I definitely can’t claim to ever be half as smart as THE Mark Zuckerberg, but I can definitely relate to this scene in The Social Network movie:

Yesterday I had met with my anthropology TA, Madi Whitman to ask her about how to avoid “biases” when gathering and analyzing big data (which is her phD research).

I had initiated this meeting because I wanted to make sure as I was gathering data for the research paper project, I would consider all points of view. Also, there was this one story I heard when I was part of the global engineering programs as a freshman, that reminded me to consult liberal arts majors when doing a project no matter how technical it sounds. It was about how this Purdue Engineering team went to Africa and boasted about how their water turbine could easily provide energy to the rural village. However, when the team tried to implement this project it didn’t work with as much ease. Later, the team found out that the type of plants that the people in the village preferred to eat and grow had seeds that would impede the water turbine’s function. In conclusion,  I learned from this anecdote that different disciplines of studies should always be consulted if possible when starting a project.

Anyway…back to Madi and my conversation…Eventually, Madi and I came to the conclusion that there is no way to be unbiased when sampling and gathering data, but being aware and stating these assumptions beforehand are the key to approach them. That was a good reminder for my research project.

I had a feeling that somehow this class, anthropology (the study of humans) would relate to my growth and learning in sports statistics, and it finally happened today…in the middle of recitation.

We were learning about ways to measure intelligence, and while people usually think of IQ and even EQ, there’s additional social case study that isn’t necessarily critical to survival. However, this social perspective could enhance one’s life…or one’s game (in my case).

The objective of the Hackathon in SSAC ’17 has really had me losing sleep (The Objective). How to “measure the immeasurable” seemed like a theme that couldn’t be bullshitted around and I really wanted to think of a monumental idea that would make me proud to present. As we were learning about Machiavellian principles, and learning about how it is believed that the more developed the human is the better they are at recognizing emotions and faces and putting themselves in another’s shoes; I was able to come up with an application to sports.

The MVP at the end of the game is usually the one who scores the most, but there is also usually credit also to the “smart” player. I will have to figure out how to define and quantify “smart.” In general, a smart player is one who can see what most other players don’t. These are the play makers, the sneaky passers, the agile short players who can somehow navigate through the crowd of more built players. If I could somehow figure out a way to calculate a players “score” based on facial, situational, and spatial recognition to determine how they rank as a “smart” player, that would be ideal.

I also think that idea would answer “measuring the immeasurable,” because I will be trying to measure the social intelligence of players and it will be quite a challenge.