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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Original money ball?

The Electronic Coach

The YouTube blurb:
Computer History Museum
Published on Sep 2, 2010
[Recorded: circa 1959]
"The Electronic Coach" is a short film made by IBM describing the use of computers in the management of a university basketball team. The film features computer science legend Don Knuth, then a junior at Case Institute of Technology. For all four of his undergraduate years at Case (1956-60), Knuth was manager of the basketball team and sought ways to improve his team's play by analyzing a series of special statistics he captured during games. The scoring method was unusual in the weightings it gave to activities not necessarily associated with traditional coaching but Knuth's insights into basketball, combined with his computerization of the reams of data he collected, helped Case's coaching staff make their basketball team a winner. The computer used is an IBM 650.

Moneyball was a recent movie (2011) about replacing old school gut-instinct player selection with cold, hard statistics in baseball.

Donald Knuth is something of a god in Computer Science. I remember he was the author of at least one of my text books when I was in school.

The IBM 650 was the world's first mass-produced computer.

 Via Detroit Steve.

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