4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Fun, but very low-level math.,
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This review is from: Mathletics: How Gamblers, Managers, and Sports Enthusiasts Use Mathematics in Baseball, Basketball, and Football (Hardcover)
I was a little bit disappointed in the level of mathematical sophistication in this book. Maybe I was expecting too much, but the math was really low level. I guess this is a plus for many readers, since basically anyone with a high school education and an understanding of Excel would be able to understand most of the book.
An example of the low level of math is that often times after the author introduces a mathematical model for a sport, instead of computing probabilities using a formula he resorts to Monte-Carlo simulation. I guess this makes it easier for non-mathematicians to follow, but as a probabilist it's a bit frustrating for me.
He does have some cool examples, but some of the chapters get a bit repetitive. At least half of the chapters seem to consist of
1) Gather data
2) Do a regression using Excel
This gets a bit repetitive. I think the beginning of the book is the strongest. This is the section on baseball. He does a nice job here at building up the techniques from simple analysis to more and more complicated analysis of individual players. I'm not an expert, but it seems to follow what likely was the historical development of sabermetrics.
Overall, if you like math and sports it's a fun read, just don't expect too much serious math.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 16, 2013 5:47:00 AM PST
Kevin B. says:
You think Monte Carlo simulation is low level... I don't think so brother.
Posted on Nov 25, 2013 5:28:26 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 25, 2013 5:29:29 PM PST
Jay Baker says:
I agree with this review in the sense that the math is not very involved. But that may have been what the author was after, so I'm not sure I agree with 3 stars. I think the way you have to look at it is that one uses this book to breeze through, capture and absorb ideas, and then turn to other sources for more in depth treatment.
Posted on Dec 9, 2013 11:12:02 PM PST
N. F. Scheidler says:
Exactly what I was wondering about the book. I'm reading Nate Silver's book now, and want to get more in-depth with statistical analysis of sports, and it appears this is not the book for me. Thanks for the review!
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 9, 2013 11:13:34 PM PST
N. F. Scheidler says:
Monte Carlo might not be "low level", depending on what your definition of low level is, but it certainly is a basic technique in the context of numerical analysis.
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