Lesson One:  Introduction and Plurality

Although the decisions made by voting can have national or even international importance, we will use a more mundane example to illustrate different voting methods. But the principles we will see apply to all situations - mundane or earth shaking.

The Math Club wants to order some pizzas for the end of the year party. Fortunately the local Pizza House is having a really good special. You can order three different one-topping pizzas: one jumbo, one large, and one medium, for only $20. Since the members of the Math Club are basically cheap, they find this deal appealing. The problem is which topping to order on which pizza.

It's pretty clear that the most popular topping should go on the jumbo pizza, the second choice topping on the large pizza, and the third choice on the medium pizza. Each person in the Math Club has his or her own preference or ranking for the toppings.

How should we take all of the individual rankings and produce a group ranking?