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The Method of Least Squares Predicting the Batting Average of a Baseball Player (Hamilton in 2013)

Summary
A graphical representation of the batting stats, for a baseball player, using the At Bats-Hits diagram is shown to reveal a simple linear relation y = hx + c relating the number of AB (x) to the Hits (y) where the constant c is related to the number of missing hits and the constant h is the rate of increase of hits as the AB increases (comparable to the marginal tax rate in the tax problem). For Josh Hamilton, who is now believed to be in a slump, the analysis of the game-by-game 2013 stats to date indicates that his BA can be improved to a value between 0.256 t0 0.263. His best performance in 2013 is a hitting rate h = y/x = 4/12 = 0.333 between game 25 (April 29, 2013 with stat 104, 21) and game 28 (May 2, 2013 with stat 116, 25). Much higher BA can only be achieved if either the slope h (the marginal hitting rate) and/or the intercept c (the baseball work function) can be further improved.

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In this article we will discuss the application of the Method of Least Squares to analyze the batting average (BA) of a baseball player. We will also see how it can be used to predict the end of the season performance for a baseball player based on the first month stats. We will use the example of the Angels player Josh Hamilton for no reason other than the fact that he is now in going through a slump and is in the news and at the center of the first month woes of the Angels, see Refs. [1,2]. The methodology used here is similar to that described in detail in my earlier analysis of the career batting stats of baseball legend Babe Ruth, published recently, see Refs. [3, 4].
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The batting stats being analyzed here can be obtained from Yahoo Sports (or some other website of choice), see Ref. [5]. The game-by-game, seasonal, and split-season (i.e., month-by-month) stats are all available. If we analyze the game-by-game for Josh Hamilton, or any other baseball player (like the legendary Babe Ruth), we will find (x, y) scores such as (0, 0), (1,1), (2, 2), (3,3), (4,4) where the first number x is the number of At Bats (AB) and the second number is the number of Hits (H) in the game.
8

Number of Hits (H), y

Josh Hamilton (2010) Game-by-game log


6

0 0 2 4 6 8

Number of At Bats (AB), x


Figure 1: Josh Hamiltons game-by-game batting performance in his best season to date (2010). The (x, y) pairs illustrate (AB, Hits) scores for each game. The same scores were achieved in more than one game. At the end of the season AB = x = 518 and H = y = 186 and the batting average BA = y/x = 186/518 = 0.359, Hamiltons best BA to date. However, the game-by-game performance can be described by the mathematical law y = hx + c where the slope h = 1 and c = 0, -1, -2 etc. is related to the number of missing hits. The BA y/x = h + (c/x) deviates from the ideal value of y/x = 1 + (c/x) as the AB increases and the missed hits increase correspondingly.
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Table 1: Josh Hamiltons 2010 Batting Stats


Month or Other At Bats Hits description AB = x H=y April 83 22 May 109 32 June 108 49 July 98 41 August 104 37 September 5 2 October 11 3 Home 264 103 Away 254 83 Day 133 38 Night 385 148 Indoors 34 11 Outdoors 484 175 Data Source for the 2010 season (click here) Batting Average BA = y/x 0.265 0.294 0.454 0.418 0.356 0.400 1.000 0.390 0.327 0.286 0.384 0.324 0.362

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/6679/splits;_ylt=AnBC4BTb9Y_nwJSf_wgJCnKFCLcF?year=2010&type =Batting

