In this Monday, Aug. 7, 2017 photo, mathematics professor Moon Duchin speaks to attendees during a conference at Tufts University in Medford, Mass. Lawsuits challenging voting districts have risen since a 2013 Supreme Court case made it easier to draw new districts. Duchin realized her geometry research could be used to fight gerrymandering by figuring out if new voting districts pass legal muster. She's now started a summer program to teach mathematicians how to testify in court to help illuminate the complicated topic. (AP Photo/Bill Sikes)

Math experts join brainpower to help address gerrymandering

August 18, 2017 - 12:34 am

MEDFORD, Mass. (AP) — Efforts to address gerrymandering are gaining new help from math and data experts at many universities.

Scholars from California to Massachusetts have been working on cutting-edge math and computer-science tools that could help federal courts identify voting districts that are drawn unfairly.

Gerrymandering, the practice of drawing voting maps to favor certain voting groups, has regained attention recently through lawsuits in North Carolina and Wisconsin.

A professor at Tufts University near Boston is organizing a series of workshops in several states to unite math and data experts studying gerrymandering and to train them to serve as expert witnesses in court cases.

Legal experts say federal courts have used relatively unscientific methods to evaluate voting districts in the past but that new algorithms and mathematical approaches could reshape how cases are decided.

Comments ()