Journeys to Data Mining

pp 13-25


Data Mining: A Lifetime Passion

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I loved watching and playing sports as a boy, and I began playing Farm League at age 8 and then Little League from age 10 to 12. I loved pitching because of the cognitive battle: nothing was more fun than figuring out a way to make the hitter look foolish by throwing a pitch that was unexpected. Over time, I began to notice patterns in individual hitters’ approaches that could be exploited. My father and I would spend hours discussing hitters and how to get them out, including which pitch sequences would work best for each hitter. I did not think about it at that time, but in retrospect, this was data collection and predictive modeling in a rudimentary (but exciting!) form. The only thing I was missing was storing the transactional data in an Oracle database.