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Monday, August 17, 2015

Invasive crabs to baseball stat simulators: Monmouth U. program covered all the bases

Photo: Rob Spahr
"There are students who spend their summers on the Jersey Shore doing things that would make Snooki and The Situation proud. But there are also others who spend their free time doing work that could make everyone else proud." reports Rob Spahr, supervising reporter for NJ Advance Media.

A baseball statistic simulator was one of the research projects worked on during Monmouth University's School of Science Summer Research Program in 2015. (Rob Spahr | NJ Advance Media for

Monmouth University culminated its School of Science Summer Research Program on Thursday, with a symposium that showcased the research projects of 96 students from throughout New Jersey, and beyond.

The students were chosen from more than 250 applicants from across the country for the 12-week program, during which students work on collaborative research projects under the supervision of Monmouth University faculty. The projects were formulated by faculty members and spanned various disciplines, including biology, chemistry, computer science and software engineering, mathematics, and marine science.

Photo: John Tiedemann
"What you see here in the diversity of the projects reflects the area of research interests of the faculty in the Monmouth University School of Science," faculty mentor and interim School of Science Dean John Tiedemann said. "These are research projects that they formulated for the summer specifically or as a continuation of their faculty research that is conducted throughout the year."

The students, however, are the ones who take it upon themselves to apply for the program every year, Tiedemann said...

One of the research projects that you didn't have to be a science enthusiast to find interesting was a computer program that tried to predict the outcome of baseball games.

The statistical simulator – which was worked on by the group of Reid Cooper, Philip DiMarco, Mary Menges, Nicholas-Jason Roache, Chengi Zhu, Swethana Gopisetti - used actual batting, pitching and fielding Major League Baseball statistics from the 2014 season to simulate the outcome of games

"In order to make everything work you need to use randomness. However, that randomness also has to be weighted based on each player's statistics. Since no two games are going to be alike, we allow the user view previously run simulations so they can go back and see what the are results were," said Cooper, of Medford. "I wouldn't want to see anyone use this right now for gambling, but you could use this for gambling once more mathematics were involved."