A trio of University of Toronto students are champions of the NFL’s Big Data Bowl, the Toronto Sun reports.
Hassaan Inayatali, Aaron White and Daniel Hocevar emerged victorious in the sports analytics showdown thanks to their improved statistical model of the “pressure” on the pocket of space around the quarterback.
The trio – who are all on the leadership team for University of Toronto Sports Analytics Student Group (UTSPAN) – were among eight finalists who presented their projects to football professionals at the 2023 NFL Combine in Indianapolis.
Inayatali, a third-year engineering science student in the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, told the Toronto Sun that the US$30,000 cash prize from the competition will be split among himself, White, a second-year statistical sciences student, and Hocevar, a third-year computer science student – both in the Faculty of Arts & Science.
“For all of us, while we were really happy to have won, it was more a validation – just because the way we were proceeding was correct,” Inayatali told the newspaper. “All of the work we put into it, down to the nitty-gritty detail, it all paid off.”