Category Archives: Video, Screencasts, Media

how to find a football team’s best mix of pass and run plays using game theory

This is my third and final post in my series of football analytics slidecasts. After this one, just enjoy the Superbowl. My first two posts are here and here.

This slidecast illustrates how to find

  • the offensive team’s best mix of run and pass plays, and
  • the defensive team’s best mix of run and pass defenses.
The best mix is, of course, a mixed strategy. We use a game theory to identify the best mix (a Nash equilibrium) for a simultaneous, perfect information, zero-sum game.

What is a football team’s best mix of running and passing plays?

View another webinar from Laura McLay

When is a two point conversion better than an extra point? A dynamic programming approach.

This post continues my series of slidecasts about football. My first slidecast is here.

Today’s topic addresses when a two point conversion is better than an extra point after a touchdown. As you may guess, it is best for a team to go for two when they are down by eight. You can see other scenarios when it is best to go for two, based on the point differential and the remaining number of possessions in the game.

This presentation is on Wayne Winston’s book Mathletics, which is a fantastic introduction to sports analytics.

Related post:


should a football team go for it on fourth down?

With the Superbowl coming up, I created three sports analytics slidecasts for analyzing football strategies. I will post one per day here on the blog.

The first slidecast deals with the decision of whether a football team should go for it on fourth down (or should they punt). The presentation is adapted from the book Scorecasting by Tobias Moskowitz and Jon Werthem. Wayne Winston blogged about this, and his blog post went viral. Here is another look at this issue.


so you’re thinking about graduate school in operations research

Today I gave a talk about applying to graduate school for the Math Club at VCU. My slides are below.

Here are a few links:

  • Advice on a career in operations research from INFORMS. I wish I had known about this link before–this FAQ answers many questions that students ask me.
  • A list of ORMS departments in the US from INFORMS.
  • By now, you’ve probably realized that you should become a member of INFORMS. It’s frugal ($37 per year) and valuable. Go for it! If you are not into OR, join AMS, ASA, ACM, SIAM, or whatever interests you.
  • Mike Trick made a plea for graduate students to sign up for twitter accounts. It’s a great idea, and I’ll let him explain why.
  • Students from state universities with strong STEM programs tend to be the most recruited in the nation. Those are great choices if you want a job when you graduate.
  • The students at the talk recommended forums, including the Xkcd forums and Grad café forums
  • One of the students at the talk recommended the book Getting what you came for: The Smart Student’s Guide to Earning an M.A. or a Ph.D.
  • I maintain some advice for student researchers. This advice illustrates some of the expectations for you in grad school. If it doesn’t frighten you, then graduate school might be a good option.

I want to thank my tweeps for their excellent advice (@tdhopper, @ksphil, @techstepper, and @dianam).


Rich nerd, poor nerd: Show notes from an undergraduate seminar

Updated on 10/11/2011.

Today, I am giving a lecture to the honors students about how to manage their finances after they graduate. I posted my slides here if you’d like to see my presentation.

The podcast has been updated. You can listen to it below or you can go to the OR podcast page.

Show notes:

My justification for paying off student loans is from Megan McArdle at The Atlantic.

Wedding costs and why they are so biased are discussed by Carl Bialik at the WSJ.

Should you use a coupon on a date? I think that is a great opportunity to signal that you are financially savvy–it should attract other like-minded mates. A columnist on the Washington Post agrees. Their non-scientific poll suggests that I am not alone.

My parents could have written this Saturday Night Live skit called “Don’t buy stuff.” It’s not a bad financial philosophy.

Other blog posts on frugality:


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,423 other followers