Long before dating sites, a pair of economists delved into the question of matchmaking, and hit upon a formula with applications far beyond romance. Would you let an economist set you up on a date? In the 1960s, researchers David Gale and Lloyd Shapley embarked upon federally-funded research to take up an unlikely subject: matchmaking. The real breakthrough came in 2004. That is when Roth developed the matchmaking principle to help transplant patients find donors.