3620 South Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90089

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Meeting ID: 977 9162 0075
Passcode: 373007

Steven Heilman, USC

Abstract: Given votes for candidates, what is the best way to determine the winner of the election, if some of the votes have been corrupted or miscounted?  As we saw in Florida in 2000, where a difference of 537 votes determined the president of the United States, the electoral college system does not seem to be the best voting method. We will survey some recent progress on the above question along with some open problems. Our results use tools from the calculus of variations, probability, discrete and continuous Fourier analysis, and from the geometry of the Gaussian measure on Euclidean space. Answering the above voting question reveals unexpected connections to Khot's Unique Games Conjecture in theoretical computer science, the MAX-CUT problem, and mean curvature flows. We will discuss these connections and present recent results and open problems.


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