Archive for ‘Research’

Dr. Katie Wick Named Mentor of the Year

by   |  05.23.18  |  Academics, COBA Faculty, Current Students, Research, Uncategorized

Dr. Katie Wick has a Ph.D. in economics and teaches classes in microeconomics, macroeconomics, and game theory at ACU. Last semester, Dr. Wick worked on registered replications of two famous social science papers with student Rachael Shudde, whom Dr. Wick has mentored throughout her time at ACU. They were a part of a replication with 24 other universities to test the results of these papers to see if they still held. Dr. Wick and Rachael had just under 400 participants in their section and the meta-analysis of the whole replication had 8,000 participants. Dr. Wick was named Mentor of the Year at ACU’s Undergraduate Research Festival for her work with Rachael.

Dr. Katie Wick

The premise of the first paper was on hostility and how people view actions as hostile or not based on whether they were primed with angry words or regular words. The second paper, which was presented at ACU’s research festivals and others, focused on the effects of moral priming against cheating. Participants were presented with a test that asked them to solve twenty matrix equations and then write down the number of matrices that they solved. Only half of the matrices had solutions and participants were asked to solve each one in four minutes. If participants reported solving more than ten matrices and more than four minutes were used to solve problems, then the participant was cheating. Before taking the test, participants had to complete a priming task. The control prime was to write down ten books the participant read in high school and the moral prime, which was being evaluated to see if it had any effect on cheating, asked participants to write down the Ten Commandments. Dr. Wick was particularly interested in this replication at ACU because students are constantly morally primed. There are bible verses on the walls, chapels, and Christian professors who consistently integrate faith into their classrooms. Dr. Wick hypothesized that the moral priming task would not affect the participants at ACU as they are morally primed every day, which turned out to be true.

 

Beyond guidance through the project, Dr. Wick mentored Rachael through a major life transition. Dr. Wick has known Rachael since she was a freshman at ACU. Rachael approached Dr. Wick wanting to learn more about how to prepare for a Ph.D. in economics. Dr. Wick counseled her to study math, which became Rachael’s first major and has continued to walk with Rachael during her time at ACU. Throughout the project, Dr. Wick wanted to prepare Rachael for graduate school. Rachael had the task of taking all 400 experiments and inputting the test into a database for analysis. “I wanted to prepare her for the grunt work she will encounter,” said Dr. Wick. “The leap between undergraduate and graduate school is even bigger than the leap between high school and undergraduate school. It’s not glamorous and very hard.” Rachael wrote code to analyze the data, expecting the results to point to the original paper’s hypothesis that the moral prime decreased cheating. “I thought I had coded wrong,” said Rachael. “I was surprised to see that the ACU data contradicted the original results. That is my favorite part of data analysis: when you expect something to happen when you find results that are surprising.”

 

Rachael presented their findings on the cheating experiment at ACU’s Undergraduate Research Festival and at the Southwestern Psychological Association Conference. Dr. Wick was nominated by Rachael Shudde and won the award for Mentor of the Year at ACU’s Undergraduate Research Festival. “Dr. Wick is awesome and dedicated to research,” said Rachael. “She has a desire to answer questions and is good at designing and interpreting experiments. She is also great at giving feedback and guidance, which was invaluable throughout the research process.” Dr. Wick is grateful for the time she has been able to spend with Rachael and looks forward to seeing what she does during and after school.

 

Dr. Sarah Easter Wins Best Paper

by   |  02.23.18  |  Academics, COBA Faculty, Poverty and Development, Research, Social Entrepreneurship, Uncategorized

 

Dr. Sarah Easter is a professor in the College of Business Administration and teaches classes like Strategic Management, Business and Sustainability, and International Business.

