Updated: Jul 11, 2018
For our fourth Distinguished Speakers Series talk, we welcomed Scott Kominers, the MBA Class of 1960 Associate Professor of Business Administration in the Entrepreneurial Unit at Harvard Business School. Professor Kominers was a PRISE fellow in the first iteration of the program back in 2006 and has served as both a mentor and head tutor for PRIMO. He cited the importance of the research village in catapulting his own research career.
Professor Kominer's talk was entitled "Theory, Practice, and Engineering in Marriage Market Design." He presented the marriage problem of structuring married pairs while limiting divorce. He outlined an algorithm in which each man proposes to his first choice, and each women hold their highest preferred man (Kominers prefaced this algorithm by saying that the heteronormative definition of marriage was used for simplicity). Kominers extended this idea to doctors and residencies and law students and clerkships.
Kominers did discuss some limits to the model, such as the implausibility of static and strict preferences. He ended the talk with an open discussion about improving the online dating model. Ideas from the audience included blocking spam silently, limited messaging, and charging a fee to continue using the service.
With the flare for the dramatic, Kominers also performed a math rap, which is posted here for your enjoyment.