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Mathematics and politics
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Libri Moderni

Taylor, Alan D., (1947-)

Mathematics and politics : strategy, voting, power and proof / Alan D. Taylor.

New York : Springer-Verlag, c1995.

Textbooks in mathematical sciences

Abstract: interest in a particular application, however, often depends on his or hergeneralinterestintheareainwhichtheapplicationistakingplace. My experience at Union College has been that there is a real advan­ tage in having students enter the course knowing thatvirtually all the applications will focus on a single discipline-in this case, political science. The level ofpresentation assumes no college-level mathematicalor social science prerequisites. The philosophy underlying the approach we have taken in this book is based on the sense that we (mathemati­ cians)havetendedtomaketwoerrorsinteachingnonsciencestudents: wehaveoverestimatedtheircomfortwithcomputationalmaterial,and we have underestimated their ability to handle conceptual material. Thus, while there is very little algebra (and certainly no calculus) in our presentation, we have included numerous logical arguments that students in the humanitiesand the socialscienceswill find accessible, but not trivial. The book contains five main topics: a m.odel of escalation, game­ theoretic models of international conflict, yes-no voting systems, political power, and social choice. The first partofthe text is made up of a single chapter devoted to each topic. The second part of the text revisits each topic, again with a single chapter devoted to each. The organizationofthe bookisbasedonpedagogicalconsiderations, with the material becoming somewhat more sophisticated as one moves through the ten chapters. On the other hand, within any given chap­ terthere is little reliance on material from earlierchapters, except for those devoted to the same topic.