Lally School Seniors Work With Mets on Capstone Project

August 9, 2023


Graduate students in the Lally School of Management at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute enjoyed a unique opportunity to partner with the New York Mets for their capstone project.

“The students used machine learning on a variety of high-speed videos as a way to provide valuable insight for players and coaches,” said Jason Kuruzovich, Ph.D., Rensselaer associate professor. “They worked all through the spring semester, wrote a proof of concept, and developed a prototype.”

The project involved complex data and machine learning.

“The project pushed our team to grow in new ways,” said Dalton Russell ’23. “The amount of research we had to do into different models, and the fact that we had to devise a way to create our own training data were both things that we'd never encountered in class. Building the code for each step of the process was like a series of individual projects that required its own research, and then each step had to be tied together in the end. The project definitely pushed the bounds of what I thought was possible with analytics!”

The students were gratified that their hard work paid off.

“It ended up being one of the coolest things I've done, and I'll always be grateful that I got an opportunity to work with the Mets,” said Russell. “We had a joke on our team that they'd make a movie about us called Analytics Ball - just like Money Ball but about the AI model we built for the Mets. I'd still like to believe that somehow our work will help them win more games, and that soon enough I'll get a call from Warner Brothers asking me for input on the script they're writing about it!”

Phillip Li ’23 especially appreciated the opportunity to work with the Mets. “Baseball has been my passion since I was little,” he said. “I played on the RPI varsity team, so it was great to be able to contribute to a professional team’s future success in a small way. Plus, the project involved a real-world application of the analytics skills we’ve learned, so it was a valuable experience.”

“It was an absolute pleasure to work with the students this semester,” said Timothy Wise ’21, ’22 M.S., analyst for the Mets. “The skills and knowledge they cultivated from their time at RPI were on full display throughout the project, but what was most impressive was their ability to adapt and apply that knowledge in novel ways. Their work on this project will go a long way towards advancing our championship aspirations, and I am very proud that that my alma mater has continued its excellence at preparing students for the rigors of real-world problem solving in all industries, but especially in sports analytics.”

The Lally School of Management recruits industry partners for student capstone projects. This semester, students worked with Amazon, Invesco, Plug Power, and more, in addition to the Mets.

Graduate students studying business analytics all participated in the project with the Mets.

Written By Katie Malatino
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