Mathematics of Politics

The Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics (IPAM) will sponsor a two-day workshop on April 22-23, 2014.

The registration fee is $10 for students, $20 for postdocs, and $30 for faculty if you register by April 7. More information and the registration form is available here.


Recent political campaigns have dramatically demonstrated the power of data analysis and social network analysis for politics. Mathematical tools – such as machine learning, network analysis, topic modeling and Bayesian methods – are expected to have significant impact on a variety of political questions such as predicting voting results, decision making and redistricting. This workshop will bring together researchers and practitioners from mathematics, statistics, computer science, electrical engineering, political science and other fields to collectively address the emerging area of mathematics for politics.

The workshop will feature a public lecture by Congressman Jerry McNerney, who holds a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of New Mexico and now serves on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, representing California’s 9th District. His talk will be held at 4:00 pm on Tuesday, April 22, at the CNSI auditorium. A public lecture announcement will be circulated closer to the date.

The rest of the event will take place in IPAM’s auditorium. Workshop speakers include:

Martin Hellman, Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering,Stanford University and member of Verified Voting’s Board of Advisors. Co-inventor of public key cryptography.

Jonathan N. Katz, Kay Sugahara Professor of Social Sciences and Statistics and the Chair of the Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences at Caltech; Director of the Ronald and Maxine Linde Institute of Economic and Management Sciences.

Solomon Messing, member of Facebook’s Data Science Team. Research on political advertising and campaigns, representative-constituent communication, social influence, statistical approaches to analyzing experimental data.

Rafail Ostrovsky, Professor of Computer Science and Mathematics at UCLA; Director of the Center for Information and Computation Security.

Vwani Roychowdhury, Professor of Electrical Engineering at UCLA; research interests include models of computation, quantum and nanoelectronic computation, quantum information processing, fault-tolerant computation, combinatorics and information theory, advanced statistical processing, and adaptive algorithms.

Don Saari, Distinguished Professor of Mathematics and Economics at UC Irvine; Director of the Institute of Mathematical Behavioral Sciences. Chief Editor of the Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society and an editor for several other journals on analysis, dynamics, economics, and decision analysis.

Lynn Vavreck, Professor of Political Science and Communication Studies at UCLA. Served on the advisory boards of the British and American National Election Studies and is the co-founder of the Cooperative Campaign Analysis Project; contributing columnist to the New York Times and a frequent guest on MSNBC, NPR, and the BBC.

Richard Yamada, Professional Staff Member, Committee on Science, Space and Technology at the U.S. House of Representatives. Formerly assistant professor of mathematics at University of Michigan.

If you have any questions about this workshop, please send an email to