Over the summer, Dr. Sarah Easter attended the Academy of Management (AOM) Annual Meeting: a professional association for over 10,000 management and organization scholars whose mission is to build a vibrant and supportive community of scholars by markedly expanding opportunities to connect and explore ideas. The theme of this year’s AOM Annual Meeting was ‘Improving Lives’ and specifically focused on how organizations can contribute to the betterment of society through elevating the health and well-being of those who live in it. In her dissertation research, Dr. Easter conducted a sixteen-month ethnographic study of a coalition to end homelessness in Western Canada. The coalition involved over forty different governmental, business and nonprofit players and she examined how they worked together toward common goals while considering many different perspectives. Dr. Easter presented a paper over one of the key findings of this research and received the Best Paper Award based on a Dissertation from the Managerial and Organizational Cognition Division of the Academy of Management.

 

Dr. Sarah Easter was presented with the Best Paper Award for processes of negotiating identity in a cross-sector partnership.

Dr. Easter’s dissertation research centered on the challenge of the coalition: developing a cohesive and unified identity (i.e., its focal purpose and goals) in the face of a variety of different perspectives. Those involved in the coalition had many different viewpoints on what the central issue they were working to address entailed, which was homelessness. Even though all participants talked about the notion that the overall vision to end homelessness was well understood by all involved, the result was that the partnership was often pulled in multiple directions simultaneously. The findings speak to the importance of such collaborative partnerships as being very explicit in terms of the vision they are working to achieve. This involves having ongoing discussions and check-in points to ensure that all players are able to clearly articulate the direction of the partnership, including underlying meanings of terms utilized, particularly as participants are continually cycling in and out. Dr. Easter was fascinated in learning how a diverse body of organizations and individuals from public, private and nonprofit sectors come together to address a significant societal issue over time and was able to develop a deep understanding as to how the coalition evolved over time in the presence of many and very different ways of working.

Dr. Easter took special notice of the pull between both opportunities and challenges that organizations face in carrying out their work while conducting her research. This is something she emphasizes while teaching classes like Strategic Management, Business and Sustainability, and International Business. “I believe strongly that it is important to consider both dimensions in order to develop a more holistic perspective of a given organization’s current situation,” Dr. Easter emphasized. “I bring up this example in my courses: an organization that has incredible potential to make an impact in addressing homelessness in the local region (opportunity). At the same time, though, there are incredible challenges associated with this complex structure.” Dr. Easter continues a passion for studying how people work across cultural and socioeconomic structures especially through addressing major societal challenges and looks for ways to connect with people and organizations as well as share this passion with her students in the classroom.

JP College Football Rankings: How did we do?

by   |  01.11.17  |  Academics, COBA Faculty, Research

by guest bloggers Dr. Ryan Jessup and Dr. Don Pope

Well, the dust has settled on another bowl season and it is time to evaluate the success (or, lack thereof) of the JP ranking system.

You might remember from last season that we concluded that a blind squirrel would be about as equally effective as our ranking system.  Well, this season that blind squirrel (technically, he is blindfolded) made us look silly.

 

Figure 1. How well did we do? If last season we did about as well as a blind squirrel flipping a coin then this season that blind squirrel took our money.

 

You see, out of 42 bowl games we correctly predicted the winner approximately 54% of the time, and, in the 6 games in which we predicted a different winner compared to the college football playoff (CFP) selection committee, we were correct half the time and they were correct the other half.  However, we correctly predicted against Vegas 48% of the time.  So, this year the squirrel beat us.

What went wrong?  This is always a useful question.  One issue is that the Big 10 was a Big Letdown, finishing a miserable 3-7 in their bowl games, performing overwhelmingly worse than expected.  Likewise, Clemson outperformed expectations as they upset both Ohio State and Alabama, two teams that both we – and Vegas – thought would win.  Why these things occurred is rather difficult to determine: did the Big 10 perform well against non-conference games – which usually take place early in the season – and then fall off later on?  It is hard to know for sure.

Regarding Vegas, last bowl season the Vegas favorite covered the line approximately 60% of the time.  Interestingly, they only covered the line a mere 35% of the time this season meaning even they had a hard time predicting the outcomes.  But in the end, you can’t fight city hall, and, really, you probably shouldn’t mess with Vegas either as the house is truly playing with a stacked deck.

