Marian Miner Cook

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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Tuesday, October 03, 2017 - Evening Program
Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking)
Christian Rudder

From the data we have gathered, can we learn something new about our behaviors and attitudes? Christian Rudder thinks so. As co-founder of the dating site OkCupid, he possesses one of the richest data sets in the world and uses it to illustrate the human behavior behind the numbers to peer into who we truly are when nobody is looking.

Christian Rudder is one of the founders of OKCupid, one of the largest dating sites in the world, which was sold to IAC in 2011. He still runs it day-to-day, while also heading a small data-mining team that scours the digital universe for meaningful trends on important sites. The original outlet for Rudder’s research took place on OKCupid’s blog, OKTrends, which was not only read by millions of people, but also changed the way companies approach data as a media-relations strategy. His research and findings have been featured in The New York Times, Harper’s, The Atlantic, and were the subject of a New Yorker feature.  

A native of Arkansas, Rudder graduated from Little Rock High School and attended Harvard College where he majored in mathematics. Rudder joined SparkNotes in October 1999, a few months after its founding. Rudder was the creative voice of, which was the viral content arm of SparkNotes during the site's early rise to popularity. He became TheSpark's creative director in March 2001. Soon after the site's sale to Barnes & Noble, Rudder and the SparkNotes founders left and began working on OkCupid, which launched in February 2004.

Photo credit: Victor G. Jeffreys II