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HomeEventsAPSU's Science on Tap explores the science in the movies with "Moneyball"

APSU’s Science on Tap explores the science in the movies with “Moneyball”

Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TN – When the Austin Peay State University (APSU) Science on Tap returns to Strawberry Alley Ale Works on April 5th, APSU professors will continue their examination of how Hollywood blockbuster movies portray science.

At last month’s Science on Tap, Dr. Catherine Haase, Dr. Kallina Dunkle and Phil Roberson explored the science depicted in 1993’s “Jurassic Park.” April’s lecture will focus on how the 2011 film “Moneyball” portrays sabermetrics – the analysis of baseball statistics.

Dr. Matthew Jones, professor of probability and statistics in the APSU Department of Mathematics and Statistics, will lead the discussion on Tuesday, April 5th, at Upstairs at Strawberry Alley. The discussion begins at 5:30pm.

Last fall, Haase – a professor in Austin Peay State University’s Department of Biology – taught an honors-level class that investigated the science portrayed in blockbuster Hollywood movies. Students used critical thinking to analyze how the science in the movies stacked up to real science. 
The April 5th Science on Tap will give attendees the same opportunity with “Moneyball,” based on Michael Lewis’s nonfiction account of the Oakland Athletics’ magical 2002 season. Athletics’ General Manager Billy Beane used sabermetrics to help find undervalued talent to build the team.
Haase will start the presentation by talking about the impetus for the honors class she taught – “being critical about what we see on the big screen” – before introducing Jones.
“Baseball and statistics have always belonged together,” Jones wrote in a summary of the lecture. “Since the advent of the box score through the application of modern data analysis techniques (sabermetrics), fans have used statistics to value players and predict outcomes.

“Sabermetrics has evolved to improve player value estimation and performance prediction over previous methods,” he continued. “We will discuss the accuracy of movie scenes and basic sabermetrics.”

Science on Tap meets at 5:30pm on the first Tuesday of every month during the academic year, bringing together two great things: science and local brews.

Science on Tap will finish the school year with a third installment exploring science in the movies. Dr. B. Alex King, chair of the Department of Physics, Engineering, and Astronomy, will lead a discussion on the science of 1995’s “Apollo 13” at the May 3rd gathering. 

Science on Tap is hosted by Austin Peay State University’s College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.


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