The more things change in the NFL, the more they stay the same. Fresh off of their sixth Super Bowl win with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick at the helm, the defending champion New England Patriots open the 2019 season as our favorite to win again. The rest of the top contenders are similar to last season’s as well: the Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints, Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia Eagles round out the top five in Super Bowl odds, according to our predictions.But our NFL Elo model has changed in a somewhat significant way. You can read more about how it all works here, but in a nutshell, we have added a number of wrinkles to make our football picks more accurate:Quarterback adjustments. We hinted at this over the summer, but we now track rolling performance ratings1Based on a regression between Total QBR yards above replacement and basic box score numbers (including rushing stats) from a given game, adjusted for the quality of opposing defenses. for each QB in the league, which can then be compared with a team’s own rolling QB rating to adjust its Elo in games with a different quarterback starting.2This is very similar to the way we handle starting-pitcher adjustments in our MLB Elo model. (Related to this, we have a new interactive page that shows the relative quality of every quarterback in the league.)3Initial ratings for rookies are based on draft position, ranging from a 0 for an undrafted free agent to a +113 for a No. 1 overall pick like Arizona’s Kyler Murray. JacksonvilleN. Foles+914987.835242 ClevelandB. Mayfield+915168.441252 How we’re predicting the AFC North race Chance To… TeamStarting QBvs. avgElo RatingProj. WinsMake PlayoffsWin DivisionWin Super Bowl TeamStarting QBvs. avgElo RatingProj. WinsMake PlayoffsWin DivisionWin Super Bowl Chance To… MinnesotaK. Cousins+1215408.543273 N.Y. JetsS. Darnold-4814527.124111 TeamStarting QBvs. avgElo RatingProj. WinsMake PlayoffsWin DivisionWin Super Bowl Last year, the defending champion Eagles suffered a historic hangover to start their 2018 season, but eventually righted the ship to make the playoffs and even win a first-round game. Armed with Elo’s eighth-ranked QB (Carson Wentz), a talented supporting cast and one of the easiest schedules in the NFL, our model thinks Philadelphia should be division favorites in 2019 — particularly if the Eagles have better injury luck. The defending East champ Cowboys might have something to say about the Eagles being favorites, however, regardless of the holdout of RB Ezekiel Elliott. We rank QB Dak Prescott ninth in Elo, right behind Wentz. Once again trailing in the division are the Giants and Redskins; Washington has the better Elo rating but is slightly less likely to make the playoffs because of a tougher schedule than that of New York. Fittingly, both teams have mediocre veteran QBs (Eli Manning and Case Keenum) trying to fend off highly drafted rookies (Daniel Jones and Dwayne Haskins). PhiladelphiaC. Wentz+2015869.863%49%7% The playoffs are different. We found that differences in talent between opposing teams tend to be amplified in the NFL postseason, so now Elo differentials are multiplied by 1.2 before computing the expected win probabilities and point spreads for playoff games.Altogether, these changes improved our historical predictions by quite a bit in backtesting, so we’re feeling confident that our 2019 picks will be better than ever before.6You might notice that we don’t have a dedicated factor for defense included in the model. For one thing, defense would implicitly be part of a team’s non-quarterback Elo rating; for another thing, it was difficult to find specific defensive variables (such as coordinators) which improved predictive accuracy — perhaps because defense is notoriously difficult to predict between seasons. For cases below where we do need to refer to a team’s projected defensive quality, we used ESPN’s Football Power Index projections for the upcoming season.And what are those picks, exactly? Let’s run down what our Elo model thinks of each division in the NFL, starting with… AtlantaM. Ryan+6715338.339233 The AFC South experienced a dramatic shakeup when Andrew Luck retired two weeks ago, giving the division a whole new favorite: the Texans. Now, Houston is in somewhat tenuous possession of that distinction, with No. 6-ranked QB Deshaun Watson leading the way — despite last weekend’s bombshell trade that shipped star pass-rusher Jadeveon Clowney to Seattle. The Titans aren’t far behind Houston, although QB Marcus Mariota has regressed over the past few years: In Week 12 of the 2016 season, his Elo adjustment would have been 61 points higher than an average quarterback; now it’s 34 points below average. The Jaguars are right in the mix as well, thanks in part to the acquisition of former Eagles backup Nick Foles; Foles adds 14 points of Elo compared with the team’s long-term historical QB rating (i.e., Blake Bortles). Finally, the Colts went from first to last in Elo’s division prediction — literally