For Babe Ruth, we find all these scores. For Hamilton, I analyzed his best season to date (2010) and only found the scores of (0, 0) and (3, 3) in that season. Missing were the scores like (1, 1), (2, 2) etc. which we find for Babe Ruth. Regardless, in these games, the baseball player has the theoretically PERFECT batting average BA = H/AB = 1/1 = 1.000 = 2/2 = 3/3, etc. In other words, y = x + c where the ratio y/x = BA = 1 and the constant c = 0. We will also find scores such as (1,0), (2,1), (3,2), (4, 3), (5,4) and (6,5). For these games, the law is y = x + c = x 1 where the constant c = -1 is related to the number of missing hits. The batting average BA = y/x = 1 (1/x) is less than the perfect value and decreases as the number of AB = x increases. If we continue the analysis, we also find scores like (2,0), (3,1), (4, 2), (5,3) which means y = x + c = x 2 and again the constant c = -2 the number of missing hits and the batting average y/x = 1 (2/x) deviates from the perfect value of 1 and decreases with increasing AB. Josh Hamiltons 2010 season game-bygame performance is illustrated in Figure 1. The batting stats can be described
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by a series of parallels with the general equation y = hx + c where the slope h = 1 and the nonzero intercept c = 0, -1, -2, etc., the number of missing hits. The constant c can be thought of as the baseball work function and is analogous to the idea of a work function used in physics to describe photoelectricity (the production of free electrons from within a metal, using energy in the form of a light source, see Refs. [3,4]). Now, if we start aggregating the batting stats on a monthly basis, and by season, and look at the performance of the same player, we find the more general law y = hx + c where the slope h < 1 and the constant c is related to the skill of the baseball player (how many missing hits on average). This is illustrated in Figures 2 and 3 for Hamilton. In Figure 2 we consider the 2010 season. The batting stats for the season are summarized in Table 1 for convenience. In Figure 3 we consider the career stats to date (2007-2013 through May 5, 2013 (AB = 125 and H = 26); see Table 2 for the data.
60 50 40 30 20 10 0 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160

Number of Hits (H), y

Josh Hamilton (2010) Monthly stats

Number of At Bats (AB), x


Figure 2: Josh Hamiltons aggregated monthly batting stats for his best season to date (2010).
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The individual (x, y) pairs in Figure 2 are the (AB, Hits) scores for each month. The data shows an upward trend and a best-fit line can be determined using the method of least squares; see Refs. [6, 7] for more details and a worked example. The equation of the best-fit line y = 0.375x 1.181, with the linear regression coefficient r2 = 0.8779. The BA y/x = 0.375 (1.181/x) is less than the slope h of the line and increases with increasing AB. The slope h of the best-fit line is the maximum BA that can be achieved by a player. At the end of the season AB = x = 518 and H = y = 186 and the batting average BA = y/x = 186/518 = 0.359, Hamiltons best BA to date. The slope h and the intercept c are related to the skill of the baseball player and the scatter is related to the consistency achieved by the player on a month-to-month basis; see also the discussion of Babe Ruths batting stats in Refs. [3,4]. The same trends are also observed when we aggregate the data on a seasonal basis. Each (x, y) pair in Figure 3 represents the data for a single season (with partial season for 2013). The same upward trend is again observed and the best-fit line through the data has the equation y = hx + c = 0.337x 15.805. The BA y/x = 0.337 15.805/x increasing with increasing At bats x and will approach the limiting value of h = 0.337, the slope of the line is the current performance continues. The (x, y) pair for the 2010 season falls above the best-fit line and thus gives the highest, to date, career BA = 0.359 for a season.

Table 2: Hamiltons Career Batting Stats (thru 5/5/13)


Season (year) 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 At Bats AB = x 298 624 336 518 487 562 125 Hits H=y 87 190 90 186 145 160 26 Batting Average BA = y/x 0.292 0.304 0.268 0.359 0.298 0.285 0.208

Data source: http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/6679/career;_ylt=AonDH5cy3IrM_WMi_1w0IwKFCLcF

However, statistically speaking, the BA that Hamilton can achieve is the limiting value of h = 0.337. The BA for the 2013 season is only 0.208 to date.
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This also means that Hamilton is capable of improving of his batting performance during the remaining months of the 2013 season.

