NJIT's Bruce Bukiet, a mathematician who has applied mathematical modeling techniques to elucidate the dynamics of run scoring in baseball, is now applying his methods to ascertain the players most deserving of major league baseball's prestigious 2008 Most Valuable Player (MVP) and Cy Young awards. Bukiet, a popular NJIT math professor, dives annually into such terrain in part for his love of the game, but also for his love of teaching and math.
"Baseball can be a terrific learning tool," said Bukiet. "It demonstrates how math can be used in life." This year for the first time high school junior Kevin Fritz, of Hillsborough helped formulate Bukiet's picks. Bukiet met Fritz earlier this year through one of NJIT's many pre-college programs. Thanks in part to Bukiet, Fritz took special honors in Intel's 2008 Science and Engineering Fair.
This is the eighth year that Bukiet has used his model to determine whether it is worthwhile to wager on games each day during the baseball season. His picks (posted on www.egrandslam.com) have led to (slightly) positive results for six of the past eight years. Regular updates on the chances of each team winning the Championship Series and the World Series are posted at: m.njit.edu/~bukiet/baseball/playoffs08.htm.
For the American League (AL), Bukiet said, Toronto Blue Jay pitcher Roy Halladay deserves to win both the MVP and the Cy Young Award because his performance would have contributed 4.5 extra wins to a team of otherwise all average players. That is, "Halladay would have taken a team that was 81-81 and single-handedly made it an 85.5-76.5 team," Bukiet explained. "The key criterion of the model is that the player most deserving of these awards should be the player who would have contributed the greatest number of extra wins to that of a team of average players at each position."<
|Contact: Sheryl Weinstein|
New Jersey Institute of Technology