End of Summer Meetup… on the “Flight Deck” at The Pilot

What a beautiful evening to cap off a lackluster summer!

We had a good turnout at The Pilot and many of us stuck around until after 10 PM. I enjoyed meeting and chatting with some new members and overheard lots of good conversation around the table… much of which was stats-related! Thanks to everyone who made it out.

A few things I mentioned early on but don’t think everyone heard… for those interested in statistical learning, there are two great books available for free online:

1. An Introduction to Statistical Learning with Applications in R (intended for a broader audience)

2. The Elements of Statistical Learning: Data Mining, Inference, and Prediction (intended for a technical audience)

Supplementary video and slide content for the introductory text can be found here. It’s great when statisticians of such high calibre are able to offer quality educational material for free.

For budding statistical programmers out there, Stanford Online is offering a MOOC on Algorithms: Design and Analysis (Part 1) starting October 13. Some experience with a programming language (e.g. Python) is recommended.

Finally, I read an interesting “statistics in sports” article about streakiness in baseball home runs. It was written by Jim Albert and published in the latest issue of Chance (c/o ASA). The article caught my eye for a couple of reasons:

One, I played a lot of baseball growing up and almost went south (well, east really) during my senior university year to play for the NCAA D-1 Maine Black Bears. Being a pitcher, there were few things worse than hearing an especially solid crack of the bat and seeing the initial trajectory of a ball smashed deep into the outfield… going, going, gone!

Two, the ever-popular Nate Silver cut his teeth on baseball data before earning fame as an authorblogger and highly accurate predictor of U.S. election results. In the early 2000’s, he created the PECOTA system, a data-driven approach to forecasting major league baseball player performance… for a popular account of such systems being successfully put into practice, check out “Moneyball“. The movie is good, but as is often the case, the book is better.

Ok, I hope everyone is having a good week so far. I’m already looking forward to our next Meetup! I’ll aim for something in late October but it may get pushed into early November.

Stay tuned!

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