use mathematics and computer science to address gerrymandering.
His testimony focused on a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in Feb. 2017 where Pegden, University Professor of Mathematical Sciences Alan Frieze and the University of Pittsburgh’s Maria Chikina used Markov Chains to show that there was little chance that the state’s congressional districts could have been drawn at random, indicating that it was highly likely that the map was biased. The paper was named one of the top 100 science stories of 2017 by Discover Magazine.