Mathematician Cracks OkCupid, Finds Wife
Though it still took 88 actual first dates
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 22, 2014 5:00 PM CST
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – First, there was boy meets girl. Then, boy meets girl online. And now, boy meets girl online after manipulating the algorithms of his Internet dating site. As Wired explains, it helps to be a mathematician. Christopher McKinlay was a 30-something looking for love on OkCupid and not having much luck. He also happened to be a math wizard working on his PhD dissertation at UCLA, and thus he struck upon his great plan: He created 12 fake OkCupid accounts, along with a computer program to manage them and harvest every bit of information possible about potential dates.

This resulted in a huge mass of information. To narrow the field into two key groups—"one full of mid-twenties arty types and one full of slightly older professional creative women," explains BuzzFeed—he employed, of course, an algorithm originally designed to analyze soybean crops. It's uber-complicated and might even be laughable except for the fact that McKinlay—on his 88th first date—finally met Christine Tien Wang, a 28-year-old artist. They are now engaged. “I think that what I did is just a slightly more algorithmic, large-scale, and machine-learning-based version of what everyone does on the site," he says. (Beware, though, cops like creating fake online dating profiles, too.)

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Showing 3 of 22 comments
Gene Smith
Mar 19, 2014 8:41 AM CDT
I wish that I had sense enough to use that algorithm thingy at the casinos where I go to play the slots. I could probably hit a lot of slot machine jackpots then.
Gene Smith
Mar 19, 2014 8:38 AM CDT
I certainly could never find a mate by being a math genius. I finished the 12th grade, but decided I didn't pick enough education, so I went all way back down from the 12th grade, to the first grade. I picked up a world of information that I missed the first go-a-round. LoL
Gene Smith
Mar 19, 2014 8:34 AM CDT
In my opinion, you can have better luck finding a good mate in a church. I'm happy to say that's where I met mine 56 years ago.....we dated for 6 months, got married in 1958, and we're still together, still in love with each other.