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Poughkeepsie Chapter of the Association For Computing Machinery aaa ccccccc mmmmm mmmmm a a cc cc mm mm mm mm aa aa cc c mm mm mm mm aaaaaaaaa cc mm mmm mm aa aa cc c mm m mm MEETING NOTICE aa aa cc cc mm mm aa aa cccccccc mm mm Program: A Demonstrably Superior Voting Method Speaker: Robert Cotton, rmcotton@gmail.com President, Poughkeepsie Chapter of the ACM About the topic: In the late 18th Century, The Marquis de Condorcet discovered that majority preferences can fail to be transitive, that is, one majority can prefer candidate A to B, while another majority prefers B to C, and a third prefers C to A. That is, when each voter ranks the candidates in order of preference, the resulting majority preferences may be inconsistent. This is known as a voting paradox. Thus began a series of negative results about voting. Around 1950 the economist Kenneth Arrow proposed five properties that he thought were so weak that every decent method of voting must satisfy them. He then proved that no voting procedure could satisfy all five (Arrow's Impossibility Theorem). He was co-recipient of a Nobel prize in Economics in 1972. Another famous theorem, the Gibbard–Satterthwaite theorem, shows that with a choice of three or more candidates, any voting procedure is subject to tactical voting. That is, a knowledge of the preferences of other voters can allow a voter to improve the result, from the voter's viewpoint, by using dishonest preferences. Over the years many alternative methods of voting have been proposed with various theoretical justifications. A chart at Voting System shows eleven voting methods evaluated via thirteen distinct criteria. These will be discussed in the talk. Then a new method of instant runoff voting will be described and its desirable properties listed. Examples of these desirable properties will be given. The audience may judge how important the various properties are, and whether this new method is superior to older ones. Finally, two algorithms will be described for computing the winner(s) in a given election of the new type. Strengths and weaknesses of each will be given, and a combined algorithm proposed. About the speaker: Bob began his career teaching mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel, Bucknell, and SUNY New Paltz. He had a parallel acquaintance with programming beginning as a summer student at IBM Kingston in 1956-60, at the Moore School of EE at Penn, and through courses taught at Drexel and New Paltz. After that he worked at Burroughs Corporation (now Unisys), as Director of Programming at the State Insurance Fund, and as a Project Manager at the New York Clearing House. In this last job he was principal inventor on a patent that eliminated the settlement risk from the CHIPS electronic payment system prior to 9/11. In addition to the ACM, Bob is a member of the Mathematical Association of America, the Association for Symbolic Logic, and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. In retirement he continues to work on this voting project and on another project in music theory involving the reinterpretation of musical scores in scales that more closely approximate Just Intonation Other interests include web programming, economics, nutrition, and running which, at his current stage of decrepitude, he calls trotting. When: 7:30 pm, Monday, Nov 15, 2010 Where: Ulrich Room, Dyson Hall, Marist College Directions: Building 6 on the map at www.marist.edu/welcome/map.html Parking: Please park on the east side of Route 9, in the lot to the southeast of Dyson Hall. Cost: Free and open to the public Dinner: 6 pm, Palace Diner, 845.473.1576 Map and menu: www.thepalacediner.com All are welcome to join us for dinner. We thank Marist College for hosting the chapter's meetings. Refreshments are served after the meeting. For further information, email collier@acm.org or call 845.522.1971. P - L - E - A - S - E P - O - S - T

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