Operations researcher Sheldon H. Jacobson, a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, along with a group of students and collaborators at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, created http://election08.cs.uiuc.edu/, a math model that dynamically forecasts the outcome of the election.
Over 4,000 analysts and experts in analytics are expected to attend next month's meetings. Jacobson's model applies a mathematical model to state polling data, using a dynamic programming algorithm to forecast electoral results.
I took a math modeling class once. Very interesting, but also kinda like sausage being made.