250

Number of Hits (H), y

200

Josh Hamilton (2007-2013) Career stats

150

100

50

0 0 200 400 600 800

Number of At Bats (AB), x


Figure 3: Josh Hamiltons aggregated career batting stats to date (through game on May 5, 2013). With this background, let us now consider the batting stats for the 2013 season in a bit more detail to see the batting average that could potentially be achieved, based on the performance to date. This is illustrated by the game by game stats analysis in Figures 4 and 5. Considering Figure 4, the (AB, Hits) through game 1 and game of 12 of the season have the values (4, 0) and (47, 11). The straight line joining these two (x, y) pairs has the highest slope as seen here with all the other (x, y) pairs falling below this line. These (x, y) pairs represent the cumulative AB and Hits as the season has progressed through the game on May 5, 2013.
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35 30

Number of Hits (H), y

Josh Hamilton (2013) y = 0.256x 1.023

25 20 15 10 5 0 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140

Number of At Bats (AB), x


Figure 4: Josh Hamiltons game-by-game batting stats to date for the 2013 season (through the game on May 5, 2013). The limiting performance is described by the equation is y = 0.256x 1.023 where the slope h = y/x = (11 0)/(47- 4) = 11/37 with y being the change in the number of hits (11 0) between game 1 and game 12 and x being the change in the number of AB = (47 4). The slope h is the rate of increase of Hits as the At Bats increase. As discussed already, this slope h is higher than the batting average BA = y/x since y/x = h + (c/x) is less than h when c < 0. For Hamilton, the constant c = - 1.023. We also know that c is related to the number of missing hits. If we examine the data as the season progressed we find another line joining the (x, y) pairs for game 5 and game 24, with very nearly the same slope as the solid line but with an intercept c which has become more negative (missing hits has increased, statistically speaking), see Figure 5. This means that Hamilton is capable of improving his performance and achieving a batting average (BA) as high as 0.256 to 0.263, based on his performance to date.
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35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140

Number of Hits (H), y

Josh Hamilton (2013) y = 0.263x 4.26

Number of At Bats (AB), x


Figure 5: Josh Hamiltons game-by-game batting stats to date for the 2013 season (through the game on May 5, 2013).The dashed line joins the (x, y) pairs at the end of game 5 (20, 1) and game 24 (96, 21). Examination of Figure 5 shows that Hamiltons best performance in 2013 season (highest slope of the x-y graph) is a hitting rate h = y/x = 4/12 = 0.333 between game 25 (April 29, 2013 with stat 104, 21) and game 28 (May 2, 2013 with stat 116, 25). An even higher BA requires a very significant change in the slope h. This will also change the constant c which has been called the work function for a baseball player, see discussion of Babe Ruths stats. The baseball work function tells us something about the difficulty of producing Hits (or Home Runs if HR stats are being analyzed) in baseball. This is similar to the work function conceived by Einstein to explain the photoelectric effect, which tells us something about the difficulty of producing electrons from a metal when light (a stream of photons, each
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having the energy ) shines on its surface. The maximum energy of the electron K = W where W is the energy that must be given up to do work necessary to overcome the forces binding the electron to the metal. The English translations of Einsteins original 1905 paper (written in German) refer to W as the work function. This is exactly like the missing hits in baseball. If every AB produces a Hit, the player will have the PERFECT Batting Average BA = 1.000. However, because of various factors (associated with the pitcher, pitching speed, even wind speed, difference in the stadium, night versus day, indoor versus outdoors, etc.) some of the AB do not produce Hits. Hence, the BA is less than the perfect values and the slope h < 1. However, the BA is always less than the slop h, if c < 0. This depends on the skill of the baseball player. As an example, for Lou Gehrig, in the 1927 season (when Ruth won the home run race and set the single season record of 60 home runs), the nonzero intercept c > 0 whereas for Babe Ruth c < 0; see Ref. [4]. This difference means that for Ruth, the BA increased with increasing AB whereas for Gehrig, the BA was decreasing with increasing AB.

