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The episode – which aired last night on BBC Two – documents Dr Xand van Tulleken and mathematician Hannah Fry’s investigation into the science used by popular sites and apps, and whether this intelligence is actually a reliable way of meeting genuine romantic partners.

Speaking to a number of professionals already studying the science of attraction in online dating, Dr van Tulleken learns how to create a profile that is mathematically guaranteed to get him noticed on dating platforms, whilst Fry uses her own expertise to build her own dating site.

Hannah said the advantages of dating this way - rather than using a website where you choose someone purely based on their appearance - means even if you don't fancy them 'at the very least you will get on well with them'.

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But with the bad weather set to continue into next week, many people who have found a prospective new partner via a dating website may have to wait sometime before they can actually meet up for their first date.

A new BBC Horizon show is offering an interesting look inside the matching algorithms used by modern online dating sites to pair up compatible users.

Can romance still flourish away from our computer screens and keyboards, in a more traditional way? Reporter: This exercise involves chatting to strangers.

Reporter: Tim Muffett Reporter: So internet dating might have transformed the way many people look for love and become socially acceptable, but some feel there's one activity an online profile or a newspaper ad can never replicate: good, old-fashioned, flirting. Jean Smith: When we first start doing this, you're going to feel a bit awkward, a bit uncomfortable. Jean Smith: Part of flirting is having the confidence of letting someone know that you're interested. Reporter: Whether it's through an advert or chance encounter, the meeting of two strangers can be life-changing and for this flirting expert at least, if you want it to happen, you've got to seize the day.

Jean Smith is an American anthropologist and flirting coach. She has tried online dating, but feels her one-to-one flirting skills need improving. And British people, in my experience, are way too hesitant and so both people leave and think... Why don't you ask him can he recommend a good restaurant around here?

Kelly: Could you recommend anywhere nice to eat around here? She tells Xand: 'If you filled in a questionnaire about the type of things that appeal to you in a partner, I think I could write an algorithm that would find you a girl who is better suited for you than if you just walked into a bar and picked someone at random.It is applied maths used to get you a date.'She invited Xand and other single people to join it, asking them to create a profile giving background information about themselves, as well as a profile picture, and then fill in a questionnaire about their hobbies, likes and dislikes.Sign up today to browse the FREE personal ads of available Eastern Tutuila singles, and hook up online using our completely free Bbc online dating service! 14 February 2011Since online dating sites first appeared in 1995, they have grown to have more than 5 million users in the UK. You still have to flirt online, but via the medium of writing and that's completely different from trying to strike up a conversation with somebody, in person.Originally from Reading, she has studied Multimedia Journalism at Bournemouth University and has a passion for writing and reporting.

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