Webinar: A Statistical Ranking of the Top Ten Professional Sports Teams of All Time

Ever wonder who would win a fantasy game between your two favorite teams from the same professional league? How about any two teams from different professional leagues? In different years? The simplest and most common way to decide is to crown the winner as the team with the highest winning percentage. However, this approach doesn’t address differences such as the number of teams, number of games played, and the way points are scored. In this presentation, we propose a methodology that enables comparison of any two teams from any two professional leagues in any two years while accounting for variation in the competitive landscape. And we answer the age-old question, “Who are the top ten sports teams of all time?”

This material is based on research by David Burn, Ph.D. and Stanley Rothman, Ph.D, both Professors of Mathematics and Statistics at Quinnipiac University.

David A. Burn, Ph.D.
David A. Burn, Ph.D.Visiting Assistant Teaching Professor of Mathematics, in the College of Arts & Sciences at Quinnipiac University.

About David A. Burn

I am an Assistant Professor of Statistics in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT. In addition to teaching courses on statistics to students across multiple disciplines, I also conduct research on quantitative methods in health science, sports, and cybersecurity. I am co-director of the new Center for Statistical Consulting that will soon provide statistical support to Quinnipiac faculty and their students for research and service.

Prior to joining the Quinnipiac community, I enjoyed a successful career in business as a champion of Applied Statistics, Data Science, and Operational Excellence. My accomplishments include developing state-of-the-art dashboards for the world’s number one hedge fund, transforming the culture of a global medical device manufacturer, managing information for a celebrated consumer testing organization, and creating a leading statistical software application.

Since I believe that my experience outside of the classroom adds substantial value to my students’ learning, I maintain an active consulting practice through my company called ImproveIt! Business Excellence Consulting, LLC. Each engagement enables me to connect the dots between the theory and practice of statistics, and provide a window for my students into their future as critical thinkers and problem solvers in their chosen professions.

My vision and passion are one and the same – to enable individuals and organizations to discover the truth in their data in order to make better decisions in the presence of uncertainty. Some call me a "numbers guy", while others call me a "people person". In reality, I often mix both colors on my palette as I teach, coach, and mentor practitioners regardless of their experience to effectively "paint by number" and tell a story worth "a thousand words."

Above all, I am committed to helping people celebrate their diversity and ensure their full inclusion as members of society. To those with abilities such as sight, speech, and mobility it may seem that those who cannot see, talk, or walk are “dis”-abled. I disagree. Our differences do not separate us. Rather, they unite us through our shared desire to learn and do something new, fulfilling, and fun.

We each carry with us unique gifts, recognized and unrecognized.

We long to harness those gifts in a way that gives life significance

and helps us to matter more in the lives of others.

― Tom Hayes

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