Table 3: Hamiltons 2013 Season Stats (thru 5/5/13)


Date Games (2013 season) (2013 season)
April 1 April 7 April 10 April 11 April 14 April 22 April 24 April 27 April 30 May 5 1 6 8 9 12 18 20 23 26 31

At Bats AB = x
4 25 32 35 47 72 80 92 108 125

Hits H=y
0 4 5 7 11 16 18 21 22 26

Batting Average BA = y/x


0.000 0.160 0.156 0.200 0.234 0.222 0.225 0.228 0.204 0.208

Data source: http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/6679/career;_ylt=AonDH5cy3IrM_WMi_1w0IwKFCLcF

For the month of May, through 5/5/13, Hamiltons rate h = 4/17 = 0.235

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35 30

Number of Hits (H), y

25 20 15 10

5
0 0 20 40 60

Josh Hamilton (2013) y = 0.222x 0.786 r2 = 0.986


80 100 120 140 160

Number of At Bats (AB), x


Figure 6: Josh Hamiltons game-by-game batting stats through May 5, 2013, are aggregated to yield the ten (At Bats, Hits), (x, y) pairs plotted here; see Table 3. Again we see a nice linear relation. The best-fit equation y = 0.222x 0.786, with r2 = 0.986. The BA = y/x = 0.222 (0.786/x) increasing as the AB increases. If there is no significant improvement in performance, the highest BA that can be attained equals the slope h = y/x = 0.222, the currently observed hitting rate. This is lower than the limiting value suggested by the cumulative game-by-game stats considered in Figures 4 and 5. The fluctuations in the data observed here, above and below the best-fit line, also explains the fluctuations in the BA values which are also seen to decrease and then increase again, while showing a generally upward trend.

A more detailed discussion of the work function may also be found within the context of other problems such as the airline On-Time arrivals problem, Refs. [8-10] and the Debt-GDP problem, see Refs. [11-14], both of which are described by the same mathematical law y = hx + c. In the Airline Quality
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Rating (AQR) problem, an On-Time arrival is like a hit in baseball and the number of flights operated by the airline is like the number of At Bats. The Debt/GDP ratio, a matter of great concern now, and the subject of one of the great economic debates of our times (following the discovery of coding errors in a paper written two Harvard economists) can be also be understood in terms of the idea of a work function, or the nonzero intercept c.

Appendix 1: Hamiltons Batting Update on June 19, 2013


This is being prompted mainly by recent piece by Yahoo Sportswriter Tim Brown entitled, Hamilton isnt hitting and he cant quite figure out why: weird man, see link given below. Then, I sent Brown the following email. http://sports.yahoo.com/news/hamilton-still-isn%E2%80%99t-hitting--andhe-can%E2%80%99t-quite-figure-out-why044424016.html;_ylt=A2KJ2UhiCsJRwGsAoWrQtDMD Dear Mr. Brown: I read your recent piece on Josh Hamilton's struggles with great interest. I like to analyze baseball stats and have shown that there is a simple relation between At Bats (x) and Hits (y). It is almost like a universal law, which can be deduced by considering the game-by-game batting stats of a baseball player. Of course, we want to consider the best if we want to find "universal" laws. And so, I considered Babe Ruth's best seasons (1923 and 1927) of his career. The law can be written mathematically as y = hx + c where h is the slope of the AB-Hits graph and c is the nonzero intercept. The Batting Average BA = y/x = h + (c/x). The nonzero intercept c is very important and I call it the "baseball work function" and it can be related to the "missing hits". I have shown this rigorously using Babe Ruths game logs. The number of missing hits, of course, depends on a number of complex factors, including the skill of the baseball player. The "work function" lumps together all of this complexity in a simple number, the nonzero intercept c.
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This is described in several articles (I have provided some links below). Notice that Babe Ruth had a negative c, which means that the more the AB the more the hits and Ruth's BA just keeps increasing the more he plays. For his Yankee teammate, Lou Gehrig, in the same season, the nonzero intercept c was positive, which means the more the AB the lower the BA. No wonder, Gehrig lost the home run race in the 1927 season. With this background, do take a look at my analysis of Josh Hamilton as well. Before sending this email, I checked Hamiltons April, May and June stats. 2013 April May June BA 0.204 0.237 0.190
80

