Moneyball Academy

Sponsored by the Wharton Sports Analytics and Business Initiative (WSABI), the Wharton Moneyball Academy is a three-week summer program that provides an opportunity for rising high school juniors and seniors to study sports analytics at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. This program focuses on using data to make deep discoveries in sports with a focus on becoming a data-driven decision-maker. Instruction will focus on fundamentals of statistical thinking, real applications employed by statistics professionals in sports analytics, and an introduction to statistical programming languages.

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Data sets analyzed
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Hours of lecture and practice on ``R`` programming language
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Industry guest speakers

Overview

Sponsored by the Wharton Sports Analytics and Business Initiative (WSABI), the Moneyball Academy primes students to become leaders in an increasingly data-driven economy.

Taught by Professor Adi Wyner, the Moneyball core curriculum goes beyond what students will learn in an AP Statistics class in order to teach students how to apply advanced statistical concepts to sports analytics. Moneyball covers much of Wharton’s STAT 101 and STAT 470 courses, as well as pieces of STAT 102, 430, and 471. In addition, students will learn to read and write code in R, the advanced statistical programming language used by professional statisticians. By the end of the program, students will be able to understand and perform many of the sports analyses typically seen in FiveThirtyEight, Fangraphs, or Hardball Times articles.

Furthermore, Moneyball offers the opportunity to learn from and network with other analytically minded people, which can prove extremely valuable as students continue in the sports business industry. They will also hear from guest speakers with real-world experience in sports analytics. Past speakers include Samuel Mondry-Cohen, Assistant General Manager, Washington Nationals; Diana Ma, Data Scientist, Los Angeles Lakers; and Alec Halaby, Vice President of Football Operations and Strategy, Philadelphia Eagles; among others.

This program is ideal for students with a strong background in math and a love of sports. An interest in computer programming is strongly recommended but no specific background is necessary.

All participants who successfully complete the program will earn a Wharton Global Youth Certificate of Completion.

Details

Academic classes are held Monday-Friday with extracurricular activities available in the evenings and on the weekends. Students move in on Sunday pre-program, and move out the final Saturday of the program. For more information on campus life, visit our residential experience page.

While each day varies slightly in format, a typical day includes:

  • 9:00-10:30am – Morning lecture
  • 10:30-10:45am – Mid-morning break
  • 10:45-12:00pm – Office hours
  • 12:00-1:30pm – Lunch
  • 1:30-3:00pm – Guest speaker
  • 3:00-3:15pm – Afternoon break
  • 3:15-4:30pm – Computing in R lecture
  • 4:30-5:30pm – Breakout sessions and group work

Session topics may include:

  • Introductory statistics (including graphical and numerical summaries of data)
  • Basic probability theory
  • Statistical reasoning
  • Regression analysis by examining sports data

In the evening, students will have a number of extracurricular activities to choose from. Students can also opt to work on their final project with their group, meet with the program TAs, and/or relax at the dorm.

Please note, some days may not follow this schedule as there could be a site visit off campus or a simulation in lieu of lecture/recitation schedule.

Eligibility

Eligibility

High school students currently enrolled in grades 9-11 with a strong math background and a love of sports. An interest in computer programming in strongly recommended, but no specific experience or background is required. International applicants are welcome.

Admission

Admission to the Moneyball Academy is selective. Wharton will select approximately 75 students to attend the 2022 Academy. Selections are based on a record of academic excellence, demonstrated math skills, and a genuine interest in sports analytics. Interested students are encouraged to submit an application by the priority deadline.

Please note that participation in the Moneyball Academy program does not guarantee admission into Penn.

Instructional Team

Faculty Leader: Adi Wyner
Professor Wyner received his Bachelors degrees in Mathematics from Yale University, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude with distinction in his major. He was the recipient of the Stanley Prize for excellence in Mathematics. His PhD in Statistics is from Stanford University, where he won a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship, the Abrams Prize and the Herz Foundation fellowship. After graduating from Stanford, he received the NSF post-graduate fellowship and a visiting Professorship at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Wyner has been a Professor of Statistics at the Wharton School of Business for the last 11 years. He is a tenured Professor and the Chair of the Undergraduate Program in Statistics and Data Science for the University of Pennsylvania.

Teaching Assistants
Teaching Assistants consist of both undergraduate and graduate students from the University of Pennsylvania. TAs facilitate small-group discussions, ensure student understanding, assist with final project development, and hold office hours to answer student questions and share their Penn and Wharton experiences.

“My favorite part of Moneyball Academy was undoubtedly having an opportunity to listen to AMAZING guest speakers' stories and advice on sports management and data analysis." - Byeongzu K., Istanbul, Turkey