Furman studies statistics of sports

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GREENVILLE, S.C.—Is it better for a college basketball team to shoot a high percentage from the floor or be a beast on the offensive boards?  Do PGA golfers make more short putts when they hit them firmly—or is a lighter touch more conducive to success?

The statistical answers to those questions and more will be discussed at the Carolinas Sports Analytics Meeting (CSAM) that will take place at Furman University Saturday, April 13.

The one-day conference promoting undergraduate and graduate research in sports analytics is sponsored by Furman’s Department of Mathematics.  Registration fee for the conference is $25. All sessions will take place in the Herring Center for Continuing Education.

The meeting will feature a number of speaker and poster sessions that will analyze everything from the advantage of the coin toss during NFL overtime games to the chances that a player in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball league will excel at the Major League Baseball level.

There will also be keynote presentations by Peter Keating, a writer with ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com, and Ken Massey, a math professor at Carson-Newman College whose college football ratings have been a component of the Bowl Championship Series since 1999.

Other conference participants include Davidson College math professor Tim Chartier, College of Charleston math professor Amy Langville, and Ryan Parker, a statistical analyst with the Portland Trail Blazers.

There will also be a free showing of the movie, “Moneyball,” on Friday, April 12 at 7:30 p.m. in Burgiss Theater of Trone Student Center.

The conference is open to the mathematical, business and sports communities as well as any other interested participants.  To register for the event, visit Furman’s website or call the Furman Math Department at 864-294-3638.