AB 108 97 63

Hits (H) 22 23 12

Cum AB 108 205 268

Cum H 22 45 57

Cum BA 0.204 0.220 0.213

Number of Hits (H), y

70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350

Number of At Bats (AB), x


Figure A1: Josh Hamiltons cumulative AB and Hits through June 19, 2013. If we consider the end of April (AB, H) and the to-date stats in June 2013, the equation y = 0.219x - 1.625 describes this season so far. The nonzero intercept
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c is negative (c = -1.625). It also appears that he has improved his BA in May and June compared to April. But Hamiltons problem is the slope h = 0.219, which is equal to the rate of increase of Hits as AB increases. The slope of the AB-Hits graph is the theoretical maximum BA, since BA = y/x = 0.219 - (1.625/x) will increase as At Bats x increase (because of negative c) but can never exceed h = 0.219. Hamilton already had a BA of 0.220 at the end of May. (This is a minor statistical fluctuation.) In other words, the batting data reveals that Hamilton is all MAXED OUT. There is no way his BA will improve this season unless there is a fundamental change in what he is doing with the bat. Any improvement will require a major change in the nonzero intercept c (work function has to improve) or the slope h (hitting rate has to improve, more hits for same AB). I see other commentators mention alcoholism and even drugs. When I hear someone say "Weird man", that seems to be a problem too. Hamilton needs some help, some real professional help and must get off that booze, if it is true. This is coming from a baseball fan who is also a geek as far as baseball stats. If possible, please pass this message on to Hamilton and urge him to take a hard look in the mirror and think about what he is doing with his personal life off the field. Thanks and regards. Very sincerely V. Laxmanan Some articles that you might find of interest (I hope). There are lots of graphs. If you do read the Babe Ruth articles, you will get the hang of it. It is quite simple, really. And a lot better than WAR, WPA etc. Sabermetrics stuff.

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1. Babe Ruths 1923 Batting Statistics and Einsteins Work Function, Published April 17, 2013, http://www.scribd.com/doc/136489156/BabeRuth-s-1923-Batting-Statistics-and-Einstein-s-Work-Function 2. Babe Ruth Batting Statistics and Einsteins Work Function, To be Published April 17, 2013, http://www.scribd.com/doc/136556738/BabeRuth-Batting-Statistics-and-Einstein-s-Work-Function 3. The Method of Least Squares: Predicting the Batting Average of a Baseball Player (Hamilton in 2013), Published May 7, 2013, http://www.scribd.com/doc/139924317/The-Method-of-Least-SquaresPredicting-the-Batting-Average-of-a-Baseball-Player-Hamilton-in-2013 4. Miguel Cabreras Career WAR and Batting Average: An Amazing Correlation http://www.scribd.com/doc/145839586/Miguel-Cabrera-sCareer-Wins-Above-Replacement-WAR-and-Batting-Average-BA-AnAmazing-Correlation 5. Miguel Cabreras Wins Above Replacement (WAR) and Batting Average: An Amazing Correlation, Published June 5, 2013. http://www.scribd.com/doc/145839586/Miguel-Cabrera-s-Career-Wins6. What is the Big Difference Between the Wilson and Cabrera Eras? Published June 3, 2013, http://www.scribd.com/doc/145626322/What-is-the-BigDifference-Between-the-Wilson-and-the-Cabrera-Eras-in-Baseball

Above-Replacement-WAR-and-Batting-Average-BA-An-Amazing-Correlation

7.

The Batting Average and Wins Above Replacement (WAR) for all the batting Leaders in 2013 Season (to date), Published June 6, 2013.
http://www.scribd.com/doc/146052658/The-Batting-Average-BA-and-Wins-AboveReplacement-WAR-Relation-for-the-Batting-Leaders-in-the-2013-Season

8.

