How a Math Genius Hacked OkCupid to Find Real Love

How a Math Genius Hacked OkCupid to Find Real Love


Chris McKinlay ended up being folded right into a cramped cubicle that is fifth-floor UCLA’s mathematics sciences building, lit by an individual light light bulb therefore the radiance from his monitor. It had been 3 when you look at the morn­ing, the time that is optimal fit rounds from the supercomputer in Colorado which he had been making use of for their PhD dissertation. (the topic: large-scale information processing and synchronous numerical techniques. ) as the computer chugged, he clicked open a 2nd screen to always check their OkCupid inbox.

McKinlay, a lanky 35-year-old with tousled locks, had been certainly one of about 40 million Us citizens interested in love through web sites like, J-Date, and e-Harmony, in which he’d been looking in vain since their breakup that is last nine earlier in the day. He’d delivered a large number of cutesy messages that are introductory females touted as prospective matches by OkCupid’s algorithms. Most had been ignored; he would gone on an overall total of six very first dates.

On that morning in June 2012, their compiler crunching out machine code within one screen, his forlorn dating profile sitting idle into the other, it dawned he was doing it wrong on him that. He’d been approaching matchmaking that is online just about any individual. Instead, he noticed, he ought to be dating such as for instance a mathematician.

OkCupid had been started by Harvard mathematics majors in 2004, plus it first caught daters’ attention due to the approach that is computational to. Users solution droves of multiple-choice study concerns on anything from politics, faith, and family members to love, intercourse, and smart phones.

An average of, participants select 350 concerns from a pool of thousands—“Which for the following is most probably to attract one to a film? ” or ” just just How essential is religion/God that you know? ” for every, the user records a solution, specifies which reactions they would find appropriate in a mate, and prices essential the real question is in their mind on a scale that is five-point “irrelevant” to “mandatory. ” OkCupid’s matching engine utilizes that data to determine a couple’s compatibility.

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