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BYU statistics professor Shane Reese honored with lifetime achievement award

Brigham Young University statistics professor Shane Reese recently won the Annual Statistics Award in Sports presented by the American Statistical Association at the annual Joint Statistical Meetings held in Vancouver last summer.

Reese merited the lifetime achievement recognition based on his ongoing work in sport statistics, including work with colleague and fellow BYU statistics professor Gil Fellingham, who helped the U.S. men’s volleyball team earn a gold medal in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

“Statistics is a discipline based on the analysis of data, and statisticians are always looking for more data,” Reese said. “Sports, in particular, is a discipline rich with data, providing a playground for statisticians to create new methodologies.”

Part of Reese’s work has been developing a comparison method that evaluates athletes’ past and present skill to determine overall ability, something similar to a “statistical time machine.” With this method, Reese helped the Philadelphia Eagles develop models to better evaluate draft picks and created simulations that determine which skills are most important for different court positions in the NBA.

“Some would say that comparing Babe Ruth to Barry Bonds is impossible,” Reese said. “We say that it is possible — using statistical methods.”

For more information, contact Shane Reese at (801) 422-9250 or visit

Writer: Meg Bentley

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