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A math tool to help settle arguments fairly

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Jun 11, 2014 14:57 EDT

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A math tool to help settle arguments fairly
By Albert Sun
The New York Times

(Click on the link above to read the whole article)
Last year, two friends and I moved into a small three-bedroom apartment in Manhattan. We chose it for its relatively reasonable price — around $3,000 a month — and its convenient location. Just finding it was a challenge, but then we faced another one: deciding who would get each bedroom.
The bedrooms were different sizes, ranging from small to very small. Two faced north toward the street and had light; the third and smallest faced an alley. The largest had two windows; the midsize room opened onto the fire escape.
Every month, unrelated people move into apartments together to save on rent. Many decide to simply divide the rent evenly, or to base it on bedrooms’ square footage or perhaps even on each resident’s income.
But as it turns out, a field of academics is dedicated to studying the subject of fair division, or how to divide good and bad things fairly among groups of people. To the researchers, none of the typical methods are satisfactory. They have better ways.

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A math tool to help settle arguments fairly

Relevant Subject and Topic
Career and Life Skills, Personal Finance and Investment, Math, Economics

Learning Activity

Informative, Educational, Tool to Use


Copyright Owner
Albert Sun
The New York Times

Most Suitable For Use By
Instructors, Facilitators, Parents, Learners, Entrepreneurs, Policy Makers

Age Appropriateness

Grade Appropriateness
High School, Postsecondary, Graduate, Adult General, Professional

Geographic Suitability
All or Non-Specific


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