maths news: from around the globe Swansea striker Walter Boyd set a world record by becoming the first player to be sent off after ZERO seconds.. MORE Gardeners have been waging a war against The Slug for centuries. Now it seems the pest could have met its match - a mathematical equation. MORE boffins claim to have developed some software that can divide property equally between divorcees. MORE

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 Issue 2 - August 2000 Computer boffins claim to have developed some software that can divide property equally between divorcees - by using a simple mathematical formula. The "adjusted winner formula", which uses an algorithm that is supposed to settles disputes fairly, allots points to each contested item. Items are then divided so that each person ends up with an equal number of points. The idea originated from solving the problem of how to share a cake fairly between three or more people which two New York mathematicians had been working on. However a spokeswoman for the marriage guidance council, Relate, commented "When people break up they are in a highly emotional state. The idea of calmly wandering around your home with a clipboard allotting points to vases and cars is probably asking a bit too much. " The Adjusted Winner Formula is such that each partner contributes material goods to the marriage and when it is dissolved those assets should be divided equally. So for example, a car rates higher than a television. Therefore the car may go to one and the television to the other - regardless of who brought it to the partnership. Each partner should receive the same number of points - calculated by the Share Function: where m = points allocated for male possesions, f = points allocated for female possessions. Source: T The Guardian Newspaper page (3) page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | credits
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