One thing that does give us hope is that, even though hundreds of millions of dollars are on the line for the college football playoff and a prestigious 13 member selection committee generates the rankings, our simple ranking system fares about as well, getting the same number of correct predictions.  So, maybe next year the CFP should drop their committee-based ranking system and just hire that squirrel.

 

 

JP 2016 NCAA Football Final Rankings and Bowl Predictions

by   |  12.16.16  |  Academics, COBA Faculty, Current Students, Research, Uncategorized

by guest blogger, Dr. Ryan Jessup

Below is our final ranking dotplot for the season.  Note how Alabama ends the season way beyond the other teams, teams 2-4 are grouped together, followed by another large break after the 11th team, LSU.

bowl predictions

Although Navy’s loss to Army for the first time in more than a decade was a surprise, our rankings did not see them as a top 40 team anyway, so the surprise was rather mild.

The final network graph (below) demonstrates the inter- and intra-conference play (the lines connecting the dots) as well as the relative strengths of the teams within their conferences via the dot size.

ncaa football diagram

Lastly, below are our predicted winners and win margins for 40 of the 41 bowl games.  All of these bowls are assumed to be at neutral sites, so, for example, the Hawaii Bowl win margin does not adjust for Hawaii’s homefield advantage (a 5.25 point adjustment).  After the two national semi-finals have been played we will return to predict by how much Alabama will win.

 

Date Team One Team Two Bowl Game JP Favorite Win Margin
2016-12-17 UTSA New Mexico GILDAN NEW MEXICO BOWL New Mexico 0.75
2016-12-17 San Diego State Houston LAS VEGAS BOWL PRESENTED BY GEICO Houston 18.75
2016-12-17 Toledo Appalachian State RAYCOM MEDIA CAMELLIA BOWL Toledo 2.25
2016-12-17 Arkansas State UCF AUTONATION CURE BOWL UCF 0.75
2016-12-18 Louisiana Lafayette Southern Miss R+L CARRIERS NEW ORLEANS BOWL Southern Miss 2.25
2016-12-19 Tulsa Central Michigan MIAMI BEACH BOWL Tulsa 11.75
2016-12-21 Western Kentucky Memphis BOCA RATON BOWL Western Kentucky 7.75
2016-12-22 Wyoming BYU SAN DIEGO COUNTY CREDIT UNION POINSETTIA BOWL BYU 7.75
2016-12-23 Colorado State Idaho FAMOUS IDAHO POTATO BOWL Colorado State 18.75
2016-12-23 Old Dominion Eastern Michigan POPEYES BAHAMAS BOWL Eastern Michigan 3.75
2016-12-23 Navy Louisiana Tech LOCKHEED MARTIN ARMED FORCES BOWL Navy 8.25
2016-12-24 Troy Ohio DOLLAR GENERAL BOWL Troy 0.75
2016-12-25 Middle Tennessee Hawaii HAWAII BOWL Middle Tennessee 8.25
2016-12-26 Mississippi State Miami (OH) ST. PETERSBURG BOWL Mississippi State 15.75
2016-12-26 Boston College Maryland QUICK LANE BOWL Maryland 3.75
2016-12-26 Vanderbilt NC State CAMPING WORLD INDEPENDENCE BOWL Vanderbilt 7.75
2016-12-27 North Texas Army ZAXBY’S HEART OF DALLAS BOWL Army 10
2016-12-27 Wake Forest Temple MILITARY BOWL PRESENTED BY NORTHROP GRUMMAN Temple 23.75
2016-12-28 Washington State Minnesota NATIONAL FUNDING HOLIDAY BOWL Washington State 5.75
2016-12-28 Baylor Boise State MOTEL 6 CACTUS BOWL Boise State 18.75
2016-12-28 Northwestern Pittsburgh NEW ERA PINSTRIPE BOWL Northwestern 3.75
2016-12-28 Miami West Virginia RUSSELL ATHLETIC BOWL Miami 18.75
2016-12-29 Utah Indiana FOSTER FARMS BOWL Utah 10
2016-12-29 Kansas State Texas A&M ADVOCARE V100 TEXAS BOWL Texas A&M 18.75
2016-12-29 South Carolina South Florida BIRMINGHAM BOWL South Florida 14.75
2016-12-29 Virginia Tech Arkansas BELK BOWL Virginia Tech 18.75
2016-12-30 Colorado Oklahoma State VALERO ALAMO BOWL Colorado 27.25
2016-12-30 TCU Georgia AUTOZONE LIBERTY BOWL Georgia 8.25
2016-12-30 North Carolina Stanford HYUNDAI SUN BOWL Stanford 8.25
2016-12-30 Tennessee Nebraska FRANKLIN AMERICAN MORTGAGE MUSIC CITY BOWL Tennessee 3.75
2016-12-30 Air Force South Alabama NOVA HOME LOANS ARIZONA BOWL Air Force 11.75
2016-12-31 Florida State Michigan CAPITAL ONE ORANGE BOWL Michigan 34.25
2016-12-31 Louisville LSU BUFFALO WILD WINGS CITRUS BOWL LSU 11.75
2016-12-31 Kentucky Georgia Tech TAXSLAYER BOWL Georgia Tech 1.75
2016-12-31 Alabama Washington CHICK-FIL-A PEACH BOWL – CFP SEMIFINAL Alabama 39.25
2017-01-01 Clemson Ohio State PLAYSTATION FIESTA BOWL – CFP SEMIFINAL Ohio State 23.75
2017-01-02 Iowa Florida OUTBACK BOWL Iowa 1.75
2017-01-02 Wisconsin Western Michigan GOODYEAR COTTON BOWL CLASSIC Wisconsin 20.75
2017-01-02 Penn State USC ROSE BOWL GAME PRES. BY NORTHWESTERN MUTUAL Penn State 0.75
2017-01-03 Oklahoma Auburn ALLSTATE SUGAR BOWL Auburn 11.75
2017-01-10 TBD TBD CFP NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME TBD

