Pressing Toward the Prize

Posts Tagged ‘outline

In creating my outline last week, I began to suspect that my initial goals for Capstone were a bit too ambitious. There is so much interesting material that could be covered, but in order to include everything I wanted to, I would practically be re-writing Mr. Saari’s book. Since that is not an option – for a multitude of reasons – I realize now that I need to narrow my focus in order to do justice to the topic. I will be meeting with my professor this coming week to get some direction on refining my goals, so that I will know how to proceed when I begin writing my rough draft during spring break.


It is time to report on my progress, but I am sad to say that I have none to report! The truth is, I have not been able to work on my Capstone project at all this week. Even though it has been on my “to do” list each day, it just has not happened. However… the preliminary outline for my paper and presentation is due tomorrow, so I’d say it is pretty clear what I will be doing between now and then!!

I am afraid this update isn’t much of an update, in that it really doesn’t carry much by way of new revelation. I am continuing to ready Chaotic Elections, but it is going more slowly than I had hoped. My biggest challenge is carving out time to read, and then when I do, it is not the kind of material I can just breeze through and “get it.” The subject is very interesting, and I am learning a lot and enjoying it immensely. I am concerned, however, that I will have trouble keeping up with the Capstone timeline… the outline is due soon. Pesky things keep getting in the way – things like other classes, if you can imagine that!!

My goal is still the same, to continue reading the book and refining my outline.

Although I did not get to read Chaotic Elections as much as I had hoped (I did read a little), I have begun to formulate ideas for my Capstone outline. These are my first thoughts:

1. Define voting paradox and explain election conditions that may be problematic, i.e., there are three or more candidates or issues on the ballot, and the winning candidate or issue does not receive a majority of the votes.

2. Define various voting methods: plurality, Borda Count, Condorcet.

3. Offer brief historical background: Borda, de Condorcet, Arrow, Saari.

4. Give simple example to demonstrate the three voting methods and how different methods can produce different results when applied to the same election.

5. Explain some of the voting biases inherent to each of the methods, with examples, and the kinds of fallacies that can result.

6. Discuss how Donald Saari used mathematics to identify specific kinds of voting paradoxes, to analyze each for the causes of the various voting biases, and to determine the most reasonable voting method, i.e., the one most immune from voting method biases.

7. Offer possible reasons why, in light of existing evidence, wholesale changes have not yet been made to elections to insure that outcomes accurately reflect the will of the people

I will need much more research before I am ready to finalize my outline, and continuing research will be my plan for the week. I will refine the outline as I go, using this rough draft as a  starting place.


  • None
  • gramsonjanessa: I can't wait to listen to your capstone presentation in the spring! Your proposal was really interesting and I'm interested to see how the linear alge
  • dewittda: This is impressive! I thought I was good because I solved a rubik’s cube once in an hour. I served with a guy in the Air Force who could solve a r
  • ZeroSum Ruler: The Euclidean algorithm should me the mainstream way we teach students how to find the GCF. Why isn't it? A mystery.