And once at Match, he, Ginsberg and a team of nine maths whizzes hired by Thombre, set about updating the Match algorithm.
So, if a woman says she doesn't want to date anyone older than 26, but often looks at profiles of thirty-somethings, Match will know she is in fact open to meeting older men. That is, the algorithm looks at the behaviour of similar users and factors in that information, too.
Until Ginsberg joined IAC, which owns Match, in 2006, she worked at i2 Technologies, a supply-chain management company, also based in Dallas.
Then, while still at i2, she became involved with an engineer at the company who was born halfway across the world. "If I had laid out a criteria for what I was looking for, it would not have been a guy from south India," she told me. You're constantly making trade-offs about who's too tall, too short, too smart and too dumb.
People come in and tell us a bit about what they're looking for.
People were doing something very different from the things they said they wanted on their profile."As a result, Match began "weighting" variables differently, according to how users behaved.
For example, if conservative users were actually looking at profiles of liberals, the algorithm would learn from that and recommend more liberal users to them.
But what you say and what you do can be different."Academics call this "dissonance".
"It's a theme that runs through social psychological literature," says Andrew Fiore, a visiting assistant professor at Michigan State University, who works on computer-mediated communication.
"But after weeks of looking at people, I might get an e-mail from a guy who has kids, and I might accept that. All that data goes into algorithms and affects who we put in front of you."To sort expressed ideals from actual desires, Ginsberg realised she would need some technical help.
After becoming executive vice-president and general manager of Match's North American operations in 2008, Ginsberg initially looked to her old employer, i2, for assistance.
Indeed, says Thombre, "the politics one is quite interesting.