Stat Crew Records Double-Double

by minton on February 25, 2020

Chicago Cubs baseball legend Ernie Banks was known for enthusiastically saying, “Let’s Play Two!” On a date such as Saturday’s 2-22-2020 you almost have to do exactly that.

The Roanoke College baseball team opened its home schedule with a doubleheader against Elizabethtown. Stat Crew members Luke Elder and Warren Payne were there to operate Track Man, a radar-based data collector that is used in the major leagues and minor league parks. The level of detail is phenomenal.

The above graphic shows the locations of Roanoke pitches in the last five innings of game one, a masterful shutout by Evan Parks. Pitch speeds, spin rates, and angles are recorded and the Track Man software classifies the type of pitch based on these variables. Fastballs are colored black, curve balls orange, and so on. The box is the strike zone, and marks are put on the dots to indicate the result of the pitch (ball, called strike, hit, and so on).

This graphic gives you a sense of how hard the batter’s task can be. The first (tight) set of dots shows the location of the ball where the pitcher releases it. The second set of dots shows the location of the ball a tenth of a second later. The batter needs to have a good idea of whether he should swing at the pitch by now. The final set of dots shows the location of the ball when it reaches home plate. Spin rates have caused a lot of separation in the pitches.

The big hit in game one was a third inning home run by Will Salva. Track Man tells us that this ball traveled 361.8 feet, leaving the bat at 95.8 mph at an angle of 29.8 degrees with 2909 rpm backspin. The pitch was a 81.1 mph fastball with 2017 rpm which reached the plate at an attractive height of 3.17 feet and 5 inches inside from the center of home plate.

While baseball was being played at Salem Memorial Ballpark, the Cregger Center was rocking with two basketball games. As usual, Stat Crew was there to record shot locations and results. Jessica Louros and Jake Beardsley worked the opening game played by the men’s team against Randolph. The above graphic shows the locations and outcomes of the Roanoke College shots. Maroon is a made shot, black is a missed shot, and blue is where a player was fouled while shooting. Caleb Jordan, number 2, had a big game on his Senior Day.

Lauren Heffron and Mackenzie Handschuh took game two, with the women’s team defeating Eastern Mennonite. The Roanoke shot chart is shown above. Modern analytics has indicated that the most efficient shots in the game are three-pointers and shots near the basket, with shots from around the foul line considered inefficient. Notice how both Roanoke teams are taking almost exclusively high quality shots. Go, Maroons!

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Passing Remarks

by minton on February 4, 2020

Eric Lee, a junior Actuarial Science major at Roanoke College, has passed both Exam P (Probability) and Exam FM (Financial Mathematics) offered by the Society of Actuaries and the Casualty Actuarial Society. These two exams along with the courses Eric is taking for the Actuarial Science major put him in excellent position to gain a top job as an actuary upon graduation.

Actuaries are risk analysts, traditionally working for insurance companies to determine premium rates for various policies. Actuary is always high on the annual lists from Jobs Rated Reports based on salary, stability, work conditions, and so on. Salaries and promotions in the actuary field are often tied to the number of Society-sponsored tests passed, so Eric having two such tests passed is huge. His success is also an important milestone for the newly-created Actuarial Science program at Roanoke.

Eric is from Archbald, Pennsylvania. He is in the Roanoke College Choir and is an accomplished pianist. His busy summer included the choir trip to France to sing at D-Day 175th anniversary events, and studying for and passing Exam FM. Winter break brought success with Exam P. For both exams, courses taken at Roanoke gave Eric the fundamentals needed to benefit from hard work with study guides and practice exams. The tests are not easy!

Congratulations to Eric for his well-earned accomplishments! We look forward to celebrating more great achievements by Eric in the future.

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Things to Do in Denver

by minton on January 24, 2020

Adam Childers and Dave Taylor received a national award at the Joint Mathematics Meeting in Denver on January 17, 2020. They were honored with the Outstanding Contributed Paper in Statistics Education award for 2019. In their award-winning talk, Adam and Dave presented their Classroom Stats app and several of its potential uses in a statistics classroom. They wrote the app to accept input from students’ phones and display statistical analyses of the students’ responses. The analysis is more compelling to the students due to its personal and immediate origin.

This is the second time in four years that Adam has won this award – this is the sign of a true dynasty. The JMM is annually the largest mathematics conference in the world, so the award is a significant achievement. Adam’s leadership and innovation have enhanced a traditional strength of Roanoke College: its statistics program. The tradition includes longtime department chair Ron Walpole, whose introductory statistics textbook was a worldwide bestseller.

At a time when statistical literacy is a necessary component of informed citizenship, Roanoke College’s innovative INQ 240: Statistical Reasoning courses give our students a competitive edge in the world. Add in a strong Statistics concentration, a new Data Science major, a Sports Analytics concentration, and an Actuarial Science major and you have, statistically speaking, a significant range of attractive options at Roanoke College.

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Concentrate! On Sports Analytics

November 8, 2019

Roanoke College has a sports analytics program! The recently approved concentration in sports analytics is a six-course program giving students a broad background in important skills as well as practical experience in the field. Details can be found at roanoke.edu/mcsp/minton/Sports Analytics.html. The concentration builds on the success of Stat Crew. With over twenty students (and […]

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Getting to Know: Dave Taylor

August 30, 2019

Mathematics major and Honors student Olivia Long wondered about the profession of mathematics professor at a small college like Roanoke. She asked us several questions about the present and the future of our job. Here are the edited results, so that you can get to know us and our job. Dave Taylor has published a […]

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Getting to Know: Roland Minton

August 30, 2019

Mathematics major and Honors student Olivia Long wondered about the profession of mathematics professor at a small college like Roanoke. She asked us several questions about the present and the future of our job. Here are the edited results, so that you can get to know us and our job. Roland Minton enjoys levitating light […]

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Getting to Know: Karin Saoub

August 30, 2019

Mathematics major and Honors student Olivia Long wondered about the profession of mathematics professor at a small college like Roanoke. She asked us several questions about the present and the future of our job. Here are the edited results, so that you can get to know us and our job. Karin Saoub has published a […]

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Getting to Know: Chris Lee

August 30, 2019

Mathematics major and Honors student Olivia Long wondered about the profession of mathematics professor at a small college like Roanoke. She asked us several questions about the present and the future of our job. Here are the edited results, so that you can get to know us and our job. Chris Lee is co-founder with […]

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Getting to Know: Hannah Robbins

August 30, 2019

Mathematics major and Honors student Olivia Long wondered about the profession of mathematics professor at a small college like Roanoke. She asked us several questions about the present and the future of our job. Here are the edited results, so that you can get to know us and our job. Hannah Robbins has recently finished […]

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Getting to Know: Maggie Rahmoeller

August 30, 2019

Mathematics major and Honors student Olivia Long wondered about the profession of mathematics professor at a small college like Roanoke. She asked us several questions about the present and the future of our job. Here are the edited results, so that you can get to know us and our job. Maggie Rahmoeller has fun combining […]

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