Sep. 22, 2020
Jeremiah Chuang, math major and Torrey Honors student, and Willy Hung, double major in math and computer science, shared with the Biola community their research on the quality of pitch in the MLB and generating random numbers for simulations.
Chuang and Hung conducted their research during internships last summer offered through the Math and Computer Science department. The department provides opportunities for students to learn outside the context of the classroom and engage with real life experiences.
Jason Wilson, associate professor of mathematics, explains what sets Biola’s Math and Computer Science department apart from other universities.
“It’s our focus on the integration of faith and learning,” said Wilson.
According to Wilson, math has closely been linked to theology in the early 1800’s since it deals with the infinite and the unseen just like theology does. In the past few decades, the world of math has slipped from the theological background to which it used to be so connected. The Biola Math and Computer Science department hopes to change that for the students in their program.
Last summer Chuang worked with Wilson at Biola University to derive the statistics of quality of pitch (QOP) in the Major League Baseball by analyzing over 7 million pitches. They worked to create a more rigorous method to examine the statistics and to apply what they found to certain scenarios. For example, Chuang had a hypothesis that when the QOP is high there’s a higher probability that the team will win. After doing some research, Chuang and Wilson concluded that there was no correlation large enough to make a difference.
“It equipped me to figure out hands on what I want to do [after graduation],” said Chuang when describing what he gained from his internship.
During the same summer Hung worked at Illinois Tech with a team of undergraduate and graduates students conducting research on generating random numbers for simulations that are most successful in math problems.
“Internships can be the golden ticket into grad school,” said Wilson. He explained that since students are teaming up with professionals during an internship they can hone in on their craft.
Regardless of a student’s major, internships — while competitive — provide educational opportunities to not only gain experience, but expand a student’s skill sets in real world situations.
“There is a lot of pressure and it’s okay to feel that pressure, but in terms of doing something about that pressure, do your research, that’s your part,” said Chuang in response to obtaining an internship. “God’s part is to affirm or give you direction.”
The Math and Computer Science department at Biola University has combined its efforts to create a unique learning environment for students where they can combine faith and learning in their everyday lives of math.
“Mathematicians work hard and play hard,” said Chuang.
For more information on the Biola Math and Computer Science department, visit their website.
Written by Joshua Marsh, public relations intern. For more information, contact Media Relations at (562) 777-4061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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