Is every Run Random? Investigating Momentum and Streaky Scoring in NBA Basketball
Jun 4, 2023
NBA players often refer to their sport as a “game of runs,” but is there anything to that term beyond describing a simple random process?
I've Got The Receipts! Sifting Through My Own Personal iMessage History
Jul 24, 2022
Discovering that five years' worth of text messages were sitting on my MacBook allowed me to profile myself as a communicator and track the changes in my personal network.
Evaluating the NBA point spreads produced by FiveThirtyEight's RAPTOR metric
May 30, 2022
FiveThirtyEight posts win probabilities and point spreads for every NBA game based on RAPTOR, their home-brewed player value metric. Are they any good?
Abolish Overtime! An Argument in Favor of More Ties in the NFL
Jan 8, 2022
As unappealing as ties are to the average American sports fan, creating more of them in the NFL by eliminating the overtime period has a handful of advantages.
Who's the Funny One? Analyzing 7 Years of Messages from my College GroupMe
Dec 21, 2021
A group of nine friends and I have sent over 100,000 messages on GroupMe in the last seven years. Such a sizable corpus gives us a chance to figure out when the chat is most active, who receives and gets the most likes, and what unique terms define each participant.
Unraveling NFL Win Probability Graphs to Find the Best Games
Nov 13, 2021
How do you determine how good a game is from its win probability graph? You could compute the Excitement Index by adding up all the changes, or you could take a visual approach and “pull” all the slack out of the chart.
Stop Taking L's When Walking to Your Destination
Jun 27, 2021
We’re often directed to get from one point in a grid to another by taking a single turn and otherwise walking in two long segments. But the Walk/Don’t Walk signs that dictate our travel make this approach very inefficent, and motivate a better strategy that may save you a few minutes.
Estimating When CitiBike Rolled Out E-Bikes Using Change Point Detection
Mar 21, 2021
If electric bikes allow their riders to travel at greater speeds, will there be a corresponding dip in average trip duration between bikeshare docks that we can find in the data? We try to answer that question by applying a change point model to a notoriously difficult uphill route.
Visualizing How a Kernel Draws a Smooth Line
Feb 13, 2021
How does software like Excel or R trace a smooth line through a series of points? It’s easier to understand by visualizing how new values are created as a weighted mean of the existing data.
Gradient Ascent: Finding Uphill Routes for my Long Walks
Jan 23, 2021
An old back injury makes it so that walking uphill is much more comfortable for me than walking downhill. A programmatic search for uphill routes reveals how strict constraints and “greedy” decisions can lead to sub-optimal results.