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Statistics and Philosophy of Voting course is offered Autumn 2020

A new Special Topics course will be offered Autumn 2020, titled Statistics and Philosophy of Voting. The undergraduate section is offered as STAT 498, and a graduate section is available as CS&SS 594.

This course will consider a number of topics that are relevant to modern voting and elections through statistical and social choice lenses. The course will be co-taught by Elena Erosheva (Statistics and Social Work), Conor Mayo-Wilson (Philosophy), and Marina Meila (Statistics), and will also feature a number of expert guest speakers.

Topics include the purpose and limits of democratic decision-making; majority rule, social choice theory and the associated impossibility theorems; judgement aggregation; probabilistic pooling; majority judgement and other voting procedures; election case studies; election polling and forecasting; misinformation and elections; electoral redistricting and gerrymandering; fairness aspects in voting, voting in contexts other than elections. Topics before and around November 3 will be chosen to be directly related to the 2020 US election. See this link for more information.

STAT 498

CS&SS 594

Credits: 3

Time: Tuesday and Thursday 3:00-3:50pm

Format: Online/remote

Course assessments will include participation in class and in discussion boards and hands-on homework assignments that will involve analyzing real or simulated data. Final grades will be based on participation (40% for undergraduate and 20% for graduate students), homework (60% for undergraduate and 40% for graduate students) and final paper (40%) for graduate students.


  • STAT 498 STAT 311 or STAT 390 or STAT 391 or CSE 312
  • CSSS 594 Graduate-level introductory sequence in applied statistics such as SOC 504-505-506 or equivalent
  • STAT 498/CSSS 594 It is highly recommended that students have some familiarity with reading and writing proofs and have beginner ability with data programming.