What is Wrong with Ratio Analysis? Baseball Offers an Interesting Example with Wide Applications, Published May 31, 2013. http://www.scribd.com/doc/144798463/What-is-Wrong-With-Ratio-AnalysisBaseball-Offers-an-Interesting-Example-with-Wider-Applications

9.

Is Miguel Cabrera on Pace to Break Hack Wilsons Single-Season RBI Record?, Published May 28, 2013, http://www.scribd.com/doc/144083838/Is-Miguel-Cabrera-on-Pace-toBreak-Hack-Wilson-s-Single-Season-RBI-Record-YES-Can-I-Changed-MyMind-on-This-Read-On-Now 10. Trust Me, the Financial World will Change Forever if Wall Street Starts Analyzing Financial Data like we do Baseball Stats, Published May 26, 2013, http://www.scribd.com/doc/143781795/Trust-Me-the-Financial-World-will-changeforever-if-Wall-Street-starts-analyzing-financial-data-like-we-do-baseball-stats-Miguel-Cabrera

End of email to Tim Brown


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Reference List
1. Hamilton at the center of Angels first month woes, by Alden Gonzalez, http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130506&content_id=46768 790&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb May 6, 2013. 2. Struggling Hamilton is held out of Angels starting lineup, by Kevin Baxter, May 5, 2013, http://articles.latimes.com/2013/may/05/sports/lasp-0505-angels-notes-20130505 3. Babe Ruths 1923 Batting Statistics and Einsteins Work Function, Published April 17, 2013, http://www.scribd.com/doc/136489156/BabeRuth-s-1923-Batting-Statistics-and-Einstein-s-Work-Function 4. Babe Ruth Batting Statistics and Einsteins Work Function, To be Published April 17, 2013, http://www.scribd.com/doc/136556738/BabeRuth-Batting-Statistics-and-Einstein-s-Work-Function 5. Josh Hamilton, Yahoo! Sports http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/6679/career;_ylt=AonDH5cy3IrM_ WMi_1w0IwKFCLcF 6. Legendre, On Least Squares, English Translation of the original paper http://www.york.ac.uk/depts/maths/histstat/legendre.pdf 7. Line of Best-Fit, Least Squares Method, see worked example given http://hotmath.com/hotmath_help/topics/line-of-best-fit.html The formula for h used in this example is an actually approximate one and was used, before the advent of modern computers, since it only involves the determination of x2 and xy and the sum of all the values of x, y, x2 and xy. The exact formula, is given below, with xm and ym denoting the mean or average values of x and y in the data set, and ym = hxm + c since the bestfit line always passes through the point (xm , ym). h = (x xm)(y ym)/ (x xm)2 Determine the deviations of the individual x and y values from the mean, or average, (x xm) and (y ym). Determine the product (x xm)(y ym) and their sum. This gives the numerator in the expression for h. Determine the square (x xm)2 and the sum. This gives the denominator in the expression for h. This also fixes the intercept c
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via ym = hxm = c . Then, using the regression equation, determine the predicted value yb on the best-fit line and the vertical deviation (y yb) and the squares (y- yb)2. The sum of these squares is a minimum. This can be checked by assigning other values for h (using any two points) and allowing the graph to pivot around (xm, ym). The regression coefficient r2 = 1 - { (y- yb)2 / (y- ym)2 } is a measure of the strength of the correlation between x and y (or y/x versus x). For a perfect correlation, when all points lie exactly on the graph, r2 = +1.000. 8. Airline Quality Report: An Analysis of On-Time Percentages, Published April 18, 2013, http://www.scribd.com/doc/136760664/Airline-QualityReport-2013-Analysis-of-the-On-Time-Percentages 9. Airline Quality Rating 2013, Purdue University, e-Pubs, April 8, 2013, by Dr. Brent D. Bowen (Purdue University, College of Technology) and Dr. Dean E. Headley (Wichita State University, W. Frank Barton School of Business) http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/aqrr/23/ 10. Airline Quality Report 2013: An Analysis of On-Time Percentages, Published April 18, 2013, http://www.scribd.com/doc/136760664/Airline-Quality-Report-2013Analysis-of-the-On-Time-Percentages 11. The Method of Least Squares: The Debt-GDP Relation for the Trillionaire Club of Nations, Published May 4, 2013, http://www.scribd.com/doc/139348541/The-Method-of-Least-SquaresThe-GDP-Debt-Relation-for-the-Trillionaires-Club-of-Nations 12. An MIT Non-Economists View of the Harvard-UMass Debt/GDP Ratio and Economic Growth Debate, Published April 26, 2013, http://www.scribd.com/doc/138076426/An-MIT-Non-Economist-s-Viewof-the-Harvard-UMass-Debt-GDP-Ratio-and-the-Economic-Growth-Debate 13. Iceland Votes Against Austerity: Analysis of Icelands Debt-GDP, Published April 28, 2013, http://www.scribd.com/doc/138345921/IcelandVotes-Against-Austerity-Analysis-of-Iceland-s-Debt-GDP-Data-2002-2012

