Oliver Smithies Lecture

29 January 2018, 5.00pm
Lecture Room XXIII

Professor William S. Zwicker (Oliver Smithies Lecturer and Visiting Fellow) will give an Oliver Smithies Lecture entitled ’Voting with Rubber Bands, Weights, and Strings’.

Abstract: ’An election outcome can sometimes be modelled as an equilibrium under forces exerted by the voters. We’ll use a dynamic computer simulation to illustrate some of the resulting insights into matters such as strategic manipulation, decisiveness, and majority rule. The simulation uses virtual rubber bands that bounce around quite like real ones.’

Professor William S. Zwicker is the William D. Williams Professor of Mathematics at Union College, in New York. His original training was in logic and set theory, and his more recent scholarship has been in the mathematical social sciences: social choice theory, cooperative game theory, and fair division.

The Oliver Smithies lectures are funded by a generous benefaction from Professor Oliver Smithies, which enables Balliol to bring distinguished visitors to the University of Oxford.