Elections and Technology Colloquium | 2018

Elections and Technology Colloquium
Thursday, November 1, 2018

Lecture Time: 4:30pm – 6:30pm
Lecture Location: E15-070

Seminar Time: 7:30pm – 8:30pm
Seminar Location: E15-070

Sponsored by MIT Anthropology, MIT History, and the MIT program in Science, Technology, and Society

This event has concluded. You can view a recording of the panel here.


Contemporary democratic elections are increasingly technology intensive. With anxieties about the technological integrity of both American and foreign elections at an all-time high, how can researchers, policymakers, and publics better understand the multiple linkages between technological systems are implicated in election planning, infrastructure, security, and maintenance?

The MIT programs in Anthropology, History, and Science, Technology, and Society invites the MIT and broader Boston-Cambridge communities to the second event of our Democracy, Citizenship, and Technology Colloquium Series titled Elections and Technology. This panel of multidisciplinary experts will seek to lift the curtains on three technologically mediated features of contemporary elections: the security of the electoral apparatus and infrastructure (e.g. voting machines), the intensifying role of new media technologies for influencing, mobilizing, and segmenting the electorate (e.g. social media), as well as mathematical and other means of both producing and contesting electoral gerrymandering. One week before the highly anticipated November 6th American Midterm Elections, join us for a lively panel discussion and audience Q/A session about the social and political implications of a technologically entwined electoral process.

This colloquium is part of the Arthur Miller Lecture Series in Science and Ethics hosted annually by the MIT program in Science, Technology, and Society, and is the second event of MIT’s new Computational Cultures Initiative. Following a dinner break and time for socialization, the speakers will return for a smaller seminar session offered to graduate students for a more intimate and roundtable-style discussion.



Dan Wallach, Rice University

Professor in the systems group at Rice University’s Department of Computer Science where he manages the computer security lab. Dan's research interests include mobile code, wireless and smartphone security, and the security of electronic voting systems. He has recently provided expert testimony on election security to the Texas Senate and U.S. Congress.

Daniel Kreiss, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Associate Professor and Director of the School of Media and Journalism at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Daniel’s research broadly explores the impact of technological change on the public sphere and political practice. His most recent book, Prototype Politics: The Making and Unmaking of Technological Innovation in the Republican and Democratic Parties, 2000-2014, explores the role of digital media, data, and analytics in contemporary campaigning, and provides a framework for understanding the differences between the two parties’ technological capacities.

Moon Duchin, Tufts University

Associate Professor of Mathematics at Tufts University where she directs the Metric Geometry and Gerrymandering Group (MGGG). Moon's mathematical research is in geometric group theory, low-dimensional topology, and dynamics. She has broad interests in the history, philosophy, and cultural studies of science. In this work, she investigates the applications of geometry and computing to U.S. redistricting, and she has facilitated workshops that train PhDs to become expert witnesses to testify in gerrymandering cases.

Alex Reiss-Sorokin, Moderator, MIT

As a doctoral student in the HASTS program at MIT, Alex is developing a dissertation project that focuses on the social, political, and legal aspects of digital platforms. Specifically, her research explores the rules and policies developed by private entities and their regulatory effects, including the development and implementation of material internet infrastructure in the Global South.