Math in the News
Fifty States Made Equal in Population
Oberlin College math and art major turned urban planner Neil Freeman has devised a way to reform the Electoral College by redrawing state lines. Under Freeman's scheme, each of the 50 states has the same population.
The creation of Freeman's revised electoral map began with an algorithm that grouped counties based on proximity, urban area, and commuting patterns. Freeman seeded the algorithm with the 50 largest cities, and then made manual adjustments to achieve compact shapes and equal populations, to avoid splitting metro areas between states, and to account for drainage basins.
Let's pretend. Let's pretend that politics doesn't matter, politicians don't matter, history doesn't matter, nostalgia doesn't matter, emotion doesn't matter, habit doesn't matter, romance doesn't matter, prejudice doesn't matter—all that matters is good old rational, mathematical, look-at-the-numbers common sense.