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Dr. Dave Schools Neil deGrasse Tyson in Pool

Colorado State University (CSU) mechanical engineering Emeritus Professor David G. Alciatore, PhD (known to his students as “Dr. Dave”) recently appeared on a podcast with the famous astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.  Neil’s podcast series, called StarTalk Sports Edition, deals with the science of sports, and the topic of the episode with Dr. Dave is billiards physics.  The podcast was co-hosted by Tyson, comedian Chuck Nice, and past pro soccer player Gary O’Reilly, with Dr. Dave being the featured guest.

Dr. Dave wrote “The Illustrated Principles of Pool and Billiards,” a book dealing with the physics of pool and how to play the game.  He also has a website at CSU ( offering instructional videos, articles, teaching and learning resources, and math and physics analyses dealing with every physical aspect of the game.

Dr. Dave taught and did research in mechanical engineering for 30 years before retiring to Emeritus status in 2000.  He was an award-winning teacher and textbook author known for sometimes using pool examples in his engineering classrooms.  He would also have occasional “seminars” for his students, where they could challenge him to games in a dorm pool room.

Things discussed during the podcast, with frequent amusing commentary by the hosts, include the history of pocket billiards, the origination of the terms “pool” and “english,” the Coriolis Effect, the evolution of pool equipment, trick shots, sidespin physics, and pool strategy.

If you want to listen to the podcast, it can be found at:  (full version),  (audio-only version), and  (shortened/illustrated video version).

Dr. Dave Honored with PBIA Jerry Briesath Instructor of the Year Award

Dr. Dave Alciatore

Every year, the Professional Billiard Instructors Association (formerly the BCA Instructor program) honors a PBIA instructor who has made exceptional contributions to the goals of the organization. This year, PBIA Advanced Instructor Dr. Dave Alciatore has been selected as the winner of the prestigious Jerry Briesath Instructor of the Year Award.

“I am humbly honored and very flattered to be selected for this award,” said this year’s award recipient Dr. Dave Alciatore. “It feels good to know people appreciate and value the work I do. I respect Jerry Briesath and all the past award recipients, and I am very happy to be included on a list with them. Thank you!”

Dr. Dave is a retired mechanical engineering professor (1991-2020) from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. He was a passionate teacher and an experienced textbook author, and he has received many awards for his contributions. His teaching and writing experience helped him develop skills for presenting and illustrating difficult concepts in a concise and understandable way.

After retiring from teaching at the university Dr. Dave decided to go into billiard instruction full-time. Now, Dr. Dave is a PBIA Advanced Instructor and an instructional author. He wrote the book “The Illustrated Principles of Pool and Billiards” and has published numerous instructional videos, including the “Video Encyclopedia” series. All of his instructional products are available for purchase at: Dr. Dave also created and maintains the popular billiards resource website, and is Dean and co-founder of the website Billiard University (BU). He was instrumental in developing the BU assessment tools, rating system, and instructional resources at Dr. Dave has also been a long-time monthly instructional columnist for Billiards Digest magazine and an active participant in online billiards forums and social media. He is a devoted authority and an expert in understanding and teaching the physics of the game. Dr. Dave offers private lessons and intensive courses through his websites Dr. Dave’s Pool School and the BU Summer School Boot Camps. He also has an active Facebook page and YouTube Channel.

“Dave Alciatore has had perhaps the widest impact of any PBIA instructor recently, particularly through social media,” said Bob Jewett, PBIA committee chair. “On YouTube he has had over 9 million views in the last year, alone, and his channel has climbed to 200,000 subscribers. One recent video in which he presents and explains in detail amazing shots from tournaments has had a million views. He has also contributed greatly to the resources that the PBIA offers its members.”

The PBIA Instructor of the Year Award is given annually to honor exceptional contributions by a PBIA Instructor. The PBIA will begin accepting nominations for the 2021 PBIA Jerry Briesath Instructor of the Year in the spring of next year. At such time, a nomination form will be made available to all PBIA Instructors. The PBIA Honors Committee then reviews and evaluates all nominations to select the annual winner.

About Billiard Congress of America
Founded in 1948, the Billiard Congress of America is a non-profit trade organization dedicated to growing a united, prosperous and highly regarded billiard industry through BCA leadership. The BCA seeks to enhance the success of its members and promote the game of billiards though educational, marketing and promotional efforts, annual industry trade shows, tournaments and other programs designed to encourage billiards as a lifestyle and make pool everybody’s game. For more information, visit or call 303.243.5070.

About Professional Billiard Instructors Association
The PBIA (formerly the BCA Instructor Program, established in 1992) is the largest international organization of professional billiard instructors. Since its founding, the PBIA has improved it leadership position by growing cue sports through professional instruction, development of training products, contributing instructional articles to industry publications, participating in educational workshops and seminars, acting as certified referees or league officials, and directing some of the most notable billiard tournaments throughout the country. The PBIA’s mission is to provide quality billiard instruction to the general public, as well as offer training and certification programs for individuals wishing to become qualified billiard instructors. For more information, visit or call 303.243.5070.