 

Jessup Pope College Football 2016 Rankings: After Week 14

by   |  12.07.16  |  Academics, COBA Faculty, Current Students, Research, Uncategorized

by guest blogger, Dr. Ryan Jessup

The bowls are all set as 14 weeks of the NCAA football season have passed with only one game remaining: Army vs. Navy, to be held this upcoming Saturday.

 

JP Rankings after week 14

 

Our model ends with the same team on top that we had all season, Alabama, who ESPN and 538 acknowledge as the best college football team of all time.  Ohio State and Michigan remain 2nd and 3rd, respectively, but, thanks in part to Wisconsin’s loss and Washington’s crushing of Colorado, the Huskies move into our 4th spot.  Clemson is our 8th ranked team, behind Wisconsin, Penn State, and USC, respectively.  No. 12 Western Michigan is our highest ranked team from the Group of 5 conferences and Oklahoma is our highest ranked Big 12 team, at #18.  As Don Pope pointed out last week, the Big 12 looks more like a Group of 5 conference than a Power 5 conference this year.

Next week, after the Army-Navy game, we will give our projections for all 40+ bowl games.  My grad school alma mater, Indiana, will play in the Foster Farms Bowl.  That’s how you know you’ve hit the big time, why mess around with crummy bowls like the Rose or Sugar when you can throw a pigskin sponsored by a chicken.

Jessup Pope (JP) College Football Rankings: Week Beginning Nov. 28, 2016

by   |  11.28.16  |  Academics, COBA Faculty, COBA Staff, Current Students, Research, Uncategorized

by guest blogger, Dr. Don Pope

Well, sports fans, it was another exciting weekend of college football.  Several traditional big rivalry match-ups were played, the most notable being Michigan versus “The Ohio State University”.  The two schools up in Okie-land delayed their annual “Bedlam” rivalry game until this coming weekend so they could focus on the turkey and dressing last week.

