Skip Navigation

OU Psychology Student Wins 2017 ESPN Hackathon

OU Public Affairs WebsiteOU homepagePublic Affairs homepage
Skip Side Navigation

OU Psychology Student Wins 2017 ESPN Hackathon

Melanie Lewis

 

3-9-17

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Jana Smith, Director
Strategic Communications for R&D
University of Oklahoma
405.325.1322; jana.smith@ou.edu
Follow on Twitter @OUResearch

NORMAN – A University of Oklahoma quantitative psychology doctoral student, Melanie Lewis, won the student division of the third annual ESPN Hackathon in March with her innovative idea to apply an industrial organizational psychology theory that looks at organizational citizenship behavior to sports analytics. Of the 47 students and professionals giving a 90-second presentation in the first round of the hackathon, only three students, including Lewis, and three professionals were selected to give a five-minute presentation at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston, Massachusetts.

“Participating in the Hackathon was an incredible opportunity to showcase the skills and knowledge fostered here at OU in front of an audience that included sports industry executives and front office staff from a variety of professional teams,” said Lewis.

The hackathon, with the theme “Measuring the Immeasurable,” was presented by ESPN and Ticketmaster and took place March 2 before the start of the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. Participants in the student division were given five data sets from five different basketball games to analyze as well as a prompt to clearly define and measure the “immeasurable.” The data sets included play-by-play action for all players on a team, tracking data that included players on the court, line-up data for players on the court, optical data and box-score type data.

Lewis, who is an avid basketball fan, based her analysis on organizational citizenship behavior, originally described as the “good soldier syndrome,” and the rules that define it. In basketball, good soldiers are those players that sacrifice their own personal performance by acting in ways that help their teammates and team to improve. For instance, the player’s behavior is not one that appears on the traditional box-score, and the player acts only for the good of the team like a good soldier. Lewis looked for underlying traits for analysis, like taking a charge to draw an offensive foul or secondary assists that lead to a positive outcome for the team.

Few women are selected to participate in the hackathon and none known of pursuing a quantitative psychology major. Yet, it was Lewis’ quantitative psychology background that helped her come up with the winning idea for analyzing player data in a way that had not been done before. As a result, she won the contest by beating an applied mathematics major and a statistics major, and she was awarded the first place prize of an all-expenses paid trip to Ticketmaster’s headquarters in Los Angeles, California.

There are a number of quantitative psychology programs in the country, but Lewis chose OU’s nationally recognized program to pursue her doctoral degree. For more information about the quantitative psychology program within the OU College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology, please visit www.ou.edu/cas/psychology/research/quantitative-psychology.html.

Recent News

11/19/2018

Free Tuition and Average Fees for Qualifying Residents

Crimson Commitment

As part of its dedication to affordability, the University of Oklahoma is launching the Crimson Commitment program. A student who is enrolled in OU’s Crimson Commitment will not have to pay tuition and, combining outside and OU resources, up to $8,000 in student fees for four years. The new program will be implemented beginning in fall 2019 for both incoming and current resident students who are recipients of Oklahoma’s Promise. Read more

10/26/18

OU Professors to Lead Global Research on Bluegreen Algae in Freshwaters

Pigeon Creek

NORMAN -University of Oklahoma professors, Karl D. Hambright and Lee R. Krumholz, will lead a global research team to study one of the most common environmental problems—freshwater toxic cyanobacteria (bluegreen algae) blooms, which threaten freshwater lakes and pose substantial health risks to humans, pets, livestock and wildlife. The group will address the fundamental interactions between cyanobacteria and other bacteria co-occurring with the blooms. Read more

10/25/18

OU Meteorologist Expects Severe Drought and Heavy Rain Events to Worsen Globally

Pigeon Creek

NORMAN -A University of Oklahoma meteorologist, Elinor R. Martin, expects severe drought and long-lasting rainfall events to worsen in the future. In Martin’s new study just published, she determines how frequent, intense and long lasting these types of events will be in the future. Martin looks at both severe drought and rain events, but it is the first time extended heavy rain events have been studied. Read more

10/09/18

OU's Radar Team Developing Fastest, Most Advanced Radar in the Nation

Pigeon Creek

NORMAN -The University of Oklahoma’s Advanced Radar Research Center team is developing the fastest, most advanced radar in the nation with a $3.4 and $3.1 million SENSR grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. HORUS, an all-digital polarimetric phased array radar, can scan the atmosphere in 30 seconds or less and distinguish between snowflakes, raindrops, hail stones or other targets within a storm. Rapid scans of the atmosphere and hydrometeor classification, among other polarimetric radar capabilities, are critical for forecasting and prediction. Read more

News Archives

2017  | 2016  | 2015  | 2014  |  2013  

2018


For requests for past releases, please contact OU Public Affairs at (405) 325-1701 or publicaffairs@ou.edu.