The sixth Ottawa Hockey Analytics Conference (OTTHAC) will be held March 26 and 27, 2021 and will include finalists from the inaugural Big Data Cup – a public datathon co-sponsored by Stathletes using data both from the OHL and/or professional women’s hockey. The event will be held virtually.
“At OTTHAC, our goal has always been to expand the exposure to, understanding of, and applicability of data science in hockey,” says co-organizer Prof. Michael Schuckers. “It has always been a priority to spotlight that data can be used throughout the game – not just in the NHL. The Big Data Cup helps us highlight areas of the sport that deserve more attention and hopefully drive new and creative ideas at all levels of hockey.”
In addition to the newly added data competition, OTTHAC will continue its tradition of bringing together some of the most progressive thinkers in the hockey analytics arena today.
Featured speakers this year include Meghan Chayka, co-founder of Stathletes; Carnegie Mellon’s Brian MacDonald; Mike P. Johnson of TSN; Sarah Morris, PhD, biostatistician at Datalys; Jack Birch of the Winnipeg Jets; and Micah Blake McCurdy, creator of HockeyViz.
Each year, approximately 200 people attend the conference which has a track record of bringing together people with many different experience and interest levels in hockey analytics. Past attendees and presenters include NHL league and team representatives; data providers and established researchers; students at all levels; and casual fans. With this year’s event going virtual, co-organizer Prof. Shirley Mills is hopeful that the breadth and depth of the attendee base only continue to grow.
“Analytics are becoming a more and more significant element of hockey and sports in general,” says Mills. “We want to expose as many people as possible to the questions that are being asked of the numbers, how we find answers to those questions, and perhaps even more importantly, welcome new ideas and direction for analysis in general.”
Friday evening’s events will focus on presentations by Big Data Cup finalists to judges who represent a cross–section of analytical process and hockey application. Saturday’s full day schedule includes speaker presentations as well as poster sessions from both the Big Data Cup and public submissions.
OTTHAC was first organized in 2015 by Prof. Shirley Mills, Mathematics and Statistics, Carleton U., Ottawa, Canada and Prof. Michael Schuckers, Charles A. Dana Professor of Statistics at St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY, USA. Mills (the Executive Director of the Statistical Society of Canada) and Schuckers (the Director of the Peterson Quantitative Resource Center) decided to create a conference that explored the diverse and interesting applications of analytics to hockey. The analytic skills however are widely transferable to other sports and other domains.
The event is free and open to all who wish to attend. For more information on the conference and how to register click here.
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