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Inside OKCupid: The math of online dating - Christian Rudder


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When two people join a dating website, they are matched according to shared interests and how they answer a number of personal questions. But how do sites calculate the likelihood of a successful relationship? Christian Rudder, one of the founders of popular dating site OKCupid, details the algorithm behind 'hitting it off.'

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Christian Rudder was the creative voice of, which was the viral content arm of SparkNotes during the site's early rise to popularity. During Rudder's tenure at TheSpark, it was one of the most popular humor sites on the web. Soon after the site's sale to Barnes & Noble, Rudder and the SparkNotes founders - Chris Coyne, Sam Yagan, and Max Krohn - left and began work on OkCupid, a dating site. OkCupid launched in February 2004. Starting in 2009, Rudder maintained a blog on a subdomain of OkCupid named OkTrends (one of Time's 2011 best blogs). It featured statistical observations and analysis of members' preferences and connections. Rudder is also a permanent member of Bishop Allen.
In mathematics and computer science, an algorithm is a step-by-step procedure for calculations. Algorithms are used for calculation, data processing, and automated reasoning.
"It's never been easier to find a date," says publisher Julie Spira. And when it comes to online dating, she adds, the "stigma is gone." See the article here.
In mathematics, the geometric mean is a type of mean or average, which indicates the central tendency or typical value of a set of numbers by using the product of their values (as opposed to the Arithmetic mean which uses their sum). Here's a video.
Margin of error is a statistic expressing the amount of random sampling error in a survey's results.

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Meet The Creators

  • Animation Artist Celeste Lai
  • Educator Christian Rudder
  • Director Franz Palomares
  • Narrator Christian Rudder

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