Tag Archives: partially ordered set

What’s Wrong with OKCupid’s Matching Algorithm

OKCupid is using the wrong mathematics to match potential dates together. But before I critique them, let me compliment them on what they’re doing right: “Our” mutual score is the geometric average of your score of me, and my score … Continue reading

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Talking in Tuples

Mathematics is the *Most* Different Language. In Can we make mathematics intelligible?, R P Boas jokes: There is a test for identifying some of the future professional mathematicians at an early age. These are the students who instantly comprehend a sentence … Continue reading

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Ethnic Food as a Poset

I like Indonesian food better than Japanese food i ⪰ j, and I like Japanese food better than English food j ⪰ e. I also like French food better than English food f ⪰ e, but I see French food as so different … Continue reading

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Popularity

At my secondary school, the high-scoring wide receiver was more popular than the fat lineman. And the fat lineman was more popular than the team statistician. But you couldn’t really compare the wide receiver’s popularity to that of the actor … Continue reading

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Blood Types

Blood types form a topological space (and a complete distributive lattice). There are three generators: A, B, and Rh+. Above the “zero element” is the universal donor O− and the “unit element” is the universal receiver AB+. A topological space contains … Continue reading

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The Hotness Scale

One example of a total ordering ≤ is the “hotness” scale from 1–10. Because of the widespread disagreement about the meaning of the numbers, the only thing one can infer based on a man’s rating of a woman is that … Continue reading

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