News

– UConn Hosts New Sports Analytics Symposium

UConn today
On Oct. 5, a university with a strong national academic reputation and a storied basketball program hosted a new conference on sports statistics, billed as the first of its kind to focus on the needs of students.

The UConn Sports Analytics Symposium brought undergraduate and graduate students together with academic and industry professionals to learn how to use data science to enhance modern sports.

“We wanted to have something where students can get their foot in the door and see all the opportunities involved in sports analytics,” says Taaj Cheema ’20 (CLAS) of Tolland, Connecticut.

A group photo of eight people
From left to right: Jun Yan, professor of statistics; Haim Bar, associate professor of statistics; Gregory Matthews ’11 Ph.D., assistant professor of mathematics and statistics and director for data science at Loyola University Chicago; Meredith J. Wills, a data scientist at SportsMEDIA Technology Corps; Taaj Cheema ’20 (CLAS), vice president of the UConn Data Science Club and a data science and molecular and cell biology major and economics minor; Peter Diplock, UConn assistant vice provost for excellence in teaching and learning; Jamelle Elliott ’96 (BUS), ’97 MA, associate athletic director for the UConn National ‘C’ Club; and Elizabeth Schifano, assistant professor of statistics. Diplock and Elliott delivered welcoming remarks at the symposium. (Photo courtesy Taaj Cheema)

The event featured keynote talks by Gregory Matthews ’11 Ph.D., assistant professor of mathematics and statistics and director for data science at Loyola University Chicago; Meredith J. Wills, a data scientist at SportsMEDIA Technology Corps; and Brian Macdonald, director of data analytics at ESPN.

The day-long program included introductory and advanced workshops on topics like R and Python programming languages, led by graduate students in the Department of Statistics. Students also presented their own research at a poster session.

Many of the about 130 student attendees came from UConn, with others traveling from Colorado State University, California State University, Fullerton, and even Saratoga High School in California.

The conference was hosted by UConn’s Statistical Data Science Lab in the Department of Statistics and the UConn Data Science Club, a student organization advised by faculty in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and School of Engineering.

Cheema, who is vice president of the UConn Data Science Club and an individualized major in data science, says he initially proposed the event to engage UConn’s growing population of students interested in the field of data science.

“UConn is a big sports school, and one of the most interesting applications for data analytics is in sports,” he says. “For students, a lot of opportunities can be out of reach. This event brings the opportunities right to UConn.”

Jun Yan, a professor of statistics and advisor to Cheema and the UConn Data Science Club, agrees that analytics of professional and fantasy sports often draw students to data science.

“Sports analytics are applications of data science that use available data to make better decisions across the whole spectrum of the sports business,” says Yan. “The analytics skills can of course be applied to other fields, but sports get many students interested in the first place.”

According to Matthews, the field of data science was just becoming a formalized academic discipline while he was a Ph.D. student at UConn less than a decade ago.

During that time, Matthews began writing about statistical topics in sports for his blog, Stats in the Wild.

Since then, Matthews says he’s seen the role of data analytics in sports grow significantly, with more teams and leagues looking to historical data to get a competitive advantage over opponents.

“Data science has already made a lasting impact on sports, from defensive shifts in baseball to the way basketball is played in the NBA–with the shifting reliance on the three-point shot,” he says. “I predict that the impacts will continue to grow in the decades to come.”

About a dozen other conferences focusing on sports analytics will take place this academic year in the U.S., among them the annual MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston. But Matthews, Yan, and Cheema all say these events can be very technical and can cost hundreds of dollars to attend.

“[UConn’s event] is a departure from many other high-profile sports analytics conferences, which generally focus on more advanced topics,” says Matthews. “Those conferences can be expensive, which is often a barrier to student attendance. Alternatively, this event is nearly free.”

Yan hopes to expand the event in the future so that students can use it as an opportunity to learn, network, and showcase their skills to industry representatives.

“Our faculty has expertise directly applicable to sports analytics,” says Yan. “In the future, as our impact grows, the conference will also provide a platform for the sports industry to recruit our students.”

The UConn Sports Analytics Symposium was sponsored by the Department of Statistics, Sport Management Program, Center for Population Health, and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at UConn; ESPN; and the New York City Metropolitan Area Chapter and the Statistics in Sports Section of the American Statistical Association.

– JooChul Lee has received KAUPA GOLD scholarship

JooChul Lee has received KAUPA GOLD scholarship.

KAUPA is a highly versatile professional organization with the common interest in promoting the betterment of society through our association consisting of Korean-descendant professors in North America.

