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October 2012, Volume 106, Issue 3


What If? How Apportionment Methods Choose Our Presidents
Michael J. Caulfield
The U.S. presidential election of 2000 would have had a different outcome if a different apportionment method had been used.
Second Look:
Voting and the Election

Power Indices and U.S. Presidential Elections
Yong S. Colen, Channa Navaratna, Jung Colen, and Jinho Kim
The 2000 presidential election provides an ideal backdrop for introducing the electoral voting system, weighted voting, and the Banzhaf and Shapley-Shubik Power Indices.

Teaching Absolute Value Meaningfully- FREE PREVIEW!
Angela Wade
Walking to class is an easy context for learning about absolute value and connecting rate, time, and distance.

Teaching Absolute Value Meaningfully: Activity Sheet for Further Exploration

Decennial Redistricting: Rich Mathematics in Context
Laurie H. Rubel, Michael Driskill, and Lawrence M. Lesser
Redistricting can provide a real-world application for use in a wide range of mathematics classrooms.

A Question Library for Classroom Voting
Kelly Cline, Jean McGivney-Burelle, Holly Zullo
Voting in the classroom can engage students and promote discussion. All you need is a good set of questions.

Second Look - Voting and the Election

How Many Votes Are Needed to Be Elected President?
The winner of the popular vote is not necessarily the candidate who is elected president. The paper describes a process, using mathematical modeling, by which students can try to determine how few votes are necessary in order to be elected president. Students use ratio and proportion to make predictions and make comparisons to 1888 data.

Who Will Win? Predicting the Presidential Election Using Linear Regression
Article outlines a linear regression activity that engages learners, uses technology, and fosters cooperation. Students generated least-squares linear regression equations using TI-83 Plus™ graphing calculators, Microsoft© Excel, and paper-and-pencil calculations using derived normal equations to predict the 2004 presidential election. This data-analysis activity supports students by engaging them through meaningful, relevant mathematical experiences.

Apportionment in the Democratic Primary Process
How the delegates for the 2008 New Jersey Democratic presidential primary were divided may have influenced the number of delegates the candidates received–and possibly the primary's outcome.

Activities for Students: Will the Best Candidate Win?
Hands-on, open-ended activities that encourage problem solving, reasoning, communication, and mathematical connections.

Illuminations Lesson: Getting into the Electoral College
Every 4 years, U.S. citizens elect the person they believe should be our nation's new leader. This unit explores the mathematics of the electoral college, the system used in this country to determine the winner in a presidential election. The lessons include activities in percentages, ratios, and area, with a focus throughout on building problem-solving and reasoning skills. They are designed to be used individually to fit within your curriculum at the time of an election. However, they can be used as a unit to give students a strong understanding of how small variations can mean one person becomes president and another does not. Additionally, the lesson extensions include many ideas for interdisciplinary activities and some possible school-wide activities.

Connections Standard for Grades 9-12
Students in grades 9-12 should develop an increased capacity to link mathematical ideas and a deeper understanding of how more than one approach to the same problem can lead to equivalent results, even though the approaches might look quite different. Students can use insights gained in one context to prove or disprove conjectures generated in another, and by linking mathematical ideas, they can develop robust understandings of problems.