Many are surprised to learn that a mathematician like me could be working for the organisation behind one of the world’s biggest sporting events – The Australian Open. But in fact, maths and data has a role in many areas of tennis – from player development, to sport policy.
In my role as a Data Scientist at Tennis Australia, I aim to increase performance at elite levels through data science. I use statistical models and machine learning with modern tracking data, to learn about the position of the tennis ball and competitors during points in matches. This kind of information can give players an edge over their opponents and make game play smarter than it’s ever been.
One of the things I love about statistics and data science is that there are so many cool applications – like in sport, but you can see statistics just about everywhere when you start looking. There are also many problems in the world at the moment that can benefit from data analysis and statistical tools. Because I have always loved sport as much as numbers, doing data science in sport is a perfect fit for me, but you could apply statistics to any passion you have.
When it comes to your career, my advice is rather than thinking about what job you want, think about what problem in the world do you want to solve? If you can answer that and find a career in that space, it will be very rewarding.