An Interdisciplinary Approach to Sports Analytics in A University Setting; Climate Change Policy Differences in Historically Red vs. Blue Voting States

Iyer, Rishab, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Scherer, William, EN-Eng Sys and Environment, University of Virginia
Seabrook, Bryn, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia

Since the 2002 “Moneyball” Oakland Athletics figured out a way to use numbers and statistics in order to boost their performance, analytics have become a mainstay in sports today. At the professional level, almost all major sports team have at least one dedicated analyst who is qualified in data, stats, and mathematical analysis. At the college level, analytics is less prevalent, due to decreased funding and resources, but nonetheless is still popular. Many students at UVA and other schools work with their athletic departments to do research for teams simply out of personal interest. Only one school in the entire United States offers a degree in sports analytics, Syracuse University, and a handful offer online courses and certificates for people seeking to learn general practices. This capstone team seeks to bring UVA to the forefront of collegiate sports analytics by proposing a design for a new sports and performance analytics center at the university. In the center, data from all varsity sports teams would be housed, and would be accessible to student and faculty researchers. The center would also offer a major, with the possibility of adding a minor in the future, in sports analytics, and would also provide networking opportunities for students who are interested in pursuing careers in sports analytics. The hope of the capstone team is to present a design that has approval from the Athletics Department, Undergraduate School Deans, and the President’s Office, so that the center can be integrated into the UVA Athletics Master Plan and take off in the next five years.

United States climate policy has been in a constant flux since the 1950s. Starting with the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1970 to the failed ratification of the Paris Agreement in 2015, the success of climate initiatives at the federal and state level have been mixed at best. The dominant explanation behind this trend is the increasing hyperpartisanship that has slowly been taking over the American political sphere. Politicians, eager to appeal to their base, vote the party line in an effort to secure their reelection prospects, while seemingly having a complete disregard for voter preferences and scientific data. This paper will examine how proposed climate policy can bridge the partisan divide by appealing to politicians on both sides of the aisle while still having a tangible impact to mitigate the negative effects of global-warming. Using the states of California and South Carolina as case studies, data from state legislatures, political speeches, and climate forecasts will be utilized to determine reasons for past failures and identify areas of current need. After this, the actor-network theory STS framework will be applied to map out all stakeholders and the connections that exist between and within them. It is the hope of this paper that the bipartisan legislative solutions that are recommended can be utilized within state legislatures nationwide as an effective means of tackling the climate change issue in the United States.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
sports analytics, climate change, policymaking, actor network theory

School of Engineering and Applied Science
Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering
Technical Advisor: William Scherer
STS Advisor: Bryn Seabrook
Technical Team Members: Aniket Chandra, Jacqueline Hoege, Rishab Iyer, Rachel Kreitzer, Maryanna Lansing, Jacob Leonard, Benjamin Metzger, Sarah Nelson, Carl Rhodes, Daniel Ungerleider, Peter Worcester

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