Tuesday, October 26, 2010

From the Vault: 2008 AGEC 4213 Nerd of the Year!

Congratulations to Alex Davied, the 2008 AGEC 4213 Nerd of the Year!

Each year in my regression class we hold a forecasting contest. The second day of class we go outside and hit softballs, measuring the distance each person hit. We then develop regression to explain why some people hit further than others. See this blog entry discussing the activity in more depth.

To test whether they can really put together a good regression model, we hold a forecasting contest. Using data from their class, and previous classes if they wish, students are asked to construct a regression model. Then, we return to the field, hitting balls again, measuring distance again. But this time, before the person hits, students must take their regression equation and predict how far the batter will hit. Note this is an out-of-sample forecast. The student whose regression model has the lowest sum-of-square errors across all other students wins. This year's winner was Alex.

She wins $30 in cash and an obnoxiously large and tacky trophy, that yes, states 2008 AGEC 4213 Nerd of the Year.