Thursday, November 5, 2009

Celebrating Sports, the World Series, and the Isenberg School of Management

Sports are an activity that brings people together -- from the players to their families, the coaches and staffs, and, of course, the fans. Sports illustrate the best in all of us, from meeting tough challenges, under, sometimes, grueling and difficult conditions, to outstanding teamwork and good sportsmanship. They also provide a means of escape and entertainment (as great literature does).

Being a professor at the Isenberg School of Management, among its many positives, is that, besides such terrific departments as Finance and Operations Management (my home), Accounting, Management, and Marketing, we also have the Hospitality and Tourism Management department, the Resource Economics department, and one of the top (if not the top) Sports Management department in the country! Plus, in that department there are even a few Yankees fans.

Now that the Yankees have won their 27th World Series and NYC is celebrating tomorrow with a parade on Broadway, as a transplanted New Yorker (via Yonkers), I must say that this is a time to celebrate the Yankees victory!

As an operations researcher, we could say that we were expecting such a win, since Professor Bruce Bukiet of the New Jersey Institute of Technology computed a 70% chance that the Yankees would beat the Phillies in the World Series as reported last week on

For those of you who are interested in learning more about the analytics behind baseball, you may wish to listen to the excellent podcast on Running the Numbers in Time for the World Series in which Professor James Cochran of Louisiana Tech University is interviewed by Barry List of INFORMS. Other podcasts on different topics are also available on that same link.

For now, let's celebrate the specialness and uniqueness of sports!