Sunday, February 6, 2011


Because of the cancelled class on Wednesday and the optional online session, I'm going to see if I can review some of the ideas from the Gould piece without making it redundant for those who attended online. We will do this before getting into the discussion of fairness.

For that purpose -

a) This is the PowerPoint I used last Wednesday.

b) If you wanted to do the math, and we'll do a little tomorrow, you'd like to come up with an estimate on the probability of getting a hit in a single game. If you had that, then you can compute the likelihood of getting a streak. Really the right thing to do would be to go through the box scores for several seasons and track how many games the player went hitless versus how many games the player appeared in, and then see if you can correlate that with batting average. (The troubling thing is that a walk is equivalent to an out for the purpose of computing a streak.) I found a site that attempts to do this - it estimates the probability of going hitless for DiMaggio at 20%. I wasn't altogether happy with the calculation as it impacts the likelihood of a streak, because on those days were the player only gets one or two official at bats, the streak is much more likely to end, and he didn't seem to account for that. Nevertheless, you can see the sort of computation made.

c) I wrote a blog post, built another simulation, and made a movie about it to try to connect the dots more and to explain the teaching issues from my point of view. We'll review some of this tomorrow. It is a little weird writing a reflective piece about teaching while the course is still going on, but that's what the University cancelling classes will do. So beit.

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