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How we beat stats guru Nate Silver – with only 2 days and a $7.56 budget

Posted by Jon Millis

4/15/14 10:00 AM

April is the pinnacle of excitement for American sports fans. Baseball stadiums lift the tarps off freshly groomed fields, NBA and NHL teams begin their playoff quests for championship trophies, and of course: the college basketball world witnesses the last stretch of thrilling (and seemingly unpredictable) postseason play.

The “unpredictability” of the NCAA tournament is one of the primary reasons it’s so entrancing. While sports networks like ESPN employ college basketball “gurus” who form predictions based on some combination of gut feeling and statistics, their historical picks suggest they aren’t much better than the average American in picking tournament outcomes before the games tip off. 

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Topics: Eureqa, Big data, March Madness, Nate Silver

How Nutonian almost won $1B

Posted by Jess Lin

4/2/14 1:00 PM

We journeyed out to Chicago for the first day of March Madness, armed with Eureqa and our final bracket for the NCAA tournament. While the chaos of this year's March Madness may have cheated us out of Buffett's $1B, we have enjoyed a pretty decent bracket (with what appears to be more successful predictions this weekend). It's not cheating to use Eureqa™ to make confident bracket predictions (and explain them!) without spending hours watching ESPN or poring over analyst reports.

Why March Madness?

March Madness is one of the most popular annual sporting events in the US, and for those of us who are less than basketball savvy, it was an incredibly fun challenge. Quicken Loans offered $1B to anyone that could accurately predict the winners of all 63 games (OK, this may have had an influence on our decision as well). More commonly known as Buffett's Billion Dollar Challenge, the contest sparked intense excitement as thousands searched for the hidden keys to unlocking this perfect bracket.

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Topics: Eureqa, March Madness, Chicago, Meetup

March Madness Meets Moneyball

Posted by Jess Lin

3/17/14 10:30 AM

This Thursday, 3/17, Nutonian will be travelling to Chicago for an entertaining Meetup where they'll take on Warren Buffett's Billion Dollar March Madness Challenge. In case you haven't heard, Warren Buffett is offering one billion dollars ($1,000,000,000) to anyone who fills out a perfect NCAA basketball championship bracket.

We will be building our NCAA bracket with Eureqa™ using data from Kaggle's March Machine Learning Mania competition, as well as a number of other sources. Using Eureqa™ to analyze the data allows us to combine domain expertise with the power to automatically derive meaning from the massive quantity of data available. Leave subjective opinions out and uncover the hidden keys for filling out a perfect bracket!

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Topics: Eureqa, Big data, March Madness

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