Who is the best passer of the ball in the Premier League? When it comes to midfielders there is (according to the numbers) probably only one correct answer: Kevin De Bruyne.

Last season (and the season before) De Bruyne passing and dribbling topped all expected threat — which measures how…

One of the key questions for everyone interested in football — from coaches, through scouts to the fans — is how do we assess the quality of a player using data. If they score a lot of goals they must be good and, more recently, we have understood that finding…

It is difficult not to love Chelsea and France player N’golo Kante. He is unassuming, hard working and modest: always looking to help the team rather than for himself. But because he works so hard, continually putting pressure on the opposition, it is also difficult to quantify his contribution using…

The key problem when scouting football players is knowing how they contribute to their team’s performance. A powerful answer to this question comes from looking at how much a player’s actions increases or decreases the chance of his or her team scoring. This approach works very well for on-the-ball actions…

The Twelve football app evaluates players live during the game. Unlike almost all other ranking that claim to evaluate players, ours is based on a rigorous statistical model of how players increase (and decrease) thier team’s chance of scoring. …

My 18-year-old daughter, Elise, has never been that interested in football. I sent her off to summer camps as a kid to try to get her interested. She played for a half season with a local team. And I took her to a few matches (most notably when she was…

What does Timnit Gebru’s firing and the recent papers coming out of Google tell us about the state of research at the world’s biggest AI research department.

The high point for Google’s research in to Artifical Intelligence may well turn out to be the 19th of October 2017. This was…

Anyone working in tech will know the type: the mini-Elon Musk. The young man who thinks that his brilliant idea is going to be the next Uber, Spotify or Tesla. …

hen Boris Johnson addressed the nation to announce new coronavirus restrictions last month, he talked about how the virus would “spread again in an exponential way” and warned us that the “iron laws of geometric progression [shout] at us from the graphs”.

My first reaction, as an applied mathematician, was…

It is very likely that at least some of the people who suggested using an algorithm to predict A-level results thought that they were being scientific and rational. …

David Sumpter

Professor of Applied Mathematics. Books: The Ten Equations (2020); Outnumbered (2018); Soccermatics (2016) and Collective Animal Behavior (2010).

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