March Mathness

march mathness


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Explore Tim Chartier’s March MATHness lectures.


  • #MammothMonday: PUP’s pups sound off on How to Clone a Mammoth

    Chester reads shapiro

    The idea of cloning a mammoth, the science of which is explored in evolutionary biologist and “ancient DNA expert” Beth Shapiro’s new book, How to Clone a Mammoth, is the subject of considerable debate. One can only imagine what the animal kingdom would think of such an undertaking, but wonder no more. PUP staffers were feeling “punny” enough to ask their best friends:   Chester can’t get past “ice age bones”.   Buddy thinks passenger pigeons would be so much more civilized… and fun to chase.   Tux always wanted to be an evolutionary biologist…   Stella thinks 240 pages on a glorified elephant is a little excessive. ...

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  • March Mathness 2015: The Wrap Up


    The champion has been crowned! After an eventful and surprising March Madness tournament, Duke has been named the new NCAA national champion. A year of bragging rights goes to PUP paperbacks manager Larissa Skurka (98.6 percent) and PUP executive math and computer science editor Vickie Kearn (98.4 percent), who took first and second place in our ESPN bracket pool. Congrats to both! Check out all of the results here. As we wrap up March Mathness, here are two final guest posts from basketball fans who used math and Tim Chartier‘s methods to create their brackets.  Swearing by Bracketology By Jeff Smith My name is Jeff ...

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  • Davidson student hangs onto 97 percent March Madness ranking

    court chalk

    Are you still mourning the loss of your perfect bracket after the multiple upsets this March Madness season? Even before the Villanova and NC State match up on Saturday, 99.3 percent of brackets were busted. As experts deem a perfect March Madness bracket impossible, having a nearly perfect bracket is something to brag about. Today, we hear from David College student Nathan Argueta, who argues that knowing a thing or two about math can help with March Madness strategy. March Mathness: Calculating the Best Bracket First and foremost… I am far from a Math Major and, prior to this class, the notion ...

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  • Using math for March Madness bracket picks

    basketball close

    The countdown to fill out your March Madness brackets is on! Who are you picking to win it all? Today, we hear from Liana Valentino, a student at the College of Charleston who works with PUP authors Amy Langville and Tim Chartier. Liana discusses how math can be applied to bracket selection. What are the chances your team makes it to the next round? The madness has begun! Since the top 64 teams have been released, brackets are being made all over the country. As an avid college basketball fan my entire life, this is always my favorite time of the year. This ...

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  • Cinderella stories? A College of Charleston student examines March Madness upsets through math

    march mathness

    Drew Passarello, a student at the College of Charleston, takes a closer look at how math relates to upsets and predictability in March Madness. The Madness is coming. In a way, it is here! With the first round of the March Madness tournament announced, the craziness of filling out the tournament brackets is upon us! Can math help us get a better handle on where we might see upsets in March Madness? In this post, I will detail how math helps us get a handle on what level of madness we expect in the tournament. Said another way, how many upsets ...

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  • May the odds be in your favor — March Mathness begins


    Let the games begin! After the excitement of Selection Sunday, brackets are ready for “the picking.” Have you started making your picks? Check out the full schedule of teams selected yesterday, and join the fun by submitting a bracket to the official Princeton University Press March Madness tournament pool. Before you do, we recommend that you brush up on your bracketology by checking out PUP author Tim Chartier’s strategy:   //   For more on the math behind the madness, head over to Dr. Chartier’s March Mathness video page. Learn three popular sport ranking methods and how to create March Madness brackets with them. Let ...

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  • The math behind March Madness


    It’s almost that time again. The beginning of the March Madness basketball tournament is a few days away, and here at PUP, we cannot wait! We’re marking our calendars (find the schedule here) and going over our bracketology, with a little help from PUP author Tim Chartier. To kick off the countdown, we bring you an article from the Post and Courier, who checked in with Dr. Chartier about how numbers can be the best strategy in bracketology. College basketball fans seeking to cash in on March Madness need to turn on their calculators and turn off their allegiances. That was the message Dr. ...

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  • Calculus predicts more snow for Boston

    snow small

    Are we there yet? And by “there,” we mean spring and all the lovely weather that comes with it. This winter has been a tough one, and as the New York Times says, “this winter has gotten old.” Our friends in Boston are feeling the winter blues after seven feet of precipitation over three weeks. But how much is still to come? You may not be the betting kind, but for those with shoveling duty, the probability of more winter weather may give you chills. For this, we turn to mathematician Oscar Fernandez, professor at Wellesley College. Professor Fernandez ...

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  • Place Your Bets: Tim Chartier Develops FIFA Foe Fun to Predict World Cup Outcomes

    Tim Chartier

    Tim Chartier, author of Math Bytes: Google Bombs, Chocolate-Covered Pi, and Other Cool Bits in Computing has turned some mathematical tricks to help better predict the outcome of this year’s World Cup in Brazil. Along with the help of fellow Davidson professor Michael Mossinghoff and Whittier professor Mark Kozek, Chartier developed FIFA Foe Fun, a program that enables us ordinary, algorithmically untalented folk to generate a slew of possible match outcomes. The tool weighs factors like penalty shoot-outs and the number of years of matches considered, all with the click of a couple buttons. Chartier used a similar strategy in his March Mathness ...

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  • March Mathness Postscript


    The ups and downs of March Madness are slipping into memory, but we have one final postscript to write. Who won the March Mathness challenge put forth by Tim Chartier to his students at Davidson College? We are delighted to announce that Robin Malloch, a history major who is graduating this month, picked the best brackets out of Dr. Chartier’s class. She has joined Teach for America and will be teaching Middle School math in Charlotte, North Carolina this fall. Thankfully, before she heads off to do the good work of teaching algebra and geometry to eager (or truthfully, not so ...

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