22 September 2008

In which I tie baseball to math, sort of

One of our first years: "Baseball is made by God. Other sports are made by man."
Me: "So baseball is like the integers?"

7 comments:

complexzeta said...

As people who have taken a class from a certain professor at Stanford will invariably tell you, everything is like the integers.

michaeldcassidy said...

but but but..pi was made by God.

TOLAXOR said...

THE ACT OF PLAYING A BASEBALL GAME IS SIMPLY TESTING THE OUTCOMES OF BAYESIAN BELIEF NETWORKS FOR ESTABLISHING VORP!!!

THE BASEBALL SEASON SIMPLY TESTS THE HYPOTHESIS DEVELOPED BY PECOTA!!!

CarlBrannen said...

In terms of the rules, baseball is like the integers, at least compared with the other major sports.

For example, suppose a ball is thrown by the pitcher, is hit by the bat, and is caught by the catcher. Is it a strike or an out?

The rule is that if the ball bounces higher than the catcher, then it's an out, otherwise it's a strike.

Balls which would be "on the line" of this rule are typically moving much too fast for the catcher to catch, and so the rule avoids the need for controversial calls.

michaeldcassidy said...

A question from a bystander; do you all believe numbers and mathematical structures exist outside of man? Are they man made or floating out there to be discovered as was done with the electron?

R said...

Wasn't that quote originally about the natural numbers, not the integers?

Michael Lugo said...

r,

the original quote is "Die ganzen Zahlen hat der liebe Gott gemacht, alles andere ist Menschenwerk." My German ist nicht so gut, but it appears that "ganzen Zahlen" refers to the integers (that is, both positive and negative); the natural numbers 1, 2, 3, ... are natürlichen Zahlen.