Olivetti Club

Hazel BrennerCornell University
The shape of social choice: understanding elections with TDA

Tuesday, September 19, 2023 - 4:35pm
Malott 406

How and why people vote the way they do is a complicated question with a large number of correlated variables we can measure and many more that we can't. As a topologist, my desire is to come as close as I can to viewing the data in her natural (high-dimensional) habitat. One promising approach from Topological Data Analysis (TDA) is the Mapper algorithm, which associates a topologically informed graph to high-dimensional data. In this talk I will introduce the mapper algorithm, give some recipes for interpreting the graphs it outputs and use it to tell data stories about the 2015 Chicago Mayoral election between Rahm Emanuel and Chuy García.