The style maven astrophysicists of silicon valley

by MR Magazine Staff

Chris Moody knows a thing or two about the universe. As an astrophysicist, he built galaxy simulations, using supercomputers to model the way the universe expands and how galaxies crash into one another. One night, not long after he’d finished his PhD at UC Santa Cruz, he met up with a few other astrophysicists for beers. But that night, no one was talking about galaxies. Instead, they were talking about fashion. A couple of Moody’s astrophysicist pals had recently left academia to work for Stitch Fix, the online personal styling company now valued at $2 billion. Moody gawked at them. “They were like, ‘You don’t think this is an interesting problem?’” he says. Indeed, he did not. But when his friends described the work they were doing—sprinkling in phrases like “Bayesian models” and “Poincaré space”—predicting what clothes someone might like started to sound eerily like the work he’d done during his PhD. Quantifying style, he discovered, “turns out to have really close analogues to how general relativity works.” Read more at Wired.