Ryan Eberle’s interest in the intersection of mathematics and sports goes back to his time as an undergraduate student at Carson-Newman University.
“I was a math major and played on the baseball team,” he says. During a summer internship at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, he met a few coworkers who were enrolled in the MSBA program at the Haslam College of Business.
“At the time, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my math degree, but I had a passion for sports analytics and was interested in business analytics as well.”
Eberle was accepted into the MSBA program in fall 2017 and hopes to graduate in December 2018.
“I really enjoy the program so far,” he says. “It’s challenged me mathematically as well as on the business side. That’s something I wasn’t expecting, but I’m very glad the program is pursuing a strong foundation in math.”
As vice president of Haslam’s Sports Analytics Club, Eberle works to provide members with opportunities to practice their skills.
“Because so many people want to work in sports analytics, internships are often harder to get than jobs — but to get to a job, you have to have the experience first,” he says. “One thing I am in charge of is trying to build relationships with UT Athletics so those in the MSBA program can gain some sports analytics experience while they’re still here.”
Currently, Eberle and a classmate are working with the UT softball team on an analytics application project.
“We’re using R programming language, doing different types of optimization work based on statistics from previous years,” he says. “The goal is to figure out the optimal lineup for the upcoming season.”
Eberle has already accepted a summer internship offer from Chick-Fil-A in Atlanta. “They’re one of the few companies that I definitely had at the top of my list,” he says.
After graduation, Eberle hopes to apply his skills in an analytics career. “I’d love to eventually work for a major league baseball team,” he says. “Short-term, I’m looking forward to working for a great company like Chick-Fil-A and getting a chance to use my background in math and analytics to solve real-world problems.”