Datamatch

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Datamatch
Website
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Fall Comp? Yes
Spring Comp? No

Datamatch is a free matchmaking service created for college students by college students to find true love. Back in 1994, a bunch of Harvard students banded together to make this matchmaking system a reality for their campus -- but as of recently, Datamatch has now spread to over 20 schools, with plans to expand to more! Take our survey and leave it to us and our top secret Algorithm™ to find you true love. This is primarily meant to be humorous and casual, but there's always a chance of finding a lasting relationship. It has become a Harvard Valentine's Day tradition, with over 80% of the student body annually signing up.

The Tradition

Beyond being a student organization, Datamatch is an annual tradition that is well-ingrained in Harvard culture. Datamatch season begins every year a couple days before February 7, when marketing efforts for the survey being released begin to ramp up at Harvard and other schools. At midnight on February 7, the year's Datamatch survey is released on the website and students are able to sign up and create profiles. The survey closes slightly after midnight on February 14 (to accommodate stragglers), and the Datamatch team then spends the night running the algorithm to match students with each other! Match results are released by the morning of Valentine's day, and users are free to send match requests to however many matches they receive. At Harvard, the top two or so matches for each user are eligible to go on a free date. Previous locations for free dates have included Berryline, Kung Fu Tea, Amorino's, and El Jefe's. Users are also able to 'search match' other users — for example, if your crush doesn't show up on your list of matches, you can search their name and click 'match.' They will only see that you matched them if they also 'search match' you!

Some other fun features of Datamatch include the interactive statistics page, the archive of survey questions from previous years, and at Harvard, the annual post-Datamatch Valgrind party, which includes custom drinks!

How to Join

Joining Datamatch involves going to meetings (typically starting in October) and doing a non-trivial amount of work. You will have a few weeks to decide which team you want to join. If you contribute in pretty much any capacity, you will pass and become a shirt-owning member of Datamatch. Welcome home.

Organization

Datamatch teams are split into Algo, Business, Design, Stats, and Web.

Algo

Short for "Algorithm," the Algo team designs and implements the matchmaking algorithm. It is not random — it can be anything you want it to be. Though in the past less scrupulous HCS members have resorted to rolling 20-sided dice and examining the entrails of slaughtered animals, the modern Datamatch is fundamentally rooted in strong data analysis.

Biz

The Business team focuses on achieving Datamatch's ~manifest destiny~: spreading love to as many college students as possible. They carry the sky on their shoulders and negotiate with Jefe's so more students can redeem free dates. They once hosted a Zoom call with 30 college representatives in attendance. All of this is to say: bow down.

Design

The Design team, at its most noble, is a task force who seeks to understand the state of love on college campuses and what we can do to better it. What motivates students to take The Survey? How can we design interfaces to facilitate matches? How can we tear down those pesky barriers to human interaction? Yes, having a sidebar instead of a separate page WILL achieve those goals.

At its least noble, it spends hours debating about fonts.

Stats

The Stats team builds amazing visualizations of all the lonely folks who sign up for our service. They gather data on music tastes, sign-ups, dorm-to-dorm matches, home countries, and self-reported bios. They cater to the basic human need of watching charts go up and up and up. They are legendary.

Web

Web gets it DONE, and they are incredible. Every year, they take on a backbreaking amount of work to re-implement a major part of the website. "Maybe this is the year that Datamatch becomes stable," they say. They are always wrong. Web is ever-hungry, always looking to outdo themselves. Catch them redoing the backend (again) in 2021.