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Harvard applied math grad with a passion for statistics, movies, and sports
Ben Zauzmer, a Harvard senior with a long-time passion for math and movies, combined his twin interests to produce Ben’s Oscar Forecast. By devising formulas designed to calculate the chances each movie wins Academy Awards, he offers a mathematical approach to the exciting and difficult art of Oscar predictions. Each of the past three years, his model correctly predicted at least 75% of categories.
For each category, Ben created a spreadsheet with all of the results in numerical form from awards shows, guild recognition, aggregate critic scores, and corresponding category nominations. With all of these numbers in the chart for each nominee in the category over the past 15 years, using a formula from statistics, Ben derived the best approximation of the relative factors of each indicator. These results were applied to this year’s nominees – one formula for each category – and the percentage was calculated as a movie’s score out of the total scores.