The first of the following figures shows our adjusted rankings after week 13.

 

week of nov. 28 graph

 

Note that, as before, Alabama stands out way above the rest, followed by Ohio State and Michigan after their close game, then another Big 10 team, Wisconsin, and the remainder of the top 50 teams.

 

week of nov. 28 graph 2

 

The second of the figures is a network representation of college football this season, with the dots representing the teams in the various conferences, or independents.  The lines represent games played, both within conference and between conferences.  The size of the dots reflects their rankings in our system.  The large red dot in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) is Alabama, and 3 the large red dots in the Big 10 are Ohio State, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

The sad tale of these figures is the demise of the Big 12.   They seem to have forgotten that, after your team scores, you are supposed to put 11 other guys out on the field whose objective is to stop the other team from scoring.  Our rankings place many schools from many conferences above any school in the Big 12.  Thus, we do not predict the Big 12 teams this year to perform very well in bowl games, assuming that they get invited to any bowl game more significant than the Captain Crunch Breakfast Cereal Bowl.

Stay tuned for next week!

Jessup Pope (JP) College Football Rankings: Week Beginning Nov. 21, 2016

by   |  11.22.16  |  Academics, COBA Faculty, Current Students, Research

by guest blogger, Noah Bastable

The most notable game this week happened on Thursday when the Houston Cougars beat Louisville in a tumbling loss for the Cardinals as they fell down from #5 to #14, even though both teams have a 9-2 record. This is, in part, how the Jessup-Pope College Football Rankings (much like life) works. If you notice the bottom 6 teams on the chart, their PageRank scores do not differ as much as the top 4 teams. Even the difference between Alabama and Ohio State is huge. This just goes to show it’s easy to get to the top, but it is hard to stay on top (even though Alabama may say otherwise).

 

jp rankings 11.22.16

 

The University of Houston Cougars were previously ranked #46 and are now ranked #17 on the Jessup Pope College Football Ranking system.

We hope that everybody has a great week off of school and work and enjoys their Thanksgiving meals, perhaps while watching the 9-1 Cowboys face the Redskins on Thanksgiving day.

Jessup Pope (JP) College Football Rankings: Week Beginning Nov. 14, 2016

by   |  11.15.16  |  Academics, COBA Faculty, Research, Uncategorized

by guest blogger, Dr. Don Pope

Well sports fans, it was one of those weeks.  3 of the top 4 CFP ranked teams went down in flames to defeat, as well as my dear old Texas Aggies. Since the top 4 CFP ranked teams end up in the most significant bowl games and play each other for the unofficial (not recognized by the NCAA) national championship, then we are going to see a scramble for the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th ranked teams at the end of the regular season.  That assumes, of course, that Alabama remains in their overwhelming number 1 ranked position, which is surely to occur unless their team bus blows an engine and they fail to show at their remaining games.  Our rankings did not change a great deal from the previous week (week 10) to week 11 (shown below).

JP_top50_rankings_2016_wk11_phat136 (2)

This is due to several factors:  first, our algorithm is not bothered by a “defeat” as much as other rankings, as in the case of Michigan only losing by 1 point on the road against Iowa.  Secondly, our rankings were never as excited about Clemson and Washington as other rankings had been.  Our rankings, after the 800 pound monster Alabama, are very impressed with the body of work of several Big 10 conference teams.  Among these is Northwestern, which is still flying below the radar on many rankings, but our rankings feel that they are a strong contender.

Stay tuned for this coming weekend’s games.  The only certainty is more surprises.

 

Jessup Pope (JP) College Football Rankings: Week Beginning November 7, 2016

by   |  11.08.16  |  Academics, COBA Alumni, COBA Faculty, Current Students, Research

by guest blogger and marketing major from Japan, Noah Bastable

Hello wildcats and welcome back to our weekly blog post on the Jessup Pope College Football Rankings!

