Colloquium Schedule

Fall 2016 - Spring 2017

Mendel Hall, Room 115
Friday, October 21, 2016
Dr. Jesse Frey

Improving the Big East Conference Basketball Tournament Using Monte Carlo Methods

The Big East Conference basketball tournament is a four-day, ten-team, knockout tournament that is used to decide which team receives the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA basketball tournament.  Through data-based modeling and Monte Carlo simulation, we show that the current tournament format is not very effective in determining the true best team.  Specifically, by considering a variety of alternate formats, we find that certain formats that exclude all but a handful of teams substantially outperform the current format in determining the true best team.  We also find that among formats that involve all ten teams, a format in which the top two seeds each receive two byes is relatively effective.  We show that our conclusions are robust to several key modeling choices.  We also investigate the effectiveness of the tie-breaking scheme used by the Big East Conference, finding that it is little better than random and may even favor weaker teams.  This is joint work with Mr. Chris Abdul-Chani.


Friday, August 26, 2016
Mark McKibben,
"Holey Rocks, Indecisive Fluids, Vanishing Beaches & Fiery Neurons: The Unifying Nature of Implicit Evolution Equations"

Friday, September 23, 2016
Amanda Knecht,
Title: "Looking for Surfaces with Lots of Lines" 

Friday, October 21, 2016
Jesse Frey,
"Improving the Big East Conference Basketball Tournament Using Monte Carlo Methods."

Friday, November 18, 2016
Anisah Nu'man,
"One Mathematician’s Journey to Abstraction and Pure Mathematics"

Friday, December 9, 2016
Andrej Prsa,
"Overinterpretingastronomy data and bragging about it to mathematicians... (An Intro to Astro-Statistics)"

Contact Information

Department of Mathematics & Statistics
SAC Room 305
Villanova University
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085 
Tel: 610.519.4850
Fax: 610.519.6928

Dr. Douglas Norton

Marie O'Brien, 610.519.4809
Lorraine McGraw, 610.519.4850