About this blog

I've created this blog to combine two things that I spend a substantial amount of my time doing: analyzing data and following football (soccer).

I'm an astrophysicist by training, receiving my PhD from Cambridge University in 2006 and spending six years as postdoctoral researcher in Canada and the USA, first at McGill University and then Yale. I returned to the UK to work as a quantitative researcher at London-based hedge fund, and then in the UK Government. I'm now on a 3-year fellowship at Harvard University to work on issues related to data science and machine learning.

I've been a Manchester United fan for more than 25 years. Yes, I was born in Manchester. I don't remember the pre-Ferguson years, but I do remember the 1991-92 season very well, and the disappointment of losing out to Leeds United. Fortunately, things quickly began to get better.

I grew up in a household equally split between United and Liverpool (and a football-hating mother). There was consequently much football 'debate', with lots of random football 'statistics' being lobbed around. So I guess that in starting this blog i'm returning to my youth in some ways (plus my Liverpool-supporting brother is going to help edit).

As I said at the top, the principal aim is to write a football-orientated data blog. I am going to use whatever data I can get my hands on to try to explore interesting questions or statements, investigate some of football's considerable store of 'conventional wisdom' and generally see if I can find any new or interesting perspectives.

The second goal is to try to keep things simple. Wherever possible I want to try to extract whatever story the data has to tell without having to write thousands of words explaining how I did it. Same for plots: I'm going to try to aim for a maximum of one per post.

If you want to get in contact, I can be emailed at: 

Laurie Shaw


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