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Short Stories about Data and Sports

Anette "Peko" Hosoi, MIT

ABSTRACT Recent advances in data collection have made sports an attractive testing ground for new analyses and algorithms, and a fascinating controlled microcosm in which to explore social interactions. In this talk I will describe two studies in this arena: one related to public health and the pandemic and one related to decision-making in basketball.  In the first, I will discuss what can be learned from the natural experiments that were (fortuitously) run in America football stadiums. During the 2020…

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Democracy and the Pursuit of Randomness

Ariel Procaccia, Harvard University

Abstract: Sortition is a storied paradigm of democracy built on the idea of choosing representatives through lotteries instead of elections. In recent years this idea has found renewed popularity in the form of citizens’ assemblies, which bring together randomly selected people from all walks of life to discuss key questions and deliver policy recommendations. A principled approach to sortition, however, must resolve the tension between two competing requirements: that the demographic composition of citizens’ assemblies reflect the general population and…

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