October 30, 2018

Roundtable at Purdue discusses solutions to election fakery

Constance Doebele,Jennifer Kavanagh, Walter Mebane, Mikhail Atallah Moderator Constance Doebele with panelists Jennifer Kavanagh, Walter Mebane and Mikhail Atallah. (Purdue University photo/Rebecca Wilcox) Download image

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The ways in which deception has proliferated in political campaigns and elections, as well as how it can be counteracted, were the focus of a roundtable discussion Monday (Oct. 29) at Purdue University.

The discussion – titled “Fakery in Campaigns and Elections: Can It Be Stopped?” – took place in Fowler Hall and was moderated by Constance Doebele, managing director of the Center for C-SPAN Scholarship and Engagement at Purdue. This Giant Leaps Series event is one of many celebrating Purdue’s Sesquicentennial, 150 Years of Giant Leaps. This yearlong celebration is highlighting Purdue’s remarkable history of giant leaps, while focusing on what giant leaps Purdue can take to address the world’s problems.

Guest panelists included:

* Walter Mebane, professor of political science and statistics at the University of Michigan. Mebane is a leader in the field of “election forensics,” the practice of using statistical modeling to detect suspicious irregularities in voting tallies that government officials report.

* Jennifer Kavanagh, a political scientist at the RAND Corporation who specializes in public opinion, research methods, and political reasoning. She is the co-author of the recently published book, “Truth Decay,” which has been widely reviewed.

* Mikhail Atallah, distinguished professor of computer science at Purdue. Atallah is a widely recognized expert in the field of information security, and has developed anti-piracy and anti-tampering software.

The event is part of the Purdue University Symposium on Advanced Research Methodologies in the Behavioral, Health, and Social sciences, which is taking place Oct. 29-30. The multidisciplinary symposium’s sponsors include the Office of the Provost, College of Liberal Arts, College of Health and Human Sciences, Department of Psychological Sciences, Department of Political Science, Human Development and Family Studies, Department of Sociology, Brian Lamb School of Communication, Department of Anthropology, Purdue Policy Research Institute, and the Integrative Data Science Initiative.

Sources: James McCann, mccannj@purdue.edu

Christopher Agnew, agnew@purdue.edu

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