• Well it turns out that a reasonable strategy is to find some fraction and perform the following algorithm. Observe the "spectrum" of applicants up to some predetermined fraction of the pool and then pick the next person who beats everyone that preceeded him/her. The question now is what is the fraction to observe that will maximize the probability that you select the best applicant.
• Ofcourse this way it is possible that you never see the best or it is possible that you will already have passed the best and are doomed, but nonetheless this is the method to maximize the probability.
• For the very interesting application to follow, all you need is the existence of this number. Assume that it can be calculated.

### The Dating Game

You're young and waiting. How long should you wait?
• Assumptions:
• You HAVE to find you're true love. If you don't, FAILURE!
• Strange assumption as this may be, you don't "see" all the "applicants" at once.
• Immediate notification is necessary. If you dump (or get dumped) then its bye-bye to that be-be.
• You have some approximation of the number of people you will date.
• You date FAST, cause obviously there is some loss to waiting too.
• BUT WAIT, this is exactly the interviewing problem!
• The strategy is date a while, sample and see. When you have used up your "training" sample, its time to get into marriage and settle down mode. If someone now comes along that beats all your ex's, then heck, marry her/him.
• It turns out that a simple calculation shows that the optimal fraction is about 1/e, roughly 37%. This is magdon's "one over e" theorem for dating . So what does this mean?
• The average person expects to date at a rate of say 12 people a year for about 10 years (rough estimates). i.e. 120 people, so about 40 people "should" be sampled before even thinking that rockets are firing.
• I ask you, is this not the strategy that most people follow unwittingly? In fact we can say more. We can categorize people into those who are in the pre-1/e stage and those in the post-1/e stage...hmm...the "so called" people who are ready to settle down...lest I get in more trouble, I shall say no more.