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College of Science & Mathematics

GOOOAAL! Rowan students scoring with computer science

Date: October 12, 2010

Description:

Students at Rowan University are using their computer skills to help score goals on the soccer field. Computer science master's degree students developed Soccer Scoop, a computer application that allows soccer coaches to take player evaluation into the Information Age.

Instead of just looking at statistics on paper, Soccer Scoop turns those statistics into visual representations that reflect players' skill levels. Coaches won't be looking at pie charts or bar graphs but rather images of soccer players and soccer fields. By using images familiar to the user, Soccer Scoop reduces confusion and brings out hidden information that might be missed in raw data.

This application was developed as part of a graduate computer science class assignment. Students had to develop an application that would take raw data and turn it into a visual representation familiar to a user.

The students' professor, Dr. Adrian Rusu, said, "In my courses, I am always looking for real-world applications for students to apply what they learn in the classroom. The students realize their work matters well beyond their grades and become more motivated and creative, which results in improved grasp of course content."

Graduate students Edward Burns, 29, of Estell Manor; Benjamin Hample, 25, of Audubon; Kevin McGarry, 27, of Pennsauken; and Robert Russell, 22 of Mount Laurel, along with Rusu, decided that it would be helpful to have a program that would turn sports statistics into more than just numbers. The team picked soccer because while it is the most popular sport worldwide, there are not a lot of computer applications designed for it.  

The project has been featured in ACM TechNews and the Press of Atlantic City.  Additionally, Channel 6 ABC will visit campus on 10/14/10 to interview the project team.