- University of Kansas Educational Psychology Professor Jonathan Templin has built a unique brand around his statistical modeling research, an online model that predicts the winners of the annual NCAA men's national basketball tournament.
- Analyzing each of the Division I men's teams' performance based upon points scored, defensive proficiency and location of the game, Templin's model predicts that the University of Virginia will win this year's tournament. But he cautions that it should not be used as a resource for bet making or winning office pools. “I think the model is helpful at picking who may be the stronger team when looking at a pair of teams that you may not have followed closely,” Templin said.
- This is the third year that Templin's version of 'bracketology' has been released to the public. It has yet to successfully predict a national champion.
KU's promotion of Templin's stat model is an ideal way to integrate the academic work of a professor into an otherwise dissociated culture of sports. And because Kansas is a basketball-addled school with fans and media who will help to spread this story, Kansas has a chance to capitalize on the success of its team and a faculty member all in the days leading up to the tournament's opening game.
Aligning academic output with popular storylines in local and national media is a great way for communications departments to earn free media in a relatively easy way. But the trick is for faculty to be open to having their research and their expertise accessible to campus media relations departments — and for external relations offices and academic departments to be in communication about the work being done in departments so that it can be communicated out.
Deans and provosts can engage faculty by frequently surveying schools and colleges to determine how closely research interests align with major news headlines. Politics, sports, finance and pop culture are news sections that will always attract neighbors within a campus community, and will always have room for faculty and students to lend a voice of expertise or innovation.