Five teenagers charged over sexual allegations in Opotiki ... More soon

Using maths in real life, for love

Last updated 15:22 11/02/2014
Amy Webb
AMY WEBB: Her data was right on target.

What's the worst date you've ever had?

Share your stories, photos and videos.

Relevant offers

Love & Sex

The ups and downs of mid-life dating 'There's nothing wrong with me, I'm just asexual' Time's up! In online dating, matches don't last forever Tumblr account reveals the final messages sent between ex-lovers Dear Mrs Salisbury: I hate my wife's ageing body The best way to ask someone on a date Ten things no one ever tells you about married life How friends react when singles find a partner Does the opportunity to lead a parallel life online mean we are more likely to cheat? HIV-positive men reply to awkward questions on dating apps

It's a familiar complaint from kids struggling with maths: "Why do I have to learn this? When am I ever going use algorithms (matrices, quadratic equations) in real life?"

Amy Webb has an answer. A tech geek who founded a digital strategy agency, she was single at 30 and sick of disappointing dates. So she set out to use her computational skills to find a husband.

In Data, a Love Story she describes how she created a spreadsheet of all her dates.

She used it to calculate, for example, that a man who ordered more than one drink on a first date was more likely than others to have lied about himself online.

She read up on's algorithms, OkCupid's "complex framework of math" and eHarmony's 29 dimensions of compatibility.

She developed a formula for evaluating men's e-profiles. She analysed how other women presented themselves online, calculated which keywords drew more responses, how long an effective personal description was. (Ninety to 100 words.) She plotted graphs, drew matrices.

She also lost weight and got a better haircut. (Maths isn't everything.)

Long story short, she married the first man she dated under her new system. They have a daughter and live in Baltimore.

She includes a note from her husband: "Because I'm sure you're wondering," he writes, "yes, I did appreciate the beauty of her perfect spreadsheets."

- Washington Post

Ad Feedback


Special offers
Opinion poll

Do long-distance relationships work?

Yes, if you work at them.

No, they're a waste of time and money.

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content