Man Uses Math to Explain his Relationship Troubles
Can a mathematical equation previously used to predict the possibility of aliens in our galaxy also be utilized to calculate the potential of our love lives? Peter Backus believes so. In fact, the Seattle native and PhD candidate living in London wrote an entire paper using the Drake Equation to explain why he doesn’t have a girlfriend.
While it might seem like Backus is just trying to make excuses for his relationship dry-spell, “Why I don’t have a girlfriend: An application of the Drake Equation to love in the UK,” is an entertaining story of one man who utilizes a mathematical equation to explain his personal woes. He claims that the findings in his paper were “not encouraging” when it came to discovering a lady friend.
Backus, who is also a Teaching Fellow in the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick said, “The probability of finding love in the UK is only about 100 times better than the probability of finding intelligent life in our galaxy.”
According to Click Liverpool, Backus found that of the 30 million women in the UK, only 26 would be suitable for him. How did he come to this depressing conclusion? His equation looked at the total number of women in the country, then narrowed it down using relevant factors including the number of women in London; the number of “age-appropriate” women (those aged between 24-34); women with a college degree; and those who Backus would find physically attractive.Obviously, the low potential of finding love could have been a result of his standards what he considers attractive.
Backus summarized that on a given night out in London there is a 0.0000034 percent chance of meeting a woman that meets his criteria and who is also interested in him. That makes his odds of finding a girlfriend only about 100 times better than finding an alien.
You would think that the bloke would never have a shot at love. But it turns out that he has had a gal pal for the past six months. He managed to beat the odds! Good for him. He also managed to prove that math is more than the universal language, it’s also a fun, yet questionable, way of calculating certain events in your future.
All my life I have failed for find even a minute interest in math. But Backus captured my attention and taught me about the Drake Equation. This type of creativity should be a standard when it comes to hiring teachers and professors. Keeping students interested in subjects like math and English is extremely difficult if the instructor fails to connect with the student.
I know first hand how an unmotivated and dry math teacher can demolish any chance of excelling in the subject. So let’s hire more people like Backus, and fire the people that remind us of Ferris Bueller’s high school instructors.
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