Mathematics & Computer Science
Professor of Mathematics, Department Chair
B.S., Loyola University
M.S.E, The Johns Hopkins University
M.S., Ph.D., The Naval Postgraduate School
I joined the faculty at Muhlenberg College in July 2006. I was Dean of Academic Life from Summer of 2012 to Summer of 2016
I enjoy teaching applied mathematics courses at all levels from Introductory Statistics, Calculus I and Calculus II to elective courses in Differential Equations and Mathematical Modeling. In the past, I have guided students in DANA independent study courses in both sabermetrics (the study of baseball statistics) and nonlinear dynamical systems. In addition, I sponsor summer research assistantships in sabermetrics.
I am primarily interested in (1) applying mathematics to solve interesting problems, (2) modeling and predicting rare events in baseball, and (3) teaching differential equations and mathematical modeling. I like to use singular value decomposition techniques to make photo mosaic images, and I've sponsored several undergraduate research projects in this field. I have written and presented papers on mathematical modeling, teaching mathematics using technology, and assessment.
With Gabriel Costa and John T. Saccoman, I have written Understanding Sabermetrics: An Introduction to the Science of Baseball Statistics (2008). We have completed two companion books, Practicing Sabermetrics: Putting the Science of Baseball Statistics to Work (2009) and Reasoning With Sabermetrics: Answering the Tough Questions (2012). We have just started the fourth book in the series. I enjoy studying the sport of baseball and developing statistics to model rare baseball events (such as hitting for the cycle, pitching a no-hit game, turning a triple play, or scoring 20+ runs in a baseball game). For a glimpse of this research, see an American Institute of Physics short story. I have a few more rare events that I am modeling as well. My research has been featured appeared on television and in a recent Wall Street Journal article. My paper with Rod Sturdivant on modeling games in which teams score 20 or more runs has been published in the Annals of Applied Statistics. I recently wrote a paper on Mickey Mantle's home run of May 22nd, 1963, predicting its distance traveled had it not struck the upper facade in right field. This combination of simulation and numerical analysis was published in ASA's Chance Magazine. Chance will also publish recent work on calculating why Babe Ruth never hit for the cycle. In addition, I am working on connections between mathematics and architecture.
I have also written Mythematics: Solving the Twelve Labors of Hercules, (Princeton University Press, 2009), which provides the reader opportunities to solve the tasks which Hercules had to perform, and West Point's Field of Dreams: Major League Baseball at Doubleday Field (Vermont Heritage Press, 2004), which outlines exhibition games played by Major League teams (Yankees, Dodgers, Giants, Mets, and others) against the cadets of West Point from 1914 through 1985. With Alex Heidenberg, I have edited a text on discrete dynamical systems and we have written the solutions manual as well.
My hobbies include spending time with my family and puttering around in the garden. I also enjoy going to baseball or volleyball games, to cheer for Muhlenberg (Go Mules!) or a few baseball teams (college and pro).