Florida International University
January 4 – April 23, 2010
The Mathematics of Social Choice & Decision Making
MAC1107-B51 (#14332), MWF 1600 – 1650, Room A1-226
Professor P. Bishop Email: PLBishop@bellsouth.net
Phone: 305-401-0198 Office Hours: M 1455 – 1555, W 1655 – 1755
Web Page: http://faculty.mdc.edu/pbishop Room AC1- 386A
Textbook: For All Practical Purposes, custom edition for FIU, available only at the FIU bookstore, ISBN 1-
4292-3974-3. For those who can't get to the FIU bookstore, you may order For All Practical Purposes, 8th
edition, by COMAP. An electronic copy of the 8th edition is available for $60.95 from CourseSmart. A study
guide is available, but is optional.
Description: Topics include voting systems, weighted voting, fair division, apportionment, and Game Theory.
This course satisfies FIU’s Core Curriculum and General Education math requirements and can be used
towards an exemption from the CLAST. It is intended to be of interest to students majoring in Political Science,
International Relations, History, Social Studies Education, and Public Administration. See Anticipated
Schedule & Topics for specific topics and anticipated schedule.
Grading Scale: There will be four tests (60% of your grade) a cumulative final exam (25%), and graded
homework assignments, including an apportionment project (15%); see below for specifics. After rounding
your weighted average to the nearest whole number (arithmetic mean), the following grading scale will be
A 90+ B- 77-79 D 60-63
A- 87-89 C+ 74-76 D- 57-59
B+ 84-86 C 67-73 F 0-56
B 80-83 D+ 64-66 F0 Attendance < 60%
I reserve the right to add points to the totals of students who display outstanding participation (during both
lectures and office hours). I may at my discretion replace a low or missing grade with your final exam grade.
Homework: Graded homework will be available online through Blackboard, a free online course delivery
system. Also part of your graded homework will be a project asking you to apportion the House of
Representatives using a specified method and census data for a given year. In addition, ungraded assignments
include the Supplemental Homework problems from my website, skills checks, and exercises at the end of
each section, which must be done to be adequately prepared for tests.
Supplemental Materials: You will need a scientific calculator; however, programmable calculators are not
allowed. Lesson notes with class examples will be available on my web page (see above). Also you can get
additional help with class by going to the Learning Center on the first floor of AC1 or by going to
http://w3.fiu.edu/math/math_help/math_help.htm or to http://www.fiu.edu/~rosentha/MGF1107.htm. It
is your responsibility, not mine, to supply the extra effort if you “have never been good at math” or this is the
last class you need for graduation.
Attendance: Attendance is essential to success in this course. If you cannot attend a class, it is your
responsibility to make-up any missed lessons. You are also required to pay attention, take notes, and ask
questions about anything in class that you do not understand and seek extra help, if needed.
Withdrawal: Should you decide not to complete the course, it is your responsibility to officially withdraw
yourself by the appropriate date, January 11 (full refund), January 29 (25% refund), or February 26 (grade
of DR). If you simply stop attending, you will get a grade of F or F0.
Make-up Exams: There will be NO make-up exams. One missed exam will be replaced with your final
exam grade. A second missed exam will receive a grade of 0. If you miss three exams, you should
consider withdrawing from the class.
Any device that disrupts the class must be turned off! Tardies are a disruption and will be counted against
participation, as will exiting and re-entering. This is a 50-minute class; if you find it essential to leave the class
for any reason, don’t return! If you leave during a test, your test will be collected and graded to that point. In
addition, I expect students not to talk without raising a hand and being recognized by me. An exception to this
rule would be when you are answering a question I asked. Whispering to a nearby student is a violation of the
rule even if you’re explaining something. Students with questions should raise their hand and ask, as others
might have the same question. Eating and drinking in class is permitted as long as it is silent and odorless. If
you do eat or drink in class, I expect you to dispose of your garbage after class in the cans provided. I do not
allow student to wear headsets in class. If you wish to listen to your iPod, that is fine. Just don't come to class.
Similarly, no books, magazines, or newspapers should be open other than your textbook. Students creating
distractions will be asked to leave. Students repeatedly creating distractions will be formally charged with
violating FIU's Student Code of Conduct. If any of these policies bother you, feel free to stay home and watch
the lessons online.
EXTRA TUITION CHARGES FOR REPEATED COURSES AND EXCESS HOURS: The Florida Legislature
has mandated a tuition surcharge for the third time a student either takes or attempts a college credit course.
This charge should serve as additional motivation for you not to have to retake this course. In other words,
DO THE HOMEWORK!!!
Academic Misconduct includes (but is not limited to) giving or receiving assistance on a test, quiz, or
homework assignment for which such assistance is not permitted, falsifying a document to obtain an excusal
from a test, and using unauthorized notes on a test or quiz. A more complete definition of Academic
Misconduct is given here. Penalties for Academic Misconduct range from an F in the course to expulsion from