Dr. Stan the Stats Man in Baltimore

Last week I was in Baltimore, MD, where I was invited to present my new formula at the Joint Mathematical Meeting of the American Math Society and the Mathematics Association of America. As discussed in previous blogs, I developed the following new formula to predict a team’s winning percentage:


Winning Percentage = .000683*(RS – RA) + 0.50 where RS is the runs scored and RA is the runs allowed by a team.


My presentation was one of an entire collection of talks under the topic “Math and Sports”. It was exciting to see how mathematics was applied to different sports. Other topics that day included:

  • A new method for ranking NBA players
  • A new WAR method for evaluating overall player performance in MLB
  • Optimizing a volleyball serve
  • Effective driving on the PGA tour
  • How math can lead to Fantasy Football Glory
  • The mathematics needed to analyze the death spiral in figure skating


My talk was well-received and generated some interesting questions, including “will my formula, which was based on the years 1998-2012, be valid for all the years of MLB (1876- )? “ With the help of my research student Alex we will try to answer this question.


The meeting was held at the Baltimore Convention Center. Like all conventions, this one had a huge exhibit hall with many textbook companies displaying their new and old books. Of course, Johns Hopkins University Press was there and my book was on display. My editor, Vincent Burke, gave us a tour of Baltimore and a tour of Johns Hopkins University Press. I was finally able to meet and thank all the people at Johns Hopkins who worked with me to create Sandlot Stats. I was so pleased to learn that Sandlot Stats is doing well, as a matter of fact, better than their initial expectations for it. Again, thank you to everyone who has supported me!


There were other math related booths, such as the Association for Women in Mathematics and the Budapest Semesters in Mathematics. These 2 are of special interest to me since Tara’s cousin is the Executive Director of AWM and my good friend from graduate school days started the Budapest program. In addition, the National Science Foundation, the National Security Association, and Actuarial Societies manned booths also.


What else would you see in a math convention exhibit hall? There was a whole area of math artists displaying their work. While extremely beautiful, their relationship to math was also evident in the designs. I was particularly intrigued with the three-dimensional drawings depicting various geometric shapes linked together.


Of course, there were math t-shirts for sale and some non-related jewelry and scarves for the non-math guests or to be bought as presents to take home.


One main purpose of the convention is the “interview” room where prospective graduate students sign up for initial interviews with colleges and universities looking for math faculty. While I did not have to interview anyone this year, at past convention I was involved in this process and Quinnipiac was the lucky recipient of some excellent new faculty members.

The convention center is across the street from the Marriot Inner Harbor Hotel where I stayed. This hotel is just a few blocks from Camden Yards, the Orioles Stadium. Also right in this neighborhood is the Sports Legend Museum and the Babe Ruth Museum. The cold weather did not prevent us from exploring the area and visiting the museums. Not only was the convention a success, but I learned many new baseball facts and stories that I will share with you in the coming weeks.


Here are a few pictures from my recent Baltimore visit.  Of course, I also visited the Sports legend museum, Camden Yards, and Babe Ruth’s birthplace, but I am saving that for a separate blog.


Views of the Inner Harbor

Baltimore 2014Baltimore 2014


With my good friend from graduate school days, Professor Paul Humke, founder of the Budapest Semesters in Mathematics

Baltimore 2014 - Joint Math Convention


With my editor in the Exhibit Hall in the Baltimore Convention Center (left).

My editor, Vincent Burke, gives us a tour of Johns Hopkins University Press and I got to meet everyone who worked on my book, Sandlot Stats.

Baltimore 2014 - Joint Math ConventionAt Johns Hopkins Press Offices



Here I am presenting my new research.


Baltimore 2014 - Joint Math Convention

Baltimore 2014 - Joint Math Convention


We see Manghild Lien, Executive Director of the Association for Women in Mathematics manning her booth in the Exhibit Hall.

Baltimore 2014 - Joint Math Convention



One night we ate dinner at the Yard in the Marriott Inner Harbor Hotel.  I complimented the waiter to his manager and look what the waiter brought us!

Baltimore 2014

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