Chance, Virtual Athletes & An Equation For Spelling Hannukah

Dec 4, 2012

Applied mathematician, network scientist, and Kauffman Foundation senior fellow Sam Arbesman
Credit Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

What are the chances of your favorite athletes being replaced by pixels? Let’s just say you might not have to worry about the next hockey lockout. 

Digital sports have moved far beyond Nintendo’s original John Madden Football game, and virtual reality is closer than you might think.

Wednesday on Up to Date, guest host Brian Ellison welcomes Samuel Arbesman, an applied mathematician, network scientist and senior fellow at the Kauffman Foundation to discuss how electronic athletics may be the next step forward.

We'll also take a look at the mathematics of chance and just how arithmetic figures into your holiday celebrations.


Samuel Arbesman is an applied mathematician and network scientist. He is a Senior Scholar at theEwing Marion Kauffman Foundation and a fellow at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University. In addition, he writes for popular audiences as a contributor to, and his essays about math and science have appeared in such places as the New York TimesThe Atlantic, and theIdeas section of the Boston Globe. Arbesman’s first book, The Half-Life of Facts (Current/Penguin), is about how knowledge changes over time. Prior to joining the Kauffman Foundation, Arbesman was a research fellow in the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School, where he used network science and applied mathematics to study innovation, scientific discovery, and prosocial behavior. He completed a PhD incomputational biology at Cornell University in 2008, and earned a BA in computer science and biology at Brandeis University in 2004.