Valerdi Quoted in LA Times on Baseball and Teaching Math

June 6, 2019
Ricardo Valerdi

Ricardo Valerdi, director of the sports management program, is quoted in a June 1 article in the Los Angeles Times regarding baseball being used to teach students about concepts in mathematics. 

On Friday, May 31, 500 elementary school students met at Darby Park in Inglewood, California to learn about mathwith the LA Dodgers, who led students through activities that illustrate concepts in both math and baseball. For example, rolling a die to count how often a number appeared was used to explain division and batting average, and students could measure the perimeter and area of their strike zones by using standard width and their individual heights. 

Later, the Dodgers players took turns throwing tennis balls at different angles. “Did you see the ball went very high, but not very far?” Valerdi asked of the students, explaining the concept of launch angle. 

Valerdi created the “Science of Sport” curriculum, a program used by 10 major league teams to help teach students about math in a fun, relatable and engaging environment. He also designed a two-week “Science of Baseball” course, used to teach 60 third- and fourth- graders each summer at the MLB Youth Academy in Compton. 

Valerdi’s areas of expertise are sports analytics, concussion education and product development. He earned his MS and PhD from the University of Southern California.