WDMCS Students Blend Sports Analytics, Creativity To Build Casmium App (07/07/21)
July 7, 2021 | Five West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) students are the brainpower behind a new sports analytics and data platform being used this season by the Valley High School varsity baseball team.
Class of 2021 graduates Pradyumna Dahal, Ashwin Dervesh, Nikhil Herdt, and Henry Shires as well as incoming Valley senior Abhushan Pradhan are co-founders of Casmium, an up-and-coming baseball metrics application that stores and analyzes statistics for players and teams.
Dahal, who serves as Casmium’s full stack developer, said Valley’s baseball coaches approached the school’s computer science department in February 2020 seeking assistance to help create a product that visualizes data they've already collected from practices and games.
"A select few of us looked at it, put our passion into it, and created this product," Dahal said. "We didn't just come up with this team and just get it done right away. It's been a huge progression from figuring out how we do it to figuring out what each person needs to do, what their specialty is, and how we can best optimize each person's skill set.”
"This project was just an opportunity that all of us saw, and we chose to seize it," added Pradhan, Casmium's back-end developer.
Valley varsity head baseball coach Ryan Cooley said their goal was to have a digital method of tracking Major League Baseball-standard statistics for their players as well as the Tigers’ opponents. This would eliminate the long-standing responsibility of handling everything by pen and paper.
"It organizes a lot of the data that we can have during games," Cooley said of Casmium, noting how analytics are driving today’s game of baseball. "It organizes it all into the individual players so that in the future you can click on that person's name and see every at-bat or every pitch that has taken place with that individual player throughout the games we've played."
Dervesh, who specializes in Casmium’s analytics, said that while initial project work started at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic, it provided the group unique experiences despite numerous obstacles.
"To be able to work remotely and now this summer when we actually came together for the first time — almost a year later to start working together again — I think it shows how good of a learning experience this project has been and the potential of where it could go in the future." he said. “Now that we've grown after the first year of working on our product, we're looking into artificial intelligence analytics to predict performance for players.
“Overall, we're just trying to provide both in-depth and a wide berth of statistics.”
Since then, Casmium offers both a Web- and app-based dashboard. Herdt, Casmium's business lead and AI developer, said they plan to finish the baseball season and are currently looking into automating the tool so anyone can access the information.
"We're looking to build up Casmium, have a strong foundation, and then possibly expand into new sports like basketball, football, soccer," Herdt said.
Shires, who manages social media and is Casmium's front-end developer, added how earlier this year, Casmium was approved as a limited liability company in the event of any potential expansion.
"I've just been impressed with some guys working together on something that is amazing," Cooley said. "That product if you want to go out and purchase it for our school, it'd cost me anywhere from three to five thousand dollars."
Dervesh and his fellow Casmium co-founders commended Cooley and Valley assistant baseball coach Garrett Hawkins for their patience and support.
"They've really been supportive of us improving as individuals and our respective areas of development but also just creating Casmium as a whole," he said. "Whenever we ask them for feedback, we would say if there's anything you see that can be improved on, let us know. They've used it in practices and during games, and their engagement with us and their belief in our success has been really integral."
"I'm thoroughly amazed with them as a group of young men to be able to come up with this," Cooley said. "They did it just because they enjoy doing this kind of stuff."
Meet the Casmium Team
- Pradyumna Dahal: Co-founder; full stack developer
- Ashwin Dervesh: Co-founder; data scientist/analyst
- Nikhil Herdt: Co-founder; business lead and AI developer
- Abhushan Pradhan: Co-founder; back-end developer
- Henry Shires: Co-founder; front-end developer and social media