Morning Mathematical Monsters & Maniacs!
(Today’s post is sponsored by the letter “M”)
Over the past 600+ episodes, The Simpsons has taken us on an amazing mathematical journey involving fractions, probability, Fermat’s last theorem, and hundreds of other aspects from the wonderful world off mathematics.
And what better way to start your week, then by discussing math Monday morning?
With baseball season officially underway, this month we’ve been exploring one of my favourite branches of math – sabermetrics. After all, as Prof Frink so aptly said, “baseball is a game played by the dexterous, but only understood by the poin-dextrous.”
As we discussed four weeks ago, three weeks ago, two weeks ago, and last week, Sabermetrics is the empirical analysis of baseball, especially baseball statistics that measure in-game activity. We also mentioned that the term is derived from the acronym SABR, which stands for the Society for American Baseball Research, founded in 1971. The term sabermetrics was coined by Bill James, who is one of its pioneers and is often considered its most prominent advocate and public face.
While discussing baseball on The Simpsons, we talked significantly about how in MoneyBART (Season 22, Episode 03), in an effort to broaden her extracurricular horizons, Lisa plans to manage Bart’s little league team. However, knowing very little about baseball, she approaches Prof Frink, Benjamin, Gary, and Doug who introduce her to the works of the aforementioned Bill James. She then collects many books to help her managerial venture.
Let’s look at some of these books:
Equations are statements that the values of two mathematical expressions are equal. Equations can be classified according to the types of operations and quantities involved. Types of equations include algebraic, Diophantine, differential, integral, functional, parametric, etc.
2z = -64
We can solve the equation for z by dividing both sides of the equation by 2. This gives us z = -32.
Fans of The Big Bang Theory, may recall Shrödinger’s cat. Schrödinger’s cat is a thought experiment devised by Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger in 1935. It illustrates what he saw as the problem of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics applied to everyday objects. The scenario presents a hypothetical cat that may be simultaneously both alive and dead, a state known as a quantum superposition, as a result of being linked to a random subatomic event that may or may not occur.
Physics, which translated from ancient Greek means “knowledge of nature”, is the natural science that studies matter, its motion, and behavior through space and time, and that studies the related entities of energy and force. Physics is one of the most fundamental scientific disciplines, and its main goal is to understand how the universe behaves.
Bill James Mathematical Baseball Abstract
An aspiring writer and obsessive fan, James began writing baseball articles after leaving the US Army. Editors considered James’s pieces so unusual that few believed them suitable for their readers. In an effort to reach a wider audience, James began self-publishing an annual book titled “The Bill James Baseball Abstract” beginning in 1977.
“Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game” is a 2003 book by Michael Lewis, about the Oakland Athletics baseball team and its then General Manager Billy Beane. Its focus is the team’s analytical, evidence-based, sabermetric approach to assembling a competitive baseball team despite Oakland’s small budget. A film based on the book, starring Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill, was released in 2011.
F = MA
This equality is known as Newton’s second law of motion. In an inertial frame of reference, the vector sum of the forces (F) on an object is equal to the mass (m) of that object multiplied by the acceleration (a) of the object.
In mathematics, this equality is known as Euler’s identity. Euler’s identity is often cited as an example of deep mathematical beauty. Three of the basic arithmetic operations occur exactly once each: addition, multiplication, and exponentiation. The identity also links five fundamental mathematical constants:
The number 0.
The number 1.
The number π (π = 3.141…).
The number e (e = 2.718…), which occurs widely in mathematical analysis.
The number i, the imaginary unit of the complex numbers.
Statistics is a branch of mathematics dealing with data collection, organization, analysis, interpretation and presentation. As mentioned, sabermetrics is the empirical analysis of baseball, especially baseball statistics that measure in-game activity.
Now that we’ve completed a look at “bat math”, we can return to some other concepts of math found in our favourtie show. However, Monday Morning Math will be taking a bit of a hiatus, with the 18th post coming back after summer vacation in September.
Were you familiar with any of these books/concepts? Did you notice the books in the episode? Which of the books would be your favourite? Sound off in the comments below. You know we love hearing from you.