What’s the expected value of your Powerball ticket?

As the Powerball jackpot grows to over \$300 million, we start to wonder if maybe buying a ticket is “worth it.” While the lottery is “worth it” in that ticket sales goes to things like state education, buying tickets is typically not worth it for yo because the projected payoff is far less than the ticket price. Continue reading “What’s the expected value of your Powerball ticket?”

Use a spreadsheet to check Matthew Berry’s Top 200 Fantasy Football Rankings results from Week 1

“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.

What are the chances a Little League baseball player gets to the Major Leagues someday?

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.

Predicting a Tennis Pro’s Weight based on Height

With a Grand Slam approaching, let’s talk tennis! If we were to predict a tennis pro’s weight based on his height, where would we begin? How will our understanding of the best-fit line and spreadsheets help us make this prediction?

We’ve collected the heights and weights of tennis pros including Federer, Djokovic, Nadal, Murray, Azarenka, Sharapova, and Williams, along with another 192 top players. Let’s investigate how to 1) calculate the correlation of weights and heights, and 2) draw a best fit-line and scatter plot in Google spreadsheets to extrapolate or make predictions!

Probabilities & Dice Roll Simulations in Spreadsheets

What is the probability of rolling any pair of numbers with two dice? Let’s first solve this and then confirm our calculated probability by simulating 500 dice rolls with a spreadsheet! In this post, we will focus on understanding basic probability concepts and then discover how with spreadsheets, we can actually see whether our calculated probability holds true!

Hypothesis Testing with Spreadsheets – Part I

What is the impact of organic soil on a seedling’s height? Will an organically-grown seedling be taller than one grown in non-organic soil? Armed with data, we’ll now tackle these questions by performing a statistical test in a spreadsheet!

To see how we our experimental design and data collection method, please see: