Roanoke College student presents “Stat Crew” in Atlanta

by Marcus Stewart on February 28, 2017

David Moreau, a senior majoring in physics and minoring in math, had the opportunity to present his research project at the Joint Mathematics Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. David’s project was titled “Stat Crew at Roanoke College” where he worked Dr. Roland Minton and a group of students to participate in sports analysis for the various athletic teams at Roanoke.

“It started off in the Fall of 2015 by getting passing statistics to the coaches of the soccer teams. An app was developed by our own Dr. Adam Childers for basketball season to get pinpoint locations of shots so that heat maps could be created, along with player by player statistics for each game. Lastly, this app was tweaked for lacrosse to get shot by shot breakdowns of plays for both teams”.

David became involved in research early in his freshmen year.

“I met Dr. Minton in a scholarship interview during my senior year of high school, where he introduced the idea of Stat Crew to me along with telling me about his golf research. When I decided to come to Roanoke, I emailed Dr. Minton and he kept me informed about the beginning of Stat Crew. At first, I received course credit for the work I was doing. I mostly participated in the data collection process (going to games and actually getting the data and using the app). My input was able to help change the app to become more user-friendly and efficient. This research project, however, is more of a group effort. We would not be here without the effort of the entire Stat Crew, and the countless hours that Dr. Minton and Dr. Childers have invested into making sure the group survives. Through their motivation and dedication to the group, I think all of us in the Stat Crew really wanted to invest our time to make sure we were doing something meaningful for the college”.

David really enjoyed working with Dr. Minton to finish the project.

“Dr. Minton and I have much in common, mostly from our common interest in golf. Getting to know him on such a personal level has been a very rewarding experience. He is definitely one of my role models here at school and makes me excited to continue the work I have done with the Stat Crew.”

At the Joint Mathematics Meeting, David presented on the details of Stat Crew and the group’s goals for the future.

“Presenting my research was quite the experience. I have never been on a stage of such high level of academia before. To be in a room of such experts in the field of Sports Analytics as a sophomore undergraduate student was quite mind numbing. I tried not to think about it too much by the time I got up there. The hotel I was presenting at was quite intimidating, but the support of the MCSP department was unwavering and helped immensely as I was up there on stage”.

David believes getting involved in research was one of the best decisions he made.

“Roanoke has some immense opportunities for people willing to put in the work for them. As a sophomore undergraduate student, I presented at the biggest math meeting in the world. I truly believe that I only would have gotten this opportunity here at Roanoke and no-where else. For that, I am grateful to the staff of the MCSP department for putting their faith in me to do a good job representing the school”.

For anyone thinking about doing research, David says:

“Research at Roanoke will take you places that you never would have expected. Take advantage of any opportunity you can, as the staff here is willing to put as much effort in as you are to help see you succeed”.

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