Back when I was in 11th grade, I was one of the benchwarmers on the high school baseball team. Aside from needing to be ready to go in for pinch running duties, we also got assigned various tasks like statkeeper, 1st base coach, foul ball retriever and batboy (that one was the worst). Everyone left over got assigned the vague job of sign-stealing. Usually our attempts to steal signs were futile – between the wide array of touches, wipes and tugs, there was just too much going on to really keep track. But what if there were some way of using spreadsheets to enhance our sign-stealing efforts?
The Lakers are off to a rough start this year – through 9 games they are 1-8, good enough for last place in the Western Conference. In this spreadsheet problem solving example, we’ll use spreadsheets to answer a pertinent question – if the legendary Kobe Bryant played like an average shooting guard, how would the Lakers have fared this year? Continue reading
I’m studying for the SAT, ACT, or GRE exam and need to boost my vocabulary. I’m trying to remember important concepts for my chemistry test. I’d like to remember a few algebra formulas (like the Pythagorean Theorem) or geometric proofs. I want to better prepare for my foreign language quiz. Well, we’ve got something for each of you. With the school season well underway, let’s check out effective study tool tailored to your specific goals – all created with a single spreadsheet! Continue reading
Or, “How to get your five-year old recruited into Stanford or Harvard for sports in 2027”…Or, “It helps to be tall”
“It’s hard to make predictions, especially about the future” – Various
Usually, improvement in prediction-making comes in two steps. Step 1: Make a Prediction. Step 2: Evaluate how accurate the prediction was, and learn from it. Often times, Step 2 can get overlooked as we move on to future predictions and future weeks of fantasy football. Spreadsheets can help us quickly evaluate how our predictions were, and quickly point out where we might have erred.
In many parts of life, having a combination of two things can lead to better outcomes. Having stocks and bonds means sometimes the stocks do well while at other times the bonds do well, resulting in better overall portfolio performance. Also, the driver of this truck pictured below probably has at least one of his teams doing well.
It’s that time of the year when Little League World Series coverage heats up on ESPN, and viewers get to see a miniaturized version of baseball played at the highest level. This year has been especially impressive with a super-team from Las Vegas that rarely makes errors, the Chicago team that beat them, and of course the sensational female pitcher Mo’ne Davis, who throws as hard as some high school pitchers. Every Little Leaguer dreams of making it to the big leagues, someday making a career of playing the game they love. But how hard is it to get there? This is a question that we will try to solve this week with the help of a spreadsheet.
Fantasy Football Season is here! It’s that time of the year where we sit down on the couch every Sunday to cheer for our group of superstar mercenaries as they help our team embarrass (avoid embarrassment?) those of our friends. Fantasy Football drafts are coming up and this post will hopefully help you with your draft, and of course continue to help you learn how to use spreadsheets. Continue reading
Spreadsheets are at their best when they are helping us solve useful problems. And what could be more useful than getting better at basketball? Perhaps this spreadsheet could help you dominate avoid getting kicked out of your local pickup game..
Today is March 14. 3.14. Pi Day! Google spreadsheet offers a function that will return the value of pi to 14 decimal points. In a Google spreadsheet template, type = PI() and the output is 3.14159265358979. In Excel the same function = PI() returns the value of pi to 9 decimal points. Continue reading
Have you heard of Bayes’ Rule? Let’s use an intuitive example to understand an application of this rule. What’s the probability American Hustle wins the Golden Globes given it wins the Oscars? Continue reading
What’s the probability American Hustle wins the 2014 Oscars? Let’s talk Academy Awards, spreadsheets, and conditional probabilities! Continue reading