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Knerds on the Board: The Hiring Problem

Posted in Knerds on October 1, 2013 by

In this video series, we’ll feature different Knerds explaining problems, concepts, equations, and projects that pertain to their work here at Knewton.

In this video, data science intern Irene Chen explains the solution to the famous “hiring problem,” also known as the “secretary problem,” the “marriage problem,” and the “best choice problem.”

Imagine the following scenario: an administrator can hire the best candidate out of a series of applicants. The applicants are interviewed one-by-one, and an irrevocable “yes/no” decision must be made after each interview. The administrator can rank the applicants that have been already reviewed, but is unaware of the quality of applicants that are yet to come. The question is about maximizing the probability of selecting the best applicant, given these rules.

The solution has implications in the field of statistics, which is the heartbeat of what we do here at Knewton. All math and stats students (future data scientists) will remember this from class!