"A Difficulty in the Concept of Social Welfare"


Edith Viau will present Arrow's original paper, "A Difficulty in the Concept of Social Welfare" (https://www.stat.uchicago.edu/~lekheng/meetings/mathofranking/ref/arrow.pdf), that first presented his well-known eponymous theorem. From a practical point of view, she will talk about applying Arrow's impossibility theorem to the problem of scheduling meetings.

Arrow's theorem (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arrow%27s_impossibility_theorem) is one of those fascinating, counterintuitive results that always comes up when discussing voting, but for some completely different applications, I recommend Ryan O'Donnel's Analysis of Boolean Functions (http://www.contrib.andrew.cmu.edu/~ryanod/) [I'll bring a copy of the book to the meetup, too]. I am looking forward to hearing the treatment of this with respect to calendar problems — this seems like a natural fit, and I'd never made the connection before.

This is a joint effort with the Montreal math meetup group: https://www.meetup.com/Mathematiques-Montreal-Mathematics/events/251105093/ which I invite you all to check out.

Thanks a lot to Lightspeed for hosting us this time!