The KAUPA Scholarship Committee evaluated all applications in accordance with the guidelines, and Chair of the Committee would like to inform JooChul Lee as the recipient of following endowed scholarship:
KAUPA Gold Scholarship

More info about KAUPA can be found at the following links:
KAUPA

Congratulations!

– UConn Sports Analytics Symposium: Oct. 5, 2019

UCSAS ( click here) is to be hosted by UConn on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019 (one week after the New England Symposium on Statistics in Sports). It is the first sports analytics conference that is initiated by students and focuses on students.

Call For Poster Presentations

Have an interesting sports analytics project to present? We welcome poster presentations from both students and non-students.

About UCSAS

While there are many well-established sports analytics conferences, such as New England Symposium on Sports in Statistics (NESSIS) or the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, they are often not accessible to students due to technical level, cost, or space limitations. UConn, recognized nationally for its teams in sports such as basketball, baseball, and hockey, among others, will host the UConn Sports Analytics Symposium (UCSAS), which will focus specifically on undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in sports analytics. UCSAS, organized by the Statistical Data Science Lab at UConn and co-sponsored by the UConn Data Science Club (a student organization), aims to: 1) showcase sports analytics to students at an accessible level; 2) train students in data analytics with application to sports data; and 3) foster collaboration between academic programs and the sports industry.

Three Keynote Presentations

+ Dr. Gregory J. Matthews, Assistant Professor, Loyola University Chicago: How Often Does the Best Team Win? A Unified Approach to Understanding Randomness in North American Sport
+ Dr. Meredith J. Wills, Sports Data Product Specialist, SMT (SportsMEDIA Technology Corp): How to Catch a Fly(ball) with Chopsticks?
+ Dr. Brian Macdonald, Director of Data Analytics, ESPN: An Overview of Data Science Problems in the Sports Industry

Five Training Workshops:

Five parallel, 2-hour training workshops led by experienced graduate students from the Department of Statistics at UConn offer training from jumpstart to advanced sports analytic skills.

• (Introductory level) Introduction to R: Tuhin Sheikh
• (Introductory level) Introduction to Python: Jun Jin
• (Intermediate level) Data Visualization with R: Yiming Zhang

• (Intermediate level) Baseball Analytics with R: Zhe Wang
• (Advanced level) Web Scraping for Sports Data: Wanwan Xu

Sponsorship

We welcome and appreciate corporate and individual sponsorships of the UCSAS 2019 with any amount. Dpending on the contribution level, sponsors will be recognized through customary channels. Please contact
Dr. Jun Yan (jun.yan@uconn.edu) for details.

More info can be found on the website ( click here).

– Patrick Cantwell has been awarded the 2019 UConn Statistics Department Distinguished Alumni Award

Patrick Cantwell has been awarded the 2019 UConn Statistics Department Distinguished Alumni award and Colloquia was held on Wednesday, September 18 in Gentry Bldg, Rm. 131.

Dr. Cantwell is chief of the Decennial Statistical Studies Division at the U.S. Census Bureau. He and his staff are responsible for developing and implementing statistical procedures used in the decennial census, its coverage survey, the American Community Survey, and geographic programs related to the Master Address File. At the Bureau, he has developed and implemented statistical methods in various areas, including household surveys, business surveys, and decennial census programs.

Pat received an A.B. in mathematics from Harvard University, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in statistics from the University of Connecticut. He has been a member of the American Statistical Association for almost 45 years, and the editorial boards of the Journal of Official Statistics for 25 years, and Survey Methodology for 15 years. He is also an ASA fellow elected in 2013.
 

More info about the colloquia can be found at the following links:
“Statistical Methods at the U.S. Census Bureau: From Simple Statistical Theory to Complex Practical Application”
click here

Attached are the slides he presented.
click here

– An Introduction to the UConn Statistics Cluster

Time and Place: September 9, 4:40-5:30 pm at AUST 344

Coffee will be served at 3:00 in AUST 326.

Speaker: Cheng Tu, GA, Administrator for the Statistics Computer Cluster

Title: An Introduction to the UConn Statistics Cluster

Abstract:

The statistics computer cluster is available to the faculty and graduate students of the statistics department and is maintained by the physics lab of Dr. Richard Jones. This talk will provide an overview of the cluster structure and explain the process of obtaining an account. An in-depth example of utilizing the cluster will also be presented, including instructions on job submission, file storage space, monitoring jobs, and file transfers.

