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This Week in Mathematics


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Entries for this week: 2
Wednesday April 24, 2024

Applied and Computational Math Seminar -- Stochastic Computing and Optimization
Stochastic Computing and Optimization
    - ACM/Fin Math students,
Time: 3:05PM Room: LOV 0231
Abstract/Desc: Students from ACM and Financial Math will present their research progress. Some invited speakers may also present their research.

Biomathematics Seminar
The impact of zealots and consensus makers in voting games
    - Jonathan Engle, FSU
Time: 3:05 Room: LOV 232
Abstract/Desc: The outcome of democratic elections rests on individuals' decision-making that is driven by their varying preferences and sets of information. Individuals may prefer consensus to deadlock, or deadlock to consensus, and information may be fractured via echo-chambers. To understand the role of these factors in elections reaching consensus, we explore a voter game in which two parties are composed of zealots, who always vote for their party, consensus makers, who vote for the party who previously won, and strategists, who base their vote on their prediction of which party will win. Voters may change their voting strategy either by imitating others or reconsidering their strategy based on their respective payoffs. We consider various preference orderings of one's own party winning, the opposing party winning, and deadlock, and we also consider different information networks where knowledge of the voting behaviour of others is incomplete and heterogeneous. We show that zealots and consensus-makers dominate over long time if the rate of imitation of others is low and consensus can frequently be reached. When this is not the case, zealots dominate and thus deadlock is unavoidable. Furthermore, we show that consensus is promoted by an uneven distribution of party membership, and undermined when it is even. Strategists also undermine consensus regardless of preference to gridlock over party alignment.


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