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In many places in the US, elections are being tampered with by state legislatures. Gerrymandered maps improve the odds for one party or the other. Brian Olson explores how this works and some places where it is happening, and offers an alternative through impartial mathematically based maps created with open source software.
Brian Olson is currently a software engineer at PatientsLikeMe. Since learning to program at age nine, he has worked on software of all kinds at many levels, from embedded microcontrollers to server farms. He's worked at start-ups, at major companies, and independently. Brian has worked on redistricting software for over a decade, resulting in an efficient system that can solve for compact, impartial, non-gerrymandered districts on a home computer. This work has been cited in the Washington Post and scholarly journals. The software is free and open source, allowing anyone to verify its function or tinker with it to make it better. Brian earned a B.S. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University.
This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx