Friday, October 18, 2013

The science and math of sports from campuses on the campaign trail

Last month, I kicked off my series of entries featuring research and outreach stories from campuses on the campaign trail with Sports news for a football Saturday.   Today, I continue the series with two more articles about the intersection of sports and academia from Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (IPCC report released) and Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (2013 Nobel Prizes).

University of Massachusetts, Lowell: University’s Baseball Research Lab Featured in National Geographic
By Edwin L. Aguirre
As baseball fans know, nothing beats the sight and sound of a player’s bat solidly hitting the ball, sending it flying off into the bleachers and beyond for a home run.

But do you know what happens to the wooden bat when it strikes the ball?

“A 90-miles-per-hour pitch impacting a bat swinging at 70 miles per hour can exert a force greater than 8,000 pounds,” says Patrick Drane, assistant director of the University’s Baseball Research Center.

“This peak force is exerted for a small fraction of the 1,000th of a second that the ball and bat are in contact,” explains Drane. “When the ball impacts away from the bat’s ‘sweet spot,’ much of the energy goes into vibrating the bat. These vibrations can cause even the strongest of woods to break.”
University of North Carolina at Charlotte: Charlotte Teachers Institute Tackles ‘Sports by the Numbers
Panel to discuss math and sports during 'Exploding Canons' speakers series
CHARLOTTE – Oct. 01, 2013 - Ever calculated the odds behind whether your favorite team should punt or go for it – or who’s really number one? Charlotte Teachers Institute will tackle these and other tough questions related to the intersection of sports and math in its “Exploding Canons” event on Tuesday, Oct. 22.

This next installment of CTI’s flagship speakers series will take place from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at UNC Charlotte’s EPIC Building, next to the new Jerry Richardson Stadium, on the university’s main campus.

In “Exploding Canons: Sports by the Numbers,” faculty from Davidson College, UNC Charlotte and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and professional sports statisticians will offer perspectives on how athletes, coaches, teams, economists, teachers and others use numbers and data in sports performance, development, analysis and decision-making. Sponsored by Piedmont Natural Gas Foundation with additional support from the Charlotte Bobcats, the public event is free. All attendees also will receive special ticket offers from the Charlotte Bobcats and the Charlotte Checkers.
Yes, sports can be educational, especially during fall, the season of major league baseball playoffs and football games.

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