overnight — after Luck retired. Backup Jacoby Brissett is worth about 90 fewer Elo points by himself than Luck would have been — a huge blow to Indy’s chances of making a return trip to the playoffs. Even so, this is the most uncertain division race in the league. How we’re predicting the NFC East race L.A. RamsJ. Goff-915889.660%46%7% How we’re predicting the AFC East race How we’re predicting the NFC West race Chance To… L.A. ChargersP. Rivers+415809.659366 Quarterback ratings are relative to the average NFL team’s long-term rolling QB performance and are included in the listed Elo ratings. Simulations are updated as of Sept. 3, 2019.Source: ESPN N.Y. GiantsE. Manning-2714246.4179<1 What would Vegas do? In the past, our preseason ratings would simply be each team’s final rating from the previous season, reverted to the league’s average Elo rating by one-third. But our new system also incorporates ratings derived from a team’s over/under win total according to the Las Vegas sportsbooks, giving those twice the weight of mean-reverted Elo when setting a team’s preseason rating. HoustonD. Watson+2915338.443%32%3% TeamStarting QBvs. avgElo RatingProj. WinsMake PlayoffsWin DivisionWin Super Bowl The Chiefs are the second-most-likely team to win the Super Bowl, trailing only the Patriots. One of the biggest reasons: Elo ranks Patrick Mahomes as the fourth-most-valuable QB in the league behind Roethlisberger, Matt Ryan and Drew Brees. Although K.C. will probably regress some after last year’s breakout (we think the Chiefs’ point differential will fall from +144 to +79), and the defense is no better than average (it ranks 16th in ESPN’s preseason Football Power Index), we think this is the team most likely to dethrone New England. The Chargers aren’t running very far behind, either, ranking sixth in overall Elo. L.A. didn’t do much over the offseason — and its trademark injury problems are already cropping up — but this remains one of the most talented rosters in the game. The gap between this division’s top two and bottom two is vast. The Broncos upgraded under center with former Ravens QB Joe Flacco, but he’s still mediocre at best. Late summer for the Raiders has been a circus even by the standards of a “Hard Knocks” team; maybe Brown will improve QB Derek Carr’s numbers, but the team has plenty of other question marks. Oakland and Denver won’t be helped by playing the two toughest schedules in the league, either. BaltimoreL. Jackson-4015278.441263 Chance To… DetroitM. Stafford-2214586.922121 ChicagoM. Trubisky+1215669.152%37%5% BuffaloJ. Allen-1214757.630151 Kansas CityP. Mahomes+59161510.369%50%9% Quarterback ratings are relative to the average NFL team’s long-term rolling QB performance and are included in the listed Elo ratings. Simulations are updated as of Sept. 3, 2019.Source: ESPN MiamiR. Fitzpatrick-213895.5104<1 Green BayA. Rodgers+2815228.238243 How we’re predicting the NFC South race TeamStarting QBvs. avgElo RatingProj. WinsMake PlayoffsWin DivisionWin Super Bowl Quarterback ratings are relative to the average NFL team’s long-term rolling QB performance and are included in the listed Elo ratings. Simulations are updated as of Sept. 29, 2019.Source: ESPN At the top of the NFC South, we have Drew Brees and the Saints coming in as favorites to win the division for a third straight year. Elo rates Brees as the league’s third-best QB, even though he sputtered down the stretch of last season and will turn 41 in January. Fortunately for New Orleans, its supporting cast appears to be good enough to help ease Brees into old age, ranking eighth in QB-independent Elo.9I.e., the team’s adjusted Elo rating if Brees were to be replaced with an average starter at quarterback. As for the Falcons, Matt Ryan is No. 2 in our QB rankings, but the rest of the team ranks 25th in QB-independent Elo. That’s more an indictment of a defense that ranks 23rd in preseason projected FPI than an offense that still includes hyper-productive WR Julio Jones, but Atlanta is hoping that a coaching staff of all new coordinators can help Ryan. The Panthers are still only three seasons removed from a Super Bowl appearance, but they’ve gone exactly 24-24 since then. Elo calls for more of the same this season, with an 8-8 projected record, although Carolina does have the No. 10 QB in our rankings (Cam Newton) and a respectable 38 percent chance of getting back to the playoffs. Finally, the Buccaneers are hoping to end the franchise’s postseason drought at 11 seasons — but they need to improve on last year’s horrid defensive performance and get more consistency from both Jameis Winston and a passing attack that had the third-highest game-to-game QB Elo variance10Trailing only the Rams and the Nathan Peterman-led Bills. of any team in 2018. CincinnatiA. Dalton-4014146.2158<1 This is the tightest division race in the NFC. The Bears are favored to win again, though Mitchell Trubisky is Elo’s second-lowest rated QB in the North. (He’s 13th overall, so it mainly speaks to the quality of passers in this division.) On the other side of