Plancherel Lecture 2022

Moon Duchin

Tufts University

Monday October 10th, 2022, 17:30
Reception-apéro starts at 16:45 
University of Fribourg, Pérolles, PER21, Room G120


PDF poster available here.

Directions to the lecture hall:
From Fribourg/Freiburg's train station take bus number 1 or 3 to "Pérolles Charmettes'', then refer to this map.

 Graphs, partitions, and elections

 Elections often take place in districts that divide up a country or region. Sometimes these are relatively fixed, like the cantons of Switzerland. What if you could re-draw the districts regularly and try to get advantage for one group over another group in the election? I'll discuss some mathematical ideas to sample districting plans with a random walk through the space of graph partitions. This leads to beautiful questions about the geometry of graphs and spanning trees. And it lets you see whether a plan is normal or extreme compared to the alternatives created through a neutral process. I'll tell you how the logic has been received by lawyers and judges in the United States.

The lecture will be followed by a dinner at Restaurant Gemelli, Fribourg. All are welcome !

Please register for the dinner before 2nd October by e-mail to Isabella Schmutz.


For any additional information please contact Stefan Wenger.

The Plancherel Lectures

The Plancherel lecture takes place every two years since 2005 at the University of Fribourg; it is a joint colloquium with the University of Bern, who organizes the Schläfli Lectures in even years. 
The lecture is named after Michel Plancherel, who was a member of the mathematics department of the University of Fribourg between 1911 and 1920. Every two years a renowned mathematician is invited to give a presentation directed to students and researches alike. It is an opportunity for mathematicians from Bern and Fribourg to meet and to discover together new directions of research in mathematics.