2016 HSNCT discussion

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2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Mon May 30, 2016 10:28 am

This is your discussion thread for the 2016 HSNCT.

(If you are planning to play the University of Toronto's HSNCT mirror this summer, please do not read this thread.)
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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by jonpin » Mon May 30, 2016 12:54 pm

Without regard to the content of any specific question, I noticed what appeared to be a shift in the grammatical phrasing of the giveaway line of tossups and certain bonus prompts. I don't think this phrasing was around even in NAQT sets from earlier this year.

Almost every tossup I can remember reading that ends with a demand rather than a question would end with something like: "For 10 points, name this first president of the United States." A significant number of tossups at 2016 HSNCT would end with: "For 10 points, name the first president of the United States."
Likewise, the first part of a bonus, when following on from the lead-in, would often say "Name the bloodiest one-day battle in American history" rather than "Name this bloodiest one-day battle in American history."

If this was a conscious style choice, I think it's a poor decision. The word "this" is universal in quiz bowl to mean "THIS is the thing you are trying to name", and especially in the case of bonuses, it links together the thing you talked about in the lead-in with the thing we're now asking about in the first part.
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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by High Dependency Unit » Mon May 30, 2016 12:57 pm

A couple questions to start:

What was the neg rate on "nonideal gases"? There was a buzzer race to say "ideal gases" in our room, and I heard it was problematic in some other rooms.

In round 16, I negged "inertia" with "motion" at the Aristotle clue. A teammate of mine wanted to protest, but we did not because it wouldn't have changed the outcome of the match. Was "motion" a viable answer?
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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by throwaway612 » Mon May 30, 2016 1:08 pm

How exactly was the protest for Hunter in the final upheld? I believe the wording for the question said that it "sometimes has water as a product," (forgive me if there's a mistake) but dehydration synthesis ALWAYS has water as a product by definition. Just because the question said that the answer was the opposite of hydrolysis doesn't mean that dehydration synthesis is correct (because it, being a condensation reaction, is an opposite). Condensation reactions, more generally, DO "sometimes" have water as a product, those instances being dehydration synthesis.

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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by ryanrosenberg » Mon May 30, 2016 1:12 pm

2013 in amusement parks wrote:In round 16, I negged "inertia" with "motion" at the Aristotle clue. A teammate of mine wanted to protest, but we did not because it wouldn't have changed the outcome of the match. Was "motion" a viable answer?
In the LASA/Auburn game, this tossup was answered with "momentum," which was initially negged, but protested. The protest resolution stated that the tossup was vague and unclear and pointed to multiple possible answers. No idea if "motion" was one of them, but there certainly seemed to be issues with the tossup.
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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by jonah » Mon May 30, 2016 1:13 pm

jonpin wrote:Without regard to the content of any specific question, I noticed what appeared to be a shift in the grammatical phrasing of the giveaway line of tossups and certain bonus prompts. I don't think this phrasing was around even in NAQT sets from earlier this year.

Almost every tossup I can remember reading that ends with a demand rather than a question would end with something like: "For 10 points, name this first president of the United States." A significant number of tossups at 2016 HSNCT would end with: "For 10 points, name the first president of the United States."
Likewise, the first part of a bonus, when following on from the lead-in, would often say "Name the bloodiest one-day battle in American history" rather than "Name this bloodiest one-day battle in American history."

If this was a conscious style choice, I think it's a poor decision. The word "this" is universal in quiz bowl to mean "THIS is the thing you are trying to name", and especially in the case of bonuses, it links together the thing you talked about in the lead-in with the thing we're now asking about in the first part.
This was a deliberate style choice and it was not found in other NAQT sets. I wanted to try it as an experiment. The rationale is that I don't think the phrase, e.g., "this author of Oliver Twist" makes sense: there is only one author of that novel, but the word "this" suggests a selection from several authors of it. This is contrary to quiz bowl convention, but I don't think that "name the author of Oliver Twist" is substantially less clear—"name the author" is about as direct a command as there can be.

In the case of bonuses, I agree that it makes the relationship between intro and first part a little bit less clear. That, along with the long tradition of "this" (despite its possible illogicality), are among the reasonable arguments against this experiment. I don't know whether we will continue or standardize this experiment, but I'm guessing no.

2013 in amusement parks wrote:What was the neg rate on "nonideal gases"? There was a buzzer race to say "ideal gases" in our room, and I heard it was problematic in some other rooms.
We probably won't have conversion data for at least a month, possibly a few months; entering 1509 scoresheets is quite a task :-) . Jeff or I will do our very best to remember to come back to this thread when the data are ready.
2013 in amusement parks wrote:In round 16, I negged "inertia" with "motion" at the Aristotle clue. A teammate of mine wanted to protest, but we did not because it wouldn't have changed the outcome of the match. Was "motion" a viable answer?
In another match, "momentum" was given as an answer and we determined that the question ought to be thrown out. I don't know if we would have done the same for a protest with an answer of "motion", but it's within the realm of possibility. We apologize for that problematic question.
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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by Kyle » Mon May 30, 2016 2:18 pm

The inertia question happened to be in one of the packets that I was helping to edit. I'm not especially up on my physics, so I didn't attempt to make any definitive determination about the question as a whole, but I did spend some time reading about the first sentence. Here is that sentence:
HSNCT Packet 16 wrote:"A precursor to the classical understanding of this property was {Avicenna}'s [AH-vuh-SEH-nuh's] ~{mayl}~ ["mail"], which concerned {projectiles}."
As soon as I read this question, I was concerned that it seemed vague -- but the more I read about Avicenna, the more I started to become convinced that it was actually okay. The word "mayl" in Arabic comes from a root that can mean things like "to turn" or "to tilt" or "to incline," and virtually every translation of Avicenna I could find translates "mayl" as "inclination." In other words, it refers to the inclination of an object to continue traveling in the direction it's already traveling, unless something comes along to incline it in a new direction. As a result, I became convinced