Datamatch: The science behind how to find love, companionship this Valentine’s Day

Datamatch uses data science, algorithms to create matches

· Feb 10, 2022 Tweet

Mai Zong/ Mural by Liubov Szwako

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, it feels as though everyone is frantically looking for love. COVID-19, isolations and awkward interactions are a recipe for disaster when looking for love or even companionship.

Datamatch is a college-oriented, online matchmaking service created by a group of Harvard students in 1994. Datamatch is now offered at over 30 colleges and universities around the country, and the University of Wisconsin is lucky enough to have made the list already.

Datamatch uses artificial intelligence algorithms to pair people in a science-based way. The algorithms are extremely accurate — hence the years of success behind them.

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The service runs a Python script on the night before Valentine’s Day to generate matches automatically, UW Datamatch president Caelan Kleinhans said. The website is coded using Javascript and React.

“Everyone’s data and everyone’s answers get compiled in a specific way to match people with other people in ways that they want,” Kleinhans said. “So it matches people with other people that are looking for the same things, which is really cool. And then it also matches you with people who are similar or different to you based on your answers.”

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The Datamatch survey is sent out every year Feb. 7, and people have one week to complete the survey. The questions include personal preferences and traits, as well as what someone is looking for in their partner or companion.

Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day, the survey closes and the matches get sent out early that morning — just in time to find love for the biggest day of the year. Everyone then receives around 10 similar matches based on their survey responses and the algorithm. Once these 10 matches are released, users can select any matches that seem of interest to them and mutual matches can set up a date.

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Once matches are made, participants in Datamatch can go to events that include watching a movie, ice skating and swing dance lessons, according to Mitchell Schroeder, a member of the UW Datamatch chapter.

“Those events are kind of geared toward anyone who’s done Datamatch,” Schroeder said. “You can come with your friends, you can come with people you matched with and meet on there. You can really come with anyone. We’re just trying to get people together on campus and have a good time.”

While you — and your uber-compatible date — may not be fans of math and science, Datamatch just goes to show that science can be applied in many different ways.


This article was published Feb 10, 2022 at 8:54 pm and last updated Feb 13, 2022 at 5:44 pm


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