Aiden Ludka (Gettysburg College, Adams County) - 2nd Place, West Higher Ed

About Aiden: I joined this competition for college credit and ended up getting way too into it. It's cool to get recognized for a constructive obsession!

Judges' Statement

Aiden's map had solid metrics, accomplishing a close to perfectly equal population deviation and strong compactness.

Personal Statement

In my map of Pennsylvania’s projected 17 seats, I made size and compactness my first priorities. As you can see, each district differs by no more than 5 voters, and the compactness wasn’t below 20%. I think that the first step towards equal districting involves basic division of voters and simple shapes, and the goals of redistricting can’t progress past the basics if these needs are not met.

Although I’m sure many others prioritized the racial or party divisions in each Pennsylvania district, I believe that I have, in my own way, also solved for this problem; as a California-native first-year college student, I have very little familiarity with the counties of Pennsylvania, and as a result, I am inherently unbiased on these fronts. Since I am unaware of the political divides that most Pennsylvania natives are, randomly assigning these districts constitutes its own sort of bias-protection. I think these qualifications give me a unique ability to assign districts in a totally random—although still compact and even—way.