“Fairness Dotcom” — The Discovery Files

The need to divide things among people is an aspect of daily life filled with potential pitfalls. Whether the deal involves land, an inheritance or credit for an idea, a split perceived as unfair can lead to war, personal feuds, or silent, seething resentment. Computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon University hope to minimize such unwelcome outcomes through a new website, Spliddit.org, that offers “provably fair” solutions to everyday dilemmas–how to split rent, divide goods or apportion credit for a project. The site employs the latest mathematical and theoretical approaches to these problems, but site visitors won’t need an advanced degree to use them.