Moneyball Academy

July 10 – July 30, 2022 — Philadelphia, USA (University of Penn campus)

Sponsored by the Wharton Sports Analytics and Business Initiative (WSABI), the Wharton Moneyball Academy is a summer program that provides an opportunity for talented current high school sophomores, 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. In addition to learning statistical reasoning and key data analysis skills, students will be primed to be a leader in an increasingly data driven economy. Topics include introductory statistics (including graphical and numerical summaries of data), basic probability theory, statistical reasoning and regression analysis by examining sports stats.

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.

Priority Deadline: January 20, 2022
Final Deadline: April 7, 2022

The Academic Experience

Taught by Professor Adi Wyner, the Moneyball core curriculum goes beyond what students will learn in an AP Statistics course 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 course, 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.

Course Details and Requirements

Course Meeting Times:

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.

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.