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Basketball by the Numbers

Andrew Scheiner,

Student Snapshot: Andrew Scheiner ’25 

Andrew Scheiner ’25 (computer science, data analytics) is passionate about data, technology and sports. He combined those interests through a data-focused athletics internship and an engrossing student-faculty research project—and went on to present findings at the Mathematical Association of America’s 2023 MathFest in Tampa, Fla. Below, Andrew discusses those experiences, a software-development internship that teamed him with professional developers, the class that provided a solid foundation for all of this work, and more.

Hometown:

Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Majors

Computer science and data analytics.

Clubs and organizations:  

Resident Advisor, Liberty Cap (tour guide), club baseball (treasurer, co-captain) and Data Analytics Student Majors Committee.

Honors/scholarships/awards:

Benjamin D. James Scholarship Scholarship Fund and Dean’s List.

Best thing about my major:

Computer science and data analytics are a perfect match, because you need the theory and programming practice to be able to both better understand and use the software that fosters the ability to collect, process and visualize huge datasets, which are becoming prevalent in our world today. These tech-driven fields are expanding daily and can be explored in any facet you want. I am fascinated by how software development can be used to benefit my community; however, I can also learn how to use programming to analyze intriguing sports questions.

Favorite class:

Philosophy of Data with Professor of Philosophy Chauncey Maher. I took this class the first semester it was offered. What made this class stand out to me was how engaging the content is and how vital the ideas are to Dickinson’s data-analytics program. Professor Maher is so enthusiastic about the course material, and he sparks great ideas. For example, he emphasized how data scientists must ask where the data being used originates from and what the correct methods are for approaching processing and analysis. Professor Maher also teaches the connection between data and scientific history and prepares students in this class to properly form data-driven arguments, which will help us when we need to present statistical evidence.

As I kid, I wanted to be …

… a chef (when I was very young) and, eventually, a video-game developer. The latter sparked my interest in computer science.

About my internship:

During the past two summers (2022 and 2023), I completed two internships.

First, I was a data-analytics intern with the athletics department under Head Men’s Basketball Coach/Assistant Athletics Director Alan Seretti. My role was two-fold. I was first tasked with hypothesizing strategies to improve the men’s basketball team through data collection and analysis. Then I worked on processing and visualizing data relating to Dickinson’s recruited student-athletes from 2018 to 2022. This experience provided a great starting point for me to work with sports and data.

This past summer I completed a software development internship at B. Braun Medical Inc. working with the R&D Digital Technology team in Allentown. My main task at B. Braun was to expand unit testing and code coverage for their DoseTrac© Enterprise software, a system which can manage up to 40,000 infusion pumps. Working for B. Braun gave me real workplace experience in a field of high interest for me, as I got to work with an outstanding team of developers.

About my research:

I am very grateful for the opportunity I was offered to work as a Dana Research Assistant with Professor of Mathematics Barry Tesman and Assistant Professor of Data Analytics Eren Bilen. Our research investigates the significance of tipoffs and jump balls in professional basketball games. Like I had mentioned earlier, I’m passionate about using data analytics skills to analyze sports, and this project taught me that the opportunities are endless. Sports data is an up-and-coming field with innovative technology, and I find the processing, analysis and visualization of our basketball data both complex and captivating.

Through the data-analytics program, I learned to think critically about where our data was coming from, how we were processing it and what variables we were trying to measure and connect to show evidence of significance or insignificance. I am proud to say that we are continuing our research and plan to get published.

Proudest accomplishment so far:

Getting the opportunity to present our tipoff and jumpball research at the Mathematical Association of America’s MathFest conference in Tampa, Florida, during summer 2023. It was an incredible opportunity to be part of an innovative group of sports-data researchers.

Most important thing I’ve learned so far:

Get involved with something you are passionate about. This could be a hobby you have pursued for years or be something you’ve always wanted to explore. And if we don’t have an organization for it, start up a new club! It’s so important to make the most out of your Dickinson experience.

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Published January 8, 2024