the ball, the amount of talent on Chicago’s defense is impressive, a necessary component as the Bears are hoping to repeat as last year’s stingiest defense in terms of points allowed. The Vikings come in slightly lower but are still 13th overall by the Elo rankings. So should we blame QB Kirk Cousins for Minnesota’s disappointing 2018 season? Probably not. Although his Elo rating wasn’t as high as during his 2016 or 2017 campaigns, Cousins was good for most of last year, and he enters 2019 as our 12th-ranked quarterback. But the best QB Elo in the division belongs to Aaron Rodgers of the Packers. Even if former coach Mike McCarthy didn’t always put him in the best position to succeed, Rodgers still had solid numbers last season and is currently ranked seventh in QB Elo. (It’s the rest of the roster that’s holding Green Bay back from a division probability better than that 24 percent.) Last, we have the Lions. They project to finish fourth, with QB Matthew Stafford coming off his worst season in years and a second-year coach already on the hot seat. But we do call for Detroit to return to its rightful place in the NFL standings, with roughly a 7-9 record, after last season’s 6-10 hiatus. DenverJ. Flacco-1614626.82091 DallasD. Prescott+1815478.949334 TennesseeM. Mariota-3415027.836252 WashingtonC. Keenum-2414276.31691 San FranciscoJ. Garoppolo-2114807.428171 Travel distance and rest matter. We used to give a blanket home-field advantage of 65 Elo points for every game that wasn’t at a neutral site. Now, we modify our home-field effect4Which is worth a flat adjustment of 55 Elo points. using the distance the visiting team needed to travel to get to the game, docking a team by 4 points of Elo for every 1,000 miles traveled.5This effect is not applied to international games, though it is used for the Super Bowl. Teams also perform better after a bye week (including teams that don’t play during the opening week of the playoffs), so we now give a bonus of 25 Elo points whenever a team is coming into a game fresh and extra-rested. PittsburghB. Roethlisberger+8715699.558%41%5% OaklandD. Carr-2614135.8125<1 Chance To… New EnglandT. Brady+52164011.180%69%14% IndianapolisJ. Brissett-5514797.328191 TeamStarting QBvs. avgElo RatingProj. WinsMake PlayoffsWin DivisionWin Super Bowl As we said above, the Patriots are not only the division favorites (for what feels like the millionth consecutive season) but are also the model’s top Super Bowl pick. Their fate is tied to Tom Brady continuing to play well at an age when basically no other QB has done that, of course, and he’ll have to do it without favorite security blanket Rob Gronkowski, who retired in March. But Brady hasn’t shown many signs of slowing down yet, and he’ll get to face the NFL’s easiest schedule7According to the average Elo ratings of New England’s regular-season opponents, adjusted for expected starting QBs and home-field advantage. in 2019. Perhaps surprisingly, Elo gives the Bills a slight edge over the Jets for second place in the East. Both teams’ sophomore QBs (Josh Allen and Sam Darnold) played well down the stretch last season, though our model likes Allen a bit more. New York had the more eventful offseason, signing Le’Veon Bell and abruptly firing GM Mike Maccagnan, but the Bills might have made steadier progress. And the Dolphins bring up the rear, though they have the division’s second-highest rated Elo QB in newcomer Ryan Fitzpatrick. (Amid questions of Miami tanking, Vegas gives the Phins 500-to-1 Super Bowl odds, the worst in football.) Quarterback ratings are relative to the average NFL team’s long-term rolling QB performance and are included in the listed Elo ratings. Simulations are updated as of Sept. 3, 2019.Source: ESPN TeamStarting QBvs. avgElo RatingProj. WinsMake PlayoffsWin DivisionWin Super Bowl New OrleansD. Brees+61160410.063%46%8% How we’re predicting the AFC West race CarolinaC. Newton+1415158.338223 Chance To… Tampa BayJ. Winston+714466.61791 Quarterback ratings are relative to the average NFL team’s long-term rolling QB performance and are included in the listed Elo ratings. Simulations are updated as of Sept. 3, 2019.Source: ESPN SeattleR. Wilson+1415458.746314 Quarterback ratings are relative to the average NFL team’s long-term rolling QB performance and are included in the listed Elo ratings. Simulations are updated as of Sept. 3, 2019.Source: ESPN Chance To… TeamStarting QBvs. avgElo RatingProj. WinsMake PlayoffsWin DivisionWin Super Bowl Quarterback ratings are relative to the average NFL team’s long-term rolling QB performance and are included in the listed Elo ratings. Simulations are updated as of Sept. 3, 2019.Source: ESPN How we’re predicting the NFC North race Quarterback ratings are relative to the average NFL team’s long-term rolling QB performance and are included in the listed Elo ratings. Simulations are updated as of Sept. 3, 2019.Source: ESPN Chance To… Rumors of the Steelers’ demise appear to have been greatly exaggerated. Despite a tumultuous offseason that involved officially losing Bell8The