When opinions won’t solve the problem

PROBLEM-SOLVERS: University of Rhode Island assistant professor of industrial and systems engineering Gretchen Macht and a team of student researchers are using a state grant this summer to design something that would improve voter wait times, using queuing theory and facilities layout. From left, URI graduate students in system engineering Nicholas Bernardo, of North Haven, Conn., and James Houghton, of Holtsville, N.Y.; Macht; and URI mechanical engineering junior Ahmad Siddiqi, of Lincoln.
 / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO
PROBLEM-SOLVERS: University of Rhode Island assistant professor of industrial and systems engineering Gretchen Macht and a team of student researchers are using a state grant this summer to design something that would improve voter wait times, using queuing theory and facilities layout. From left, URI graduate students in system engineering Nicholas Bernardo, of North Haven, Conn., and James Houghton, of Holtsville, N.Y.; Macht; and URI mechanical engineering junior Ahmad Siddiqi, of Lincoln.
 / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO
Engineers are problem-solvers. But is there an engineering solution to long lines at the voting precincts? A professor of industrial and systems engineering at the University of Rhode Island and a team of researchers are working on it. Using data from precincts that had long wait times in the 2016 general election, gleaned from the…

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