University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

Profitable sports event scheduling is topic of U of M math lecture March 4

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL ( 2/23/2009 ) — The University of Minnesota Institute for Mathematics and Its Applications (IMA) continues its Math Matters Lecture Series with "Sports Scheduling and the Practice of Operations Research," presented by Carnegie Mellon University Professor Michael Trick at 7 p.m., Wednesday, March 4, Willey Hall, Room 125, 225 19th Ave. S., Minneapolis. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Major League Baseball is a multi-billion dollar per year industry that relies heavily on the quality of its schedule. Teams, fans, TV networks, and even political parties rely on the schedule for profits and enjoyment, says Trick, a professor of operations research in Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business.

In this lecture, Trick will discuss his work in scheduling college basketball, major league baseball, and other sports, and show how operations research is revolutionizing sports scheduling. Operations research is an interdisciplinary branch of applied mathematics and science that uses methods such as modeling, statistics, and algorithms to find solutions to complex problems. Only recently have the computational tools of operations research been powerful enough to address the issue of finding "optimal" sports schedules.

The Institute for Mathematics and its Applications (IMA) was founded at the University of Minnesota in 1982 as a result of a competitive national process. It fosters interdisciplinary research between mathematics, other science disciplines, and industry in order to find solutions to important scientific and technological problems. The IMA is funded primarily by the National Science Foundation.