Urschel set as keynote speaker for Penn State Sports Analytics Conference

March 09, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — John Urschel, a former Penn State football captain and NFL player who is now a doctoral candidate in applied mathematics at MIT, will kick off the 2018 Penn State Sports Analytics Conference with a keynote address April 12 at the State Theatre in downtown State College.

Urschel's free public lecture is sponsored by the Penn State Center for the Study of Sports in Society and begins at 7 p.m.

The center’s mission is to support research, teaching, public programs and service across Penn State related to the study of sport and its cultural, economic and social impact. Conference programming includes panels and lectures on such topics as "Gender Disparity in Sports Analytics" and "Data Use in Sports Journalism & Broadcasting." The conference is free and open to the public.

Urschel played college football from 2010-13 at Penn State, where he earned bachelor's and master's degrees in mathematics. An offensive lineman, he played three years for the Baltimore Ravens in the NFL before retiring prior to the 2017 season.

His talk, followed by a question-and-answer session, will focus on the intersection of mathematics and athletics.

"I hope to be living proof that sports and math can coexist," said Urschel. "Penn State has a terrific math department — and, in my very unbiased opinion, the best athletics program in the country. I'm excited to be a part of this opportunity to grow each area, helping foster new ideas and approaches by bringing them into contact.

"I believe the Penn State Center for the Study of Sports in Society is uniquely situated to draw on the resources of Penn state's legendary sports program and the different areas of the University, helping each innovate and giving them space to collaborate and explore new ideas."

The sports analytics conference gets into full swing on April 13, with a series of free programs and lectures at the Nittany Lion Inn on the University Park campus. Highlights include an undergraduate student abstract competition. A complete conference schedule, including details about the competition, may be found online.

Last Updated March 09, 2018