14. A Brief Survey of the Debt-GDP Relations for Some Modern 21st Century Economies, Published May 1, 2013,

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http://www.scribd.com/doc/138912093/A-Brief-Survey-of-the-DebtGDP-Relationship-for-Some-Modern-21st-Century-Economies

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About the author V. Laxmanan, Sc. D.


The author obtained his Bachelors degree (B. E.) in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Poona and his Masters degree (M. E.), also in Mechanical Engineering, from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, followed by a Masters (S. M.) and Doctoral (Sc. D.) degrees in Materials Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA. He then spent his entire professional career at leading US research institutions (MIT, Allied Chemical Corporate R & D, now part of Honeywell, NASA, Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), and General Motors Research and Development Center in Warren, MI). He holds four patents in materials processing, has co-authored two books and published several scientific papers in leading peer-reviewed international journals. His expertise includes developing simple mathematical models to explain the behavior of complex systems. While at NASA and CWRU, he was responsible for developing material processing experiments to be performed aboard the space shuttle and developed a simple mathematical model to explain the growth Christmas-tree, or snowflake, like structures (called dendrites) widely observed in many types of liquid-to-solid phase transformations (e.g., freezing of all commercial metals and alloys, freezing of water, and, yes, production of snowflakes!). This led to a simple model to explain the growth of dendritic structures in both the groundbased experiments and in the space shuttle experiments. More recently, he has been interested in the analysis of the large volumes of data from financial and economic systems and has developed what may be called the Quantum Business Model (QBM). This extends (to financial and economic systems) the mathematical arguments used by Max Planck to develop quantum physics using the analogy Energy = Money, i.e., energy in physics is like money in economics. Einstein applied Plancks ideas to describe the photoelectric effect (by treating light as being composed of particles called photons, each with the fixed quantum of energy conceived by Planck). The mathematical law deduced by Planck, referred to here as the generalized power-exponential law, might
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actually have many applications far beyond blackbody radiation studies where it was first conceived. Einsteins photoelectric law is a simple linear law and was deduced from Plancks non-linear law for describing blackbody radiation. It appears that financial and economic systems can be modeled using a similar approach. Finance, business, economics and management sciences now essentially seem to operate like astronomy and physics before the advent of Kepler and Newton. Finally, during my professional career, I also twice had the opportunity and great honor to make presentations to two Nobel laureates: first at NASA to Prof. Robert Schrieffer (1972 Physics Nobel Prize), who was the Chairman of the Schrieffer Committee appointed to review NASAs space flight experiments (following the loss of the space shuttle Challenger on January 28, 1986) and second at GM Research Labs to Prof. Robert Solow (1987 Nobel Prize in economics), who was Chairman of Corporate Research Review Committee, appointed by GM corporate management.

Cover page of AirTran 2000 Annual Report


Can you see that plane flying above the tall tree tops that make a nearly perfect circle? It requires a great deal of imagination to see and to photograph it.

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