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A Radcliffe senior, getting into the spirit of things, telephoned a girl on her list and said cheerfully, “I hear you’re my ideal date.” At Stanford, a coed was matched with her roommate’s fiance. “Maybe the computer knows something that I don’t know,” she said. For some, there is an embarrassment of witches, but others find agreeable surprises.A Northwestern University junior reported: “The girl you sent me didn’t have much upstairs, but what a staircase! Result, as long date’s journey brightened into night: a bull’s-eye for cupid’s computer. From Boston to Berkeley, computer dates are sweeping the campus, replacing old-fashioned boy-meets-girl devices; punch bowls are out, punch cards are in.
At non-coed schools like Yale and Dartmouth, students lead lives of social isolation. “We try to pack a whole week into Friday and Saturday night,” says a Princeton sophomore.“You can’t get hung up about every complaint,” says Tarr. “But we’re not trying to take the love out of love; we’re just trying to make it more efficient. Snyder, MIT’s chief psychiatrist, it acts as a method that society condones for introducing a girl and a boy.“You’ve got to look at it existentially.” Jeff, 5′ 7″, likes girls, dates often. We supply everything but the spark.” Actually, computer dating supplies more. “A boy knows that the girl has expressed her willingness to date by the act of joining. Call it dating, call it mating, it flashed out of the minds of Jeff Tarr (left) and Vaughn Morrill, Harvard undergraduates who plotted Operation Match, the dig-it dating system that ties up college couples with magnetic tape.” Elated, Tarr rented a middling-capacity computer for 0 an hour (“I couldn’t swing the million to buy it.”), fed in the coded punch cards (“When guys said we sent them some hot numbers, they meant it literally.”) and sped the names of computer-picked dates to students all over New England.