running back sat out all of last season as part of a contractual dispute. and also shipping receiver Antonio Brown to the Raiders, Pittsburgh remains the top-ranked team in the North. Part of that is thanks to Ben Roethlisberger, who checks in as Elo’s No. 1 overall QB, and part of it is because the Steelers have one of the league’s easiest schedules. The Ravens and Browns are neck-and-neck behind them; Elo is skeptical about Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson after he posted not-so-great numbers as a rookie, but it thinks his supporting cast is superior to Baker Mayfield’s in Cleveland — despite the Browns’ big offseason (hi, Odell) and general hype level heading into 2019. Meanwhile, the Bengals are a distant No. 4, as QB Andy Dalton has seen better days, and the team is breaking in a first-time head coach (Zac Taylor). ArizonaK. Murray-5013895.5106<1 The Rams are coming off a Super Bowl run, and there were times last season when they looked unbeatable, not least because of a GOAT-level performance by defensive lineman Aaron Donald. But with questions remaining about QB Jared Goff and RB Todd Gurley — to say that neither were major factors in the playoffs would be an understatement — L.A. might be due for a regression, even if Elo does still consider the Rams division favorites. A number of signs point to a decline, from L.A.’s 6-1 record in close games last year and favorable bounces in recovering fumbles, to a more difficult schedule and even the possibility of adverse effects due to more injuries. Elo thinks the Rams’ point differential will drop from +143 to +58 this season. Behind them, the Seahawks have the division’s best (slash only above-average) Elo QB in Russell Wilson, and they did some offseason shuffling — Clowney and Ziggy Ansah will replace Frank Clark on the pass rush, for example. But Seattle mostly looks like the same good-but-not-great team it was last season. The 49ers will get a do-over with Jimmy Garoppolo after the QB was injured three games into the 2018 season. But is Jimmy G. any good? Elo’s still not sure. It ranks Garoppolo 22nd among starters heading into 2019, despite his hefty price tag. All three of those teams could potentially contend for the division, though. For the Cardinals, that looks like a long shot at best with the tandem of rookie QB Kyler Murray and first-year head coach Kliff Kingsbury. Elo gives Arizona the worst rating and tied for the lowest playoff odds of any team in the NFL this season. How we’re predicting the AFC South race
March 22, 2019 KUSI Newsroom, 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) -Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, will hold a rally in San Diego today for the first time since launching his 2020 campaign.The campaign stop is part of a West Coast swing by Sanders that also includes rallies in Los Angeles and San Francisco. He has also made stops in early primary and caucus states like Iowa and New Hampshire since announcing his candidacy last month.Sanders last campaigned in California in October to stump for local candidates like Rep. Mike Levin, D-Oceanside, in the lead-up to the November mid-term election. When he ran for the Democratic nomination in 2016, he held rallies in National City and Vista that each drew several thousand people.Sanders joined striking workers outside Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles Wednesday, when thousands of University of California research and technical workers picketed at facilities across the state in a one-day strike called amid contentious contract negotiations.“The University of California is one of the great university systems in the world, but it is not good enough to be a great university,” Sanders told the cheering crowd. “… It is not good enough to have a great hospital or medical center. The University of California must not be a corporate-type employer. The University of California must be a model employer.”“It must be an employer that respects its workers. It must be a employer that treats its workers with dignity and it must sit down with its union and negotiate in good faith,” Sanders said. “I want to thank you for standing up and fighting back, because the struggle that you are fighting here is a struggle that exists in every state in this country. … The working families of this country are demanding an economy that works for all of us, and that can begin right here.”Sanders, 77, is considered one of the front runners in a field for the Democratic nomination that could eventually include as many as two dozen candidates. California Sen. Kamala Harris, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and former El Paso, Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke are among the more than 15 candidates to enter the race to date. Posted: March 22, 2019 Updated: 10:27 PM Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders campaigns in SD KUSI Newsroom
