John Tolley, June 12, 2018
Since 1858, when New York sportswriter Henry Chadwick created the first box score for baseball, statistical analysis has been widely applied to sports. The discipline allows for easy summation of games, detailed study of player and team performance as well as overall trends and the historical investigation of a sport's evolution. It also offers a novel way to get kids, who may otherwise see number-crunching as dry and monotonous, interested in mathematics and other STEM-related fields.
To that end, the University of Maryland is offering Mathletics, a 3-week day camp for students entering 7th through 9th grade. They are immersed in the field of statistics, gaining firsthand experience at Maryland athletics facilities such as the UMD Golf Course and the Xfinity Center. University coaches also work with the mathletes, teaching them how they use statistical analysis to guide their strategies and recruitment.
Putting theory into practice, the students compete against each other in rounds of "Mini Sports." This allows them to engage with one another in a fun and physical way, and an opportunity to create a personalized statistical model. The mathletes venture to the nation's capital for a Washington Mystics game where their careful evaluation of measurements and tracking of real time game data further cements the utility of statistics.
Mathletics is the brainchild of the Maryland Institute for Minority Achievement and Urban Education (MIMAUE), part of the UMD College of Education. The camp is facilitated by Dr. Stephanie Timmons Brown and Dr. Lawrence M. Clark, both faculty members in the College of Education, and is led by UMD students.
For more information and to apply, follow the link here.