Drew Pasteur Examines Statistical Analysis in Professional Sports at April 2 Lecture

Assistant professor of mathematics to speak at The College of Wooster's Lean Lecture Room in Wishart Hall

March 11, 2013 by John Finn

WOOSTER, Ohio — R. Drew Pasteur, assistant professor of mathematics at The College of Wooster, will discuss “From Box Scores to Moneyball: A History of Statistical Analysis in Professional Sports” at the third and final Faculty at Large lecture of the spring semester on Tuesday, April 2. The presentation, which is free and open to the public, begins, at 11 a.m. in Lean Lecture Room of Wishart Hall (303 E. University St.).

More sophistication and science have been integrated into sport’s performance measures since the 1940s, and more data analysis is being used in player personnel decisions and game strategy than ever before, says Pasteur. “As a part of the broader ‘big data’ revolution, sports analytics is now an emerging interdisciplinary research area, drawing primarily from statistics, mathematics, computer science, and economics,” he said. “In addition to presenting the history of this field and some of the current areas of study, I will also highlight recent projects involving Wooster students.”

The United States treasures its spectator sports, and at the professional level these events bring in multiple billions of dollars. Teams have more recently started hiring their own analysts in order to gain an advantage over competitors. “While such research sometimes requires advanced techniques, many interesting issues are quite accessible, and even first-year students have made significant contributions on projects at Wooster,” said Pasteur. “The skills learned in such research can be later applied in a variety of other settings, both in academia and in the private sector.”

Pasteur, who joined Wooster’s faculty in 2008, specializes in mathematical biology, and he has a background in dynamical systems and ordinary differential equations. He received his B.S. (1996) and M.Ed. (1997) from the University of Florida, and an M.S. (2004) and Ph.D. (2008) from North Carolina State University. He is a member of the Mathematical Association of America, and he has developed a ranking system based on matrix algebra, which is the basis for his “Fantastic 50” High School Football Power Ratings.

Additional information about Pasteur’s lecture is available by phone (330-263-2576) or e-mail.