This week is the tenth week of college football and we’d like to talk you through some noticeable changes since last week.

JP_top50_rankings_2016_wk10_phat136

Our top four teams – Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan, and Wisconsin – remain the same but their order has switched.

LSU lost to Alabama but they went up in the rankings from 16th to 11th. The score was close until Alabama broke the scoreless game in the last quarter by scoring 10 points.

Ole Miss shot up through the rankings from 28th to 17th after a 37-27 win against the Georgia Southern Eagles.

Nebraska went down from 12th to 20th after their staggering 62-3 loss to Ohio State.

The most interesting turnout, however, was one between two of our home state teams, Baylor and TCU.  TCU “clobbered”, as Ryan Jessup put it, the Bears 62-22 defeating them so badly that their running back was sidelined for attitude issues. Perhaps there is a silver lining in the Bears-Frogs game, the lesson learned that no matter how rough a game may get, one must always maintain a right attitude.

That is it for this week. Come back and check us out again next week for more of the new and improved Jessup Pope College Football rankings! Go Wildcats!!

Jessup Pope (JP) College Football Rankings: Week Beginning 30 October 2016

by   |  11.01.16  |  Academics, COBA Faculty, Current Students, Research, Uncategorized

by guest blogger, Dr. Ryan Jessup

I present to you the first edition of the second season of the new and improved Jessup Pope (JP) College Football Rankings in which we rank all 128 college football teams in the bowl subdivision based on their performances through the first 9 weeks of the current season.

A very brief history

Last season, Don Pope and I introduced our ranking system which uses a modified version of the Google PageRank algorithm – the algorithm that jump-started the search engine giant and still underlies their current approach today – to allow it to rank teams instead of webpages.  We also enabled it to account for home field advantage and temporal decay of performances (this is where games early in the season weigh less in the rankings than more recent games), among other things.

New and improved

You might recall that last season we ended with the same final 4 as the college football playoff (CFP) rankings and predicted that Alabama would defeat Clemson in the Championship by 5.7 points, a game Alabama won by 5 points.  Our model (a) beat Las Vegas and (b) correctly predicted the winner of the bowl games 51.2% of the time.  For us, that is not good enough.  So, in the offseason we grabbed more seasons of college football data to help our system better learn and made a few additional modifications to supercharge the system.  When we finally got around to running our new version on last season’s data, we found that it beat Vegas 61% of the time and correctly predicted the bowl game winner 56% of the time.

About our rankings

Before we get into the rankings here are a few quick reminders:

  • We do not care about predicting the CFP rankings. We care about good predictions of game outcomes and correctly predicting the CFP rankings may lead us in the wrong direction.
  • Our model does not care about win-loss records. A team with a losing record who lost multiple away games against tough teams by narrow margins will likely end up higher in our rankings than an undefeated team that has played a creampuff schedule.
  • Our model is not biased by name recognition, what conference a team plays in, or start of the season rankings – three potential weaknesses of human ranking systems.
  • Our model is forward-looking so as to predict future outcomes whereas traditional polls and ranking systems are backwards-looking and hence merely describe prior performance.

The rankings

As with last season, we are presenting the rankings using a dotplot which preserves the relative difference in JP values.  For example, this image demonstrates that the difference in quality between teams 1 and 2 is larger than the difference between teams 15 and 50!

 

JP Football rankings week 9

 

No one should be surprised that Alabama and Michigan are ranked at the top.  Our high ranking of Wisconsin is consistent with their strong performances against quality teams, despite their two losses, both against teams that we rank higher (Michigan followed by Ohio State at #3).

My guess is that undefeated Clemson and Washington will round out the CFP’s top 4 in the first ranking of the season which will be released on Tuesday; though, our model suggests that they are currently on the outside looking in.  Baylor and West Virginia’s losses this past weekend simplified the problem that would have otherwise arisen – people wondering why those two undefeated teams were ranked so low.