Ricardo Valerdi

Professor of Systems + Industrial Engineering
Director, Sports Management Program
Pac-12 Faculty Athletics Representative


Ph.D., University of Southern California
MS, University of Southern California
BS/BA, University of San Diego

Areas of Expertise

  • Sports Analytics 
  • Concussion Education 
  • Product Development 
  • Consultant to MLB, MLS, NBA teams, NCAA 


MGMT 359 Sports Analytics

Teaching Interests

Product Development

Publications and Working Papers

Selected Publications

Valerdi, R., “Balancing Expert Opinion and Historical Data: The Case of Baseball Umpires,” Journal of Cost Analysis and Parametrics, 9(3), 161-163, 2016.

Valerdi, R., “Play Ball: The Science of Baseball Program,” 1st Annual California STEM Summit, Sacramento, CA, Nov 18-19, 2013.

Valerdi, R., Valenzuela, D., Hernandez, K., Monreal, J., “Measures of Effectiveness for a STEM Program: The Arizona Science of Baseball,” 11th Conference on Systems Engineering Research, Atlanta, GA, March 2013.

Blackburn, C. and Valerdi, R., “Measuring Systems Engineering Success: Insights From Baseball,” 18th INCOSE Symposium, Utrecht, The Netherlands, June 2008. 

Professional Associations

  • International Council on Systems Engineering
  • International Society of Parametric Analysts
  • Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers

Media Coverage

“Nearly 6,000 football helmets recalled for head injury risk,” KVOA Tucson News (Aalia Shaheed), August 18, 2016.


“Students get a lesson in math and science through Angels baseball,” LA Times (Alex Chan), June 30, 2016 http://www.latimes.com/socal/daily-pilot/news/tn-dpt-me-0701-baseball-science-20160701-story.html

“Inning of Giving – Science of Baseball,” MLB.TV, June 29, 2016 http://m.mlb.com/ari/video/topic/69972746/v872117883/?c_id=ari

“How a smartphone app and $15 piece of cardboard are taking on football concussions,” SB Nation (Louis Bien), March 29, 2016 http://www.sbnation.com/2016/3/29/11318382/nfl-college-football-concussions-diagnosis-smartphone-app

“Why The Knuckleball Pitch Is So Hard To Master In Baseball,” KJZZ (Steve Goldstein), March 4, 2016 http://kjzz.org/content/274086/why-knuckleball-pitch-so-hard-master-baseball

“Program mixes soccer, science lessons,” The Press-Enterprise (Laurie Williams), February 26, 2016 http://www.pe.com/articles/soccer-795549-school-stem.html

“Let's have a concussion discussion: UA researchers team with athletes to cut concussions,” The Daily Wildcat (Mackenzie Boulter), February 18, 2016 http://www.wildcat.arizona.edu/article/2016/02/lets-have-a-concussion-discussion-ua-researchers-team-with-athletes-to-cut-concussions

“University Of Arizona Football Players Develop App To Help Recognize Concussion Symptoms,” Sport Techie (Josh Shanes), February 10, 2016 http://www.sporttechie.com/2016/02/10/university-of-arizona-football-players-develop-app-to-help-recognize-concussion-symptoms/

“This virtual reality app will show you what it's like to have a concussion,” Mashable (Adario Strange), February 9, 2016 http://mashable.com/2016/02/09/virtual-reality-concussion/#kywUPF3tsmqa

“Virtual reality concussion app presented to NCAA officials,” KOLD 13 Tucson/FOX 11 (Janice Yu), February 8, 2016 http://www.tucsonnewsnow.com/story/31162567/virtual-reality-concussion-app-presented-to-ncaa-officials

“App Simulates Concussion Issue for Football Players,” Facility Safety Management, February 8, 2016. http://fsmmag.com/Articles/2016/02/Daily-Articles/App-Simulates-Concussion-Issue-for-Football-Players.html

“UA-built App Tackles Concussion Issue Head-On,” UA News (Emily Litvack), February 3, 2016 https://uanews.arizona.edu/story/ua-built-app-tackles-concussion-issue-head-on

“UA Team to Present Concussion App to NCAA,” KOLD Tucson/FOX 11 (Teresa Jun), February 1, 2016. http://www.tucsonnewsnow.com/story/31112093/ua-team-to-present-its-concussion-app-to-ncaa

“Students program soccer-playing robots with help of UA professor,” The Daily Wildcat (Natalie Robbins), January 22, 2016. http://www.wildcat.arizona.edu/article/2016/01/students-program-soccer-playing-robots-with-help-of-ua-professor

“Know the symptoms of concussion? There's an app for that,” AZ Family KTKV (Jason Volentine), October 1, 2015. http://www.azfamily.com/story/30158532/concussions-theres-an-app-for-that 

 “App helps athletes recognize concussions,” KSAZ Fox 10 Arizona (Marcy Jones), September 30, 2015.http://www.fox10phoenix.com/arizona-news/27051516-story

“University of Arizona researchers are building a Google Cardboard app that will let users familiarize themselves with head injury as a form of precaution,” PSFK (Emma Hutchins), September 30, 2015. http://www.psfk.com/2015/09/side-effects-of-a-concussion-student-athletes-google-cardboard.html

“UA researchers, athletes work to develop concussion education app,” KOLD 13 Tucson/FOX 11 (Barbara Grijalva), September 29, 2015. http://www.tucsonnewsnow.com/story/30136578/ua-scientists-and-athletes-work-to-develop-concussion-education-app

“App has athletes seeing double to make them think twice about concussions,” Phys.org (Brie DeFelice), September 28, 2015. http://m.phys.org/news/2015-09-app-athletes-concussions.html

“The Science of Baseball: Using the Game to Draw Students to STEM, Arizona Diamondbacks Partner With U. of Arizona Professor to Engage Kids,” Chase Bank (Kelsey Perry), September 29, 2015. https://www.chase.com/news/092815-science-of-baseball?jp_cmp=en/Share/ema/na/Email

“UA group developing app to educate athletes and parents about concussions,” KTAR News (Bob McClay), September 28, 2015. http://ktar.com/story/661905/uofa-group-developing-app-to-educate-athletes-and-parents-about-concussions/

“Concussion Awareness: Virtual Reality App Makes Athletes See Double,” Medical Design Technology Magazine, September 28, 2015. http://www.mdtmag.com/news/2015/09/concussion-awareness-virtual-reality-app-makes-athletes-see-double

“Virtual Reality App Simulates Concussions,” Training & Conditioning September 28, 2015. http://training-conditioning.com/content/virtual-reality-app-simulates-concussions

“App Makes Athletes Think About Concussions,” UA News (Jill Goetz), September 23, 2015. http://uanews.org/story/app-makes-athletes-think-about-concussions

“The Perfect Home Run: Academy Scholar-Athletes Learn the ‘Science of Baseball’,” Nationals Community Newsletter (Zach Jamison), August 2015. http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/was/community/newsletter.jsp?partnerId=ed-9553431-822880373

“Angels Program Teaches Kids Science, Math Through Baseball,” ABC7 Los Angeles (Greg Lee), July 24, 2015 http://abc7.com/879159

 Awards and Honors

  • Foreign Member, Mexican Academy of Engineering
  • Frank Freiman Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cost Estimation and Parametric Modeling
  • NCAA MindMatters Concussion Education Program winner
  • Royal Academy of Engineering (UK) Distinguished Visiting Fellow
  • Best Thesis Advisor, MIT Technology & Policy Program
  • Best journal article of the year, Systems Engineering Journal
  • Best journal article of the year, Defense Acquisition Research Journal