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Alumni profiles

matt kalin
Matt Kalin WMS Memory Book

Matt Kalin’s favorite subject in school has been math for as long as he can remember. 

"I’ve always been a math guy,” he said. “Lisa [Lalama] can tell you that.”

As a WMS student in the 6-9 Program, he recalls an activity in which students had a set amount of time to answer 30 math problems. If they weren’t able to complete the problems during class time, they had to complete them at home. After running out of time to finish them all in class, he vowed to tackle the problems fast enough to never have to bring them home again. And he never did.

After graduating from WMS in 2011, Matt went on to P.S. duPont Middle School and Mount Pleasant High School, where he completed the International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme. He competed in Math League from seventh grade through his senior year in high school, and his passion for math flourished as he discovered statistics.

Following his sophomore year of high school, Matt started dabbling with algorithms to make predictions about the upcoming NFL football season.

“Over the summer, I had nothing to do one day and decided to do it,” he said. “I’ve always been a numbers guy and also like sports, so I thought I’d combine the two.”

By his senior year, Matt was using his algorithms to make predictions about outcomes for the NFL, Major League Baseball, college basketball and football, and Delaware high school football - “all the sports leagues I care about,” he said. He contacted the News Journal about submitting his local high school football predictions for publication, and they agreed to feature Matt’s picks - known as Kalin Ratings - alongside ratings from News Journal high school sports reporter Brad Myers.

After doing sports predictions for a year, he knew he wanted to focus on statistics. He started looking at colleges with strong statistics programs and enrolled at the University of Maryland (UMD) in 2017. 

Matt took a computer science class during his freshman year and liked it enough to pursue it as a second major. Now a junior, he is using some of the computer science knowledge he’s acquired at the UMD to apply code to Kalin Ratings.

While Matt continues to make his sports picks, he has his sights set on pursuing a career in data and computer science. He’s been working part-time at the UMD engineering department supporting web development, and he hopes to land a summer internship in computer science or data analysis. While his passion for sports statistics may fuel Kalin Ratings in the future, he said he isn’t sure it’s realistic to make it a career.