The working group is coordinated by the following members:
Dries Goossens is associate professor at the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration of Ghent University. His research interests are mainly in tournament scheduling and related fairness issues (e.g. the carry-over effect); favorite sports are cycling and football (soccer). Together with Frits Spieksma, he has been computing the official schedule for the Belgian Pro League since 2006. Apart from sports, Dries Goossens has also done research on other timetabling problems, combinatorial auctions, and the transportation problem.
Phil Scarf is Associate Dean Research at Salford Business School. His principal research in sports relates to strategy and decision making. His favourite sports to play are adventure racing, orienteering and cycling, and to watch is rugby union. He chairs Mathsport International, the biennual conference on Maths in Sport in the Northern hemisphere. He developed the EA Sports Player Performance Index with Ian McHale.
Frits Spieksma is working as a full professor at the faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science of TU Eindhoven. He is doing research on operations research, especially combinatorial optimization problems and applications thereof. Apart from sport scheduling, he also works on various other scheduling problems, and classic problems in combinatorial optimization as e.g. assignment and transportation problems.
Stephan Westphal is professor of Discrete Optimization at Clausthal University of Technology. His current research interests include combinatorial optimization, online optimization, sports scheduling, vehicle routing, and scheduling. He developed the mathematical models and the corresponding software for the tournament scheduling of the German Soccer League (DFL), the German Basketball League (Beko BBL) and the German Ice Hockey League (DEL).
Dr. Ray Stefani is an emeritus professor of Engineering at the California State University, Long Beach, USA. His more than 100 publications are evenly divided between individual and team sports. He seeks a fundamental understanding of the physics, physiology, causes of gender differential performance, rates of improvement, effect of historical events and effects of performance enhancing drugs related to Olympic gold medal performances in athletics (track and field), swimming, rowing and speed skating. He has analyzed Olympic home nation medal advantage He developed a least squared team rating system applied to predicting the outcome of more than 20,000 games of American football, basketball, European soccer, Australian Rules football, and Super Rugby.
Ruud Koning is Professor by Special Appointment in Sports Economics via the W.J.H. Mulier Institute (a centre for socioscientific sports research). He graduated ‘cum laude’ in Econometrics at the University of Groningen in 1988 and in 1995 he gained his PhD at the same university with a thesis entitled ‘Essays on applied microeconometrics’. Since then, he worked as Academy Researcher and spent time at Brown University in the US. He has been active in research at the interface of economics, statistics and sport for a considerable time now, focusing, for example, on measurement and determination of competitive balance in different sports, market mechanisms in professional football (for the Ministry of Economic Affairs), and the informational content of prices on betting markets. He has extensive experience with prediction models for analysing large-scale football tournaments.