roommates fighting illustration roommates fighting illustration Don't turn your home life into an 'Odd Couple' situation. (Photo: Lucien Fraud / Shutterstock)

Living with roommates can be hard. Here's how to make it fair

A new website helps you split chores, rent, bills, groceries and other responsibilities so no one feels cheated.

Not all roommate situations are created equal. There's one bedroom in the house that's about the size of a closet. The roommate with the gluten allergy is tired of having to buy all the groceries. And then there's that stack of dishes on the counter that's not going to wash itself ...

For those exact scenarios plus many, many more, there's a new online tool. It's called Spliddit, and it uses math to solve everyday problems. Yes, the kind of math you never thought you'd have to use outside of seventh grade.

The co-creator of Spliddit is Ariel Procaccia, an Israeli computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa. “We’re looking at what is the fairest solution of them all. This is what I care about, to provide easy access to carefully designed fair division methods, thereby making the world a bit fairer."

Spliddit calculations live demoSpliddit lets you calculate fairness for all sorts of scenarios, from paying rent to splitting cab fare. (Photo: Spliddit)

Spliddit doesn't just help people split rent and other responsibilities; it actually guarantees a fair split, using proven mathematical algorithms. Because that's the thing about math; you can't argue with the results. They are what they are.

For example, if you want to know how much share of the rent you should be paying, Spliddit lets you plug in all sorts of data – the number of roommates, the size of the house, the number of bedrooms, the size (aka value) of each room – to arrive at a fair sum. Each person in the household can set up their own calculation, so there's no room for error – or argument.

Spliddit calculations live demoThe evaluations page helps you calculate fair distribution of rent. (Photo: Spliddit)

You can also use it beyond everyday roommate logistics. It's useful for dividing up assets in a divorce, too, as well as distributing credit for research papers or splitting a cab fare.

"The hope is that we will give them a solution and they’ll say, ‘Yeah, that seems about right,’” said Procaccia, who earned a Ph.D. from Hebrew University in Jerusalem. “We want to show people that math can be beautiful and useful."

Ariel Procaccia, professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa.Computer science professor Ariel Procaccia created Spliddit with Carnegie Mellon student Jonathan Goldman (not pictured). Goldman is now an engineer at Facebook. (Photo: Carnegie Mellon University)

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