A friend of ours once described baseball as a “statistics generating device“. What with at bats, hits, runs, RBIs, wins, losses, saves, ERA, putouts, assists, errors, etc. there is no shortage of data you can collect from your average baseball game. Countless hours are spent arguing over “Was Willie Mays faster than Mickey Mantle?” or “Who was a better hitter: Barry Bonds or Babe Ruth?”
Invented by Bill James, Sabermetrics is the use of statistics to analyze players/teams in baseball (and other sports). In the last 10 years it has become popular to use this mathematical analysis (instead of just experience and gut feelings) to decide things like which players to hire and fire. Some teams swear by this approach, but it’s also controversial since sabermetricians argue that things like RBI aren’t very important in studying players.
Wednesday, December 2nd at 5pm in PHSC 1105
John Paul Cook, a grad student in the OU math department, will talk about some of the math and history behind sabermetrics. He has promised that you don’t need to know about baseball or statistics! He also claims that some of the same mathematics can be used to study other sports (maybe he’ll tell us why the OU football team has been stinking it up this year!).
As always, Free Pizza!