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{ Category Archives } Sports

Pittsburgh: Hotbed of Operations Research and Baseball

Pittsburgh is becoming the center of the universe when it comes to combining baseball with operations research.  First, there is … well, me! … a Professor of Operations Research whose company provides Major League Baseball with their player and umpire schedules.  And, beginning last year, Pittsburgh has had Ross Ohlendorf, who has converted his Princeton […]

Baseball and Operations Research

Blogged at the INFORMS Practice site on how to make a trip to a baseball game a legitimate business expense. I just arrived in Phoenix, and I’m off to this evening’s game between the Giants and the Diamondbacks.  There is an operations research connection, of course:  both the teams and the umpires are scheduled with […]

Sports Scheduling Woes

Being involved with sports scheduling (though not yet the National Football League), I sympathized the the schedulers, who missed an issue, from The NFL has moved up the start time of the New York Jets’ game against the Tennessee Titans on September 27 after the team complained to the league about having to play […]

Time for Baseball

The baseball season started a few minutes ago with Atlanta playing Philadelphia.  I’ve been working with Major League Baseball for more than a dozen years, and my (along with partners, of course) company, The Sports Scheduling Group, produces the schedules for MLB (our chief scheduler Kelly Easton does all the hard work, but I do […]

Much more on the NCAA Tournament

In the hyper-competitive world of operations research blogging, needing to teach a class can put you hopelessly behind.  The Blog-OR-sphere is abuzz with pointers to the CNN article on computer models for predicting success in the upcoming NCAA tournament featuring Joel Sokol (see the video here).  See the blog entry at Punk Rock Operations Research […]

Tweeting the Tournament

Following up on a post from Punk Rock Operations Research, let’s use a hashtag for OR people twittering about the tournament.  I think “#ncaa-or” should work nicely.  Follow that tag at or directly here.  And start your tweets with #ncaa-or if you want to be part of the group. Thanks to twitterers hakmem and […]

Are you ready for some College Basketball?

Joel Sokol, Paul Kvam, and George Nemhauser have a ranking called LRMC (Logistic Regression/Markov Chain) for college basketball.  This weekend is when the NCAA selects teams for its championship.  You can check out the current rankings to see whether your favorite team deserves to be in the tournament.  And, once the bracket is published, LMRC […]

Back at the IMA

I am at the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications at the University of Minnesota.  This brings back very fond memories.  I was a postdoc here 21 years ago at the start of my career when they had a Special Year on Applied Combinatorics.  As I recall there were 10 postdocs that year:  nine combinatorialists […]

Bugs and Modeling

The web was all abuzz on December 31 as the 30Gig version of the Microsoft Zune players all stopped working.  What was up?  Was it a terrorist attack?  Solar flares?  A weird Y2K bug almost a decade later? The truth is a bit prosaic:  there was simply a bug related to leap years.  Since the […]

Who Knows Where Operations Research Will Lead You?

One of the nice aspects of working in operations research is that you can end up working in practically any field. I know a lot about the United States Postal Service, Major League Baseball, auction design, voting systems, and many other areas because that is where my research and reading in operations research took me. […]