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Will Li '21 Lectures on 'Finding Love Through Algorithms'
Bob Bitler, Research in Science Club Moderator

Delbarton celebrated Valentine's Day several days early, and in true academic style, with a serious lecture via a Zoom call with Will Li '21 on the topic mathematical match-making...

On February 10, Class of 2021 Valedictorian alumnus Will Li '21, co-founder of the Research in Science Club, and now at Stanford University, offered a stunning and non-intuitive mathematical talk on ‘Finding Love Through Algorithms!’  The Research in Science Club advertised the talk throughout the school, and there was a solid turnout. This was partly from the avid following Will continues to have at the school, and also - partly a serious interest by many boys in the topic.

Using a variety of algorithmic methods, Will laid out the most effective way for men or women to find their true soulmates through dating, or alternatively, to find a mate who is close to that top soulmate.  The algorithms encapsulated many different types of situations involving different sized groups of people, and it was extremely interesting to see that with fairly limited dating in some situations, one could hone in on one's soulmate (assuming that there is a soulmate in a population of a certain size).  Will continued on with enhanced algorithms for doing the same, where different types of unfortunate human behavior come into play (cheating, etc.).

In the second part of the talk, Will showed a number of algorithms which are very predictive, looking at specific couple behaviors, regarding the likelihood of divorce - or alternatively, and more hopefully - the likelihood of lifelong, happy and successful marriage.  Some of the algorithms have an above 90% prediction success rate!

Will took a fair number of very interesting questions from the audience concerning life in college, at Stanford, what to major in, about finding one's soulmate in life, and of course, about Will’s own success at finding love while in command of these powerful algorithms! 

It was great to hear from the club’s former leader, and to see that Will is really thriving and being challenged at Stanford.  My own prediction:  the algorithmic future, if applied well, may lead to happier and more stable and successful marriages.  Who knew?!?