The Objectively Best Pokemon Type, According to Game Theory

Pokemon is famous for its rock-paper-scissors dynamics -- water type pokemon beat fire type pokemon, fire types beats grass types, and grass types beats water types. But the Pokemon type matchups are much more complicated than your typical game of rock-paper-scissors. Not only are there a ludicrous 18 different types of pokemon, but their matchups… Continue reading The Objectively Best Pokemon Type, According to Game Theory

Is Ranked Choice Voting the Hero We Need? (Part 2)

What if the Voters Want What Voters Actually Want? In our first look into this topic, we used a simple model of voters and candidates to find some mixed results for Ranked Choice voting. It performed better than the Plurality system that dominates US elections, but it was outclassed by its systems and didn't always… Continue reading Is Ranked Choice Voting the Hero We Need? (Part 2)

Is Ranked Choice Voting the Hero We Need? (Part 1)

Ranked Choice voting is having a bit of a moment in the public consciousness -- at least on the very handicapped scale of voting systems. It promises to avoid some of the unsavory outcomes that occur in the "First Past the Post" Plurality system used in the vast majority of U.S. elections by allowing voters… Continue reading Is Ranked Choice Voting the Hero We Need? (Part 1)

Have NBA Teams Gotten Better at Drafting?

With the rise of analytics and the global popularity of the NBA and basketball overall, NBA General Managers seem to have more resources at their disposal than ever before. Presumably this fact, paired with decades of history to learn from, would lead to teams being better at picking the best available player when it's their… Continue reading Have NBA Teams Gotten Better at Drafting?

Does Playoff Dominance Portend Super Bowl Success?

Seeing a team crush its playoff opponents can inspire confidence in its fans going into the Super Bowl. A team patched up its weaknesses against strong opponents, and is playing with confidence and chemistry. And if nothing else, being able to blow out playoff teams seems to suggest that your team is really, really good.… Continue reading Does Playoff Dominance Portend Super Bowl Success?

Using Math and Logic to Predict Future Super Bowl Halftime Performers

I felt a small tinge of excitement when I found out that Shakira is performing at the halftime of Super Bowl LIV, indicating that I'm the kind of slightly-nostalgic viewer with a cursory acquaintance with popular culture that the NFL was targeting with the pick. Finding myself at all interested in the Super Bowl Halftime… Continue reading Using Math and Logic to Predict Future Super Bowl Halftime Performers

Is Momentum Really a Thing in Presidential Primaries (Before the Voting Starts)?

The long months of speculation before the Iowa Caucuses abound with headlines about the "momentum" that a candidate has, including nearly half a million Google results for "Buttigieg Momentum" and one atrocious portmanteau in "Buttimentum". Certainly winning Iowa or New Hampshire can boost a Presidential hopeful's campaign, whereas losing early states can destroy a candidate's… Continue reading Is Momentum Really a Thing in Presidential Primaries (Before the Voting Starts)?