This is How Mr. Spock Would Propose Marriage

(Reprinted from Mail Online)

by Katie Davies

The nerdiest proposal ever? Scientist proposes to girlfriend with an  academic paper assessing their relationship

A physicist’s marriage proposal has gone viral after he asked his girlfriend to marry him by presenting her with a scientific paper on their relationship.

The proposal from Australian physicist Brendan McMonigal comes in the form of a heart-warming mock academic study entitled ‘Two Body Interactions: A Longitudinal Study’.

‘The summary of the findings of the study are presented in Figure 1 and that that the project happiness is upward with high confidence,’ it says.

‘Taking these results into account, the author proposes to Christie the indefinite continuation of the study. The subjects response to their proposal should be indicated below.’

The paper features a ‘happiness graph’ and is littered with somewhat unromantic scientific terms such as ‘optimal conditions’ and ‘high level of compatibility’.

The scientist explains the stages of the couple’s relationship from their initial meeting at the University of Sydney seven years ago to the section titled ‘Conclusions’ offering Christie Nelan a Yes/No box to tick.

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‘The summary of the findings of the study are presented in Figure 1 and that that the project happiness is upward with high confidence,’ it says.

‘Taking these results into account, the author proposes to Christie the indefinite continuation of the study. The subjects response to their proposal should be indicated below.’

The paper features a ‘happiness graph’ and is littered with somewhat unromantic scientific terms such as ‘optimal conditions’ and ‘high level of compatibility’.

But luckily for Brendan his girlfriend, also a scientist, saw the funny side and loved his geeky proposal so decided to tick the ‘Yes’ box.

Brendan proposed back in March 2012 but the couple are due to marry in May this year.

Speaking to the University of Sydney website yesterday Brendan said: ‘I wanted to do it in a unique way that would be special to us.

‘I had asked her to read over ‘a paper I had been having trouble understanding’ a few days earlier, and after I lured her to the spot we were standing when we met, I got down on one knee to get the paper out of my bag and hand it to her, then I just stood up and waited.’

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‘She didn’t notice what was happening at all, but, as a typical physics grad, she read the abstract then skipped straight to the conclusion and quickly realized!’

Christie posted the proposal to Reddit on Sunday and it has since spread like wildfire across the internet being read by thousands.

The paper talks through the couple’s relationship from their initial meeting.

As it explains: ‘This meeting would have been a fleeting interaction as so many two body interactions are, but a high level of compatibility coupled with a high rate of interaction due to similar timetables resulted in a local resonance and eventually a semi-bound state.’

‘Over the course of this phase of the study, the locational dependence of the results was tested across two main long term locations as well as a multitude of short term locations local, interstate, and international.’

‘Additional tests included a two week separation and a surprise (Project Valentine),’ it adds.

If at times the scientific proposal is hard to follow for the lay reader it made perfect sense to the two academics.

The pair met in University where they both studied physics, Brendan majoring in Maths, Physics, Linguistics and Philosophy and Christie in Physics and Ancient Greek.

Brendan is currently a PhD student working on ‘galactic evolution’ with a special interest in ‘General Relativity’ while Christie works with the Questacon Science Squad – a schools science program for children across Australia

Thousands have read the proposal online and more than one thousand joined in the fun, assessing the paper for its scientific merits.

Others urged writers of The Big Bang Theory to adopt the proposal technique for its central character Sheldon Cooper.

‘No control group, inadequate sample size, and unwarranted assumptions about future conditions … but yeah, congratulations,’ one Reddit user wrote.

‘While innovative and emotionally appealing, the submitted paper fails to cite any of its sources and skims over its methodology,” another added. ‘As such, I cannot in good conscience recommend it for publication.’

‘Has it been Peer-reviewed? If not, the results could be bogus. But seriously: congratulations :),’ said another, while one fellow scientist added her appreciation: ‘As a scientist and a lady, this is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. ‘

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