Explore further Google App Inventor also has blocks for doing ‘programming-like’ things as well as blocks to store information, blocks for repeating actions, and blocks to perform actions under certain conditions. (PhysOrg.com) — Google has announced a new software development program that lets anyone develop an application for Android devices; it’s called the App Inventor for Android. Google says the software is intended to allow any smartphone user develop Android applications without having any prior knowledge of programming languages. Since Google App Inventor provides access to GPS-location sensor, you can build location apps to determine where you are. You can build a useful app that will show you where you parked your car; never forget where you’re car is parked anymore.According to DailyTech, the New York Times states that Harold Abelson is the Google project leader. Harold Abelson is a computer scientist from MIT on sabbatical at Google. Abelson said, “The goal is to enable people to become creators, not just consumers, in this mobile world.” Abelson also stated, “We could only have done this because Android’s architecture is so open.”The App Inventor was tested by women, sixth grade students, nursing students and many others, none of them majoring in computer science.• PhysOrg.com Android apps (new version available) Google Android Application Inventor makes just about anyone a DIY Android App inventor Inserting buttons, blocks and customizing screen colors is just a click away. Credit: Google Labs. Citation: Google Releases DIY Android App Inventor (w/ Video) (2010, July 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-07-google-diy-android-app-inventor.html With Google App Inventor, blocks can be created for just about everything you can do with an Android phone. Credit: Google Labs. Augmented Reality for Your GPS (w/ Video) © 2010 PhysOrg.com The official Google Labs web page for App Inventor states: “To use App Inventor, you do not need to be a developer. App Inventor requires NO programming knowledge. This is because instead of writing code, you visually design the way the app looks and use blocks to specify the app’s behavior.” More information: App InventorVia: DailyTech This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
Kilobots bring us one step closer to a robot swarm © 2012 Phys.org This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Tiny robot swarm able to play tunes on a virtual piano (w/ video) (2012, November 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-11-tiny-robot-swarm-tunes-virtual.html (Phys.org)—Researchers at Georgia Tech’s Georgia Robots and InTelligent Systems (GRITS) Laboratory have succeeded in programming a swarm of very tiny robots to figure out for themselves how to go about playing a tune on a virtual piano displayed on a flat plane. One of the robots is the leader, and knows the tune and where a robot needs to be to create the notes that make up the tune; that information is conveyed to the other robots that make up the swarm, and the result is the playing of the familiar classical tune, Beethoven’s “Fur Elise.” More information: gritslab.gatech.edu/home/2011/ … er-follower-control/ Explore further With swarming, individual members take actions based on the location and actions of those around them. With this new research, the objective was to cause individual members of the swarm to appear at a certain location on the virtual keyboard at a certain time to cause the playing of a note; necessary ingredients to create music. The catch though, was that only one of them, the designated leader, was “told” what those data points were beforehand. Thus, the leader had to convey to the other bots where they needed to be and when. The team added some other elements to the goal to increase the difficulty of the assignment, which should theoretically help in learning more about how to program swarms. They wanted the bots to use the fewest number of themselves possible to play a song together, based on the tempo of the song (and to use the shortest routes possible all while avoiding collisions). If a song is played slow enough, for example, it could be performed by one little robot racing across the virtual keyboard (or by a person using just one finger perhaps on a real piano). As the tempo picks up, it becomes impossible for one bot to get the next note in time for the song to play correctly, thus another bot is added, starting a swarm.What’s remarkable about the playing bots is that the leader doesn’t just tell every other bot where it’s supposed to be, instead, it conveys information to those nearest to it, which in turn convey information to those nearest them, and so on. In this way, each robot is able to work out for itself where it is supposed to be and when – which is how it’s supposed to be, because that’s how swarming works in the natural world. The robots, called Khepera bots by the team, are very small, just 5.5 centimeters across their thimble shaped bodies. Each has a host of sensors, including in their little hats and antenna and two wheels to allow for moving around. The whole idea is to create swarming behavior that mimics that seen in nature with birds, fish, etc.