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Math behind Moneyball

Coursera · University of Houston System · 1 HN comments

HN Academy has aggregated all Hacker News stories and comments that mention Coursera's "Math behind Moneyball" from University of Houston System.
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Learn how probability, math, and statistics can be used to help baseball, football and basketball teams improve, player and lineup selection as well as in game strategy.

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This course is offered by University of Houston System on the Coursera platform.
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I was wondering, is Moneyball actually a good read in case you are not American and not really familiar with Baseball? (because I liked some of Michael Lewis' other books).

Btw, there's an upcoming Coursera course on Mathletics/Moneyball: https://www.coursera.org/course/mathletics

ArkyBeagle
I would think so. Baseball is only a ... background element in the story, really. Warning: I used to follow baseball closely, so I may need to recuse myself :)

IMO, this is one book of a "trilogy" - the Kahneman book, "Moneyball" and "The Checklist Manifesto" by Atul Gawande. They all came out in roughly the same time and are three different views on this problem.

elcapitan
Interesting - how does the Checklist Manifesto relate to that? Because of human error/misperceptions? I only had a quick look at it once.
ArkyBeagle
There's a lot of book there, but the short riff is :

- checklists reduce error - surgical staff may or may not embrace checklists even when they know it reduces error. - they backslide and the error rate comes back.

Using "Fast and Slow" as a template, they have a weird and hard to understand balance between their System 1 and System 2 thinking.

I've used a basic "checklist" ( eg, the motor has to be at X RPM +/- Y RPM for X seconds before you disengage the clutch ) as the central element in some controls automation, and I've seen people be really confused by that. Machines people do not think in terms of "proofs" even though they embrace chunked operations.

ablation
Yes. Or at least, I found it interesting and engaging despite have almost zero knowlege of baseball.

That being said, I'm a huge fan of many other sports, so that no doubt contributed to the enjoyment.

Lazare
Yes, it is. Baseball is just the background; you don't need to like baseball, or know anything about baseball.
jeffcoat
I enjoyed it: not a sports fan, knew little of baseball except that the one game pro game I've seen in person was super-boring [to me].

_Moneyball_ isn't about baseball so much as it's about how easy it is for humans to be tricked by our intuitions and habits. Moneyball talks about baseball from the point of view of someone who everyone just assumed would be good -- and wasn't -- as he's trying to make more and more objective assessments of players, and wielding his conclusions against competing, more traditional managers.

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