Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Operations Research goes to the ballpark

The boys of summer are back. For those who do not follow American baseball it is a summertime ritual that has lasted the great depression, world wars, and several presidencies. It used to be said that baseball is America's favorite pastime and that can still be said today.

One thing that always holds true with American baseball is the fans who love to talk numbers. Among a few things include batting average, home runs, stolen bases, earned runs, and strikeouts. It is definitely a playing ground not just for athletes but also for the mathematical and statistical fans.

Operations Research is not a stranger to baseball either. Michael Trick is part of the Sports Scheduling Group LLC whose client includes Major League Baseball. The Sports Scheduling Group analyzes team and league dependencies and formulates the baseball schedule every year. Then there are the predictive fans of baseball. Bruce Buckiet of New Jersey Institute of Technology determines most likely playoff bound teams for Major League Baseball. Buckiet was featured in the journal Operations Research and more can be found of his formula on his website.

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