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The two things that matter most when picking a college roommateHundreds of universities and colleges worldwide are turning to software programs and algorithms to help match dorm roommates. CNET.com's Kara Tsuboi reports on how this technology aims to reduce bad pairings and the two questions that may best determine...
[NOISE] But we both like Tiffany blue. We both really love giraffes. Like it's like the randomest things. Saint Mary's College roommates Samantha Carnero and Samantha Richards joke that they're so much alike, they're almost twins. There's like a big joke. Both our names are Sam, obviously. The pair was more than 80% compatible, according to StarRez, an online tool that more than 400 institutions including Ohio State NYU and UC Berkley used to match roommates and organize on campus housing. It works like an online dating site with a proprietary matching algorithm. Fill out a questionnaire, find compatible matches, and then check out profiles. Attributes might include whether they smoke, you know, watch TV when they're studying. Do they like to cook? Schools can decide which attributes to prioritize. But St. Mary's with an undergraduate population of only three thousand students has kept the algorithms as broad as possible and focus on lifestyle choices. Lynn Wald says StarRes has found that study and sleeping habits are often the two most important factors. The combination of those two things can really, really say a lot about how a student relationship is gonna go. But Star Res is just the starting point for future roommates. They're able to use Facebook or social media outlets to connect with that person and kind of get to know them on a deeper level. Star Res says some participating schools have reported fewer room swap requests and room conflicts. St. Mary's said last year, 7% of first year residents who were dissatisfied with their housing assignments requested a change. St. Mary's is hoping to see a decrease in the second year of using StarRes. It's working for freshmen Cameron Wiggins and Stephen Hasbrook. They've requested to live together again their sophomore year. It makes college a lot easier. We're actually 100% compatible on StarRes. [LAUGH] Has has a compatibility meter, and we're 100%. Earning them an A in roommate matching. In [UNKNOWN] California, I'm Kara Suboy, CNet.com for CBS News.