Virginia Math Professor Ken Ono Teaching Class on Swimming Optimization to Olympians

In the SwimSwam Podcast dive deeper into the sport you love with insider conversations about swimming. Hosted by Coleman HodgesGarrett McCaffrey, and Gold Medal Mel Stewart, SwimSwam welcomes both the biggest names in swimming that you already know, and rising stars that you need to get to know, as we break down the past, present, and future of aquatic sports.

Ken Ono is the STEM Advisor and a math professor at the University of Virginia. He has worked with the UVA swim team for a number of years, analyzing the minutiae of stroke technique to optimize performance. This has taken form in an independent study, a course that is cross-listed in Data Science, Math, and Statistics, titled Learning Methods for Elite Swimming Analysis. Jerry Lu, a UVA technical performance consultant who has worked with Ono for years, assists with the analysis of the course.

We get the perspective of Ono, Lu, and two of the course’s students: world champions and Olympic medalists Kate Douglass and Claire Curzan.


Music: Otis McDonald

Opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the interviewed guests do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints of the hosts, SwimSwam Partners, LLC and/or SwimSwam advertising partners.

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Old guy in speedos
2 months ago


VA Steve
2 months ago

The individual training plans are very exciting. So much speculation what which regime is right, here the plans are actually informed by data.

Last edited 2 months ago by VA Steve
2 months ago

It’s great to see how the UVA swim community creatively strives to be their best using all the traditional tools and developing more! Congrats to Dr. Ono and these true student-athletes!!

2 months ago

In Football, Indiana and Alabama are doing some similar, cutting edge things. Data science and physiology/sports advances science and the future across many vitas. More Unis should get involved in a big way! It’s not just sports.

Swim Fan
2 months ago

Fun to see swimming through a more academic medium! Thank you for posting this. Congrats to those swimmers who can do school and swim at this level.

2 months ago

Entry list intrasquad blue and Orange?

2 months ago

I did wonder what could have possibly been so different about their visualizations that off the shelf R and Python couldn’t handle that they had to spend years programming. All I saw were very simple longitudinal time series graphs.

Lap Counter
2 months ago

Does this mean that there is chance Claire decides to swim 2nd semester for UVA at NCAAs?

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

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