Specific topics to be discussed:

-The structure of the cluster (make and quantity of CPUs, storage size, RAM size, possibility of using other cluster racks, etc)

-How to get a stats account for the cluster

-How to access the cluster once you have an account (this includes how to setup PuTTY for Windows users)

-Basic introduction to Linux

-An explanation of the various directories for use and which ones should be used for what purpose

-A detailed example of how to submit a job, going through all the steps and explaining the various parts

-How to monitor the jobs once they’ve been submitted

-How to transfer the result files once the job is complete

-How to submit questions regarding the cl

– UConn Sports Analytics Symposium: Oct. 5, 2019

Dear Colleagues,

UCSAS (http://uconnsportsanalytics.org) is to be hosted by UConn on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019 (one week after the New England Symposium on Statistics in Sports). It is the first sports analytics conference that is initiated by students and focuses on students.

Call For Poster Presentations

Have an interesting sports analytics project to present? We welcome poster presentations from both students and non-students.

About UCSAS

While there are many well-established sports analytics conferences, such as New England Symposium on Sports in Statistics (NESSIS) or the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, they are often not accessible to students due to technical level, cost, or space limitations. UConn, recognized nationally for its teams in sports such as basketball, baseball, and hockey, among others, will host the UConn Sports Analytics Symposium (UCSAS), which will focus specifically on undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in sports analytics. UCSAS, organized by the Statistical Data Science Lab at UConn and co-sponsored by the UConn Data Science Club (a student organization), aims to: 1) showcase sports analytics to students at an accessible level; 2) train students in data analytics with application to sports data; and 3) foster collaboration between academic programs and the sports industry.

Three Keynote Presentations

+ Dr. Gregory J. Matthews, Assistant Professor, Loyola University Chicago: How Often Does the Best Team Win? A Unified Approach to Understanding Randomness in North American Sport
+ Dr. Meredith J. Wills, Sports Data Product Specialist, SMT (SportsMEDIA Technology Corp): How to Catch a Fly(ball) with Chopsticks?
+ Dr. Brian Macdonald, Director of Data Analytics, ESPN: An Overview of Data Science Problems in the Sports Industry

Five Training Workshops:

Five parallel, 2-hour training workshops led by experienced graduate students from the Department of Statistics at UConn offer training from jumpstart to advanced sports analytic skills.

• (Introductory level) Introduction to R: Tuhin Sheikh
• (Introductory level) Introduction to Python: Jun Jin
• (Intermediate level) Data Visualization with R: Yiming Zhang

• (Intermediate level) Baseball Analytics with R: Zhe Wang
• (Advanced level) Web Scraping for Sports Data: Wanwan Xu

Sponsorship

We welcome and appreciate corporate and individual sponsorships of the UCSAS 2019 with any amount. Dpending on the contribution level, sponsors will be recognized through customary channels. Please contact
Dr. Jun Yan (jun.yan@uconn.edu) for details.

More info can be found on the website (http://uconnsportsanalytics.org).

– Announcing the 2019 New England Rare Disease Statistics (NERDS) Workshop

Dear members and friends of the New England Statistical Society (NESS),

We are pleased to announce the 2019 New England Rare Disease Statistics (NERDS) Workshop.

The last 10-15 years have seen great emergence of drug development efforts in the rare disease space. Contributing factors include increased public awareness, encouraging drug regulation changes, scientific advancement in cellular/molecular biology and genetics, development of innovative trial designs, large influx of capital investment, availability of scientific talent through decades of cultivation, etc. As a result, a great number of regulators, academicians, and industry statisticians now work to bring these orphan drugs to patients, facing unique technical issues and challenges. NESS therefore proposes this workshop so that statisticians across the entire rare disease drug development spectrum have a common “home” to exchange ideas and share experiences, and also to network.

Time: October 11, 2019
Location: Seaport Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts
Website: https://nerds.nestat.org

Registration is now open at https://nerds.nestat.org/registration-info.html. Please note that registration is capped at 150 participants (including 20 student participants with discounted rate).

If you have any question, please contact program co-chairs Yang Song (Yang_Song@vrtx.com) and Sammi Tang (sammi.tang@servier.com), or NESS Secretary Kun Chen (kun.chen@uconn.edu).

Please help to spread the words, and we look forward to your participation.

See flyer

– Xiaojing Wang has been awarded NSF CAREER Award

Xiaojing Wang has been awarded with the National Science Foundation’s CAREER Award with “Advancing Latent Variable Statistical Modeling for the Analysis of Big and Complex Longitudinal Data to Promote Personalized Learning” (September 1 , 2019 – August 31, 2024)

More info about the award can be found at the following links:
https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2017/nsf17537/nsf17537.htm

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