Math Nerd Games OKCupid to Find the Perfect Match

He didn't trust their algorithm, so he built his own.

  • Share
  • Read Later
Getty Images

Think OKCupid has an OK data set, but don’t trust their algorithm to sufficiently match you with the perfect mate? If you’re mathematician Chris McKinlay, there’s only one simple solution to this quandary: build your own algorithm that will pool only the best matches, thereby increasing  your chances of finding the ideal wife.

According to Wired, McKinlay set up six OKCupid profiles operated by bots and used them to gather data about 20,000 women on the dating site. Then he employed a method of dividing the women into groups called K-Modes, leaving him with 7 different statistically different clusters. From those 7, he was able to determine which two groups were the most appealing to him.

After putting those two groups through yet more series of tests–which you can read about over at Wired–and going on 87 OKCupid dates that yielded few genuine leads, McKinlay met Christine Tien Wang, an artist. Towards the end of their first date, he felt so comfortable with her that he confessed the whole romantically questionable charade: the equations, the data mining, all of it.

“I thought it was dark and cynical,” Wang told Wired. “I liked it.”

A year later, he proposed to her over Skype. No word on whether McKinlay is devising a system to determine the best time to have kids.

13 comments
Phlogiston
Phlogiston

Did anyone here notice the main fact here?

He proposed to her ONLINE, didn't even give her the ring, physically.

She's still in Qatar, he's in L A

They are NOT married, so, he doesn't in fact have a wife.

He found someone who's now on another continent working to be his fiance, not his wife


WenceslaoGarciacarrillo
WenceslaoGarciacarrillo

Id like to know how he was able to get 87 dates, damn! I was only able to get one date in the last year on OKC

caterpillarhome
caterpillarhome

So a white guy ends up with an asian girl? He didn't need an algorithm for that all he had to do was say "HI"...Asian girls see dating a white guy as a sign elevated class. Don't believe me - walk on the streets of new york...It's becoming as much a cliche as a black guy with fat white girls..

thejeffwei
thejeffwei

Ms. Roy, I'm disappointed you decided to use the pejorative word "nerd" in place of the word "genius" that the Wired article used. It says a lot about how threatened you are by this man's intelligence.

sbrasel
sbrasel

Um, I think the lesson here is that to meet a prospective wife it helps TO DATE A LOT OF WOMEN. In this case, 87 (!) of them did the trick. It wasn't the algorithm per se.

JamesKOV
JamesKOV

@caterpillarhome I love dating white women. The best part is seeing the looks of disdain on the faces of white men.

whaddadeuce
whaddadeuce

@caterpillarhome only thing is that both the white guy and asian girl in this example are ugly, like most white-asian couples. that's because class has nothing to do with one's race, you dummy. and for the record, most asian girls actually date within their own race

rdskn16
rdskn16

@caterpillarhomeReally? I mean, come on, are you serious?? What decade are you living in...and even if what you say were true for some people, your way of generalizing just pisses me off. 

poooooooo
poooooooo

@sbrasel But they were all women highly matched with him according to OKCupid.  He basically found a way to advertise himself on the site to potential matches without paying for it.  Although I'll admit if it took him 87 women to find one willing to marry him, he's probably got the personality of a yutz.  And anyone can write Python heuristics with enough free time and he definitely had enough of that.

caterpillarhome
caterpillarhome

@JamesKOV @caterpillarhome hahaha Yup - i've seen the look. 

caterpillarhome
caterpillarhome

@whaddadeuce sorry you dont like it but its the truth....white guys and asian girls are like fat white girls to black guys...just becoming a more cemented reality.