La Trobe University to offer Australian first masters degree in data analytics for cutting-edge sports technology

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Via Herald Sun : MELBOURNE will become the Australian headquarters of cutting-edge sports technology and expertise expected to give teams and athletes a winning advantage on the world stage.

Australia’s sporting capital will play a leading role in training and developing the next frontier of experts to combine sports and computer science with player performance in pursuit of on-field glory.

La Trobe University will become the first in Australia to offer a masters degree in data analytics to meet a growing demand from sporting clubs.

Some of Australia’s brightest minds are expected to enrol in the Moneyball-type degree offering expertise in analysing matches, tracking player performance and welfare data.

Sports analyst Stuart Morgan, from the Australian Institute of Sport, said the move was significant for teams from a training, match and event talent identification perspective.

“It’s really exciting — it’s something that is really missing on the Australian sporting landscape,’’ Dr Morgan said.

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Wearable technology such as GPS trackers will form a key part of the program. Picture: Supplied

Students will be trained how to use state-of-the-art software and capture data from a variety of sports that can be used to improve performance, reduce injuries and push athletes to their peak.

Video analysis, GPS and “wearable’’ technology will form key parts of the program with cameras to be set up at sports parks at La Trobe’s Bundoora campus.

Revolutionary “deep learning’’ from machines that power self-driving cars, image recognition and speech-to-text translation will be researched in a bid to perfect the stroke of a swimmer or a golfer’s swing.

La Trobe sport director and pro vice-chancellor Russell Hoye said the key was not just capturing the data but being able to properly analyse it.

“To actually monitor performance really closely in a more innovative way that will give coaches and teams an edge around their performance,’’ he said.

La Trobe computer science Associate Prof Zhen He said it could take out the guesswork.

“A lot of decisions in the past, strategy and things like that coaches make, are sort of just based on hunches and experiences they have had before,’’ he said.

“But now we have all of this data, these decisions can be data-driven.”

In the US, about 90 per cent of Major League Baseball and 80 per cent of National Basketball Association teams employ data analysts.

Source : HERALD SUN | La Trobe University to offer Australian first masters degree in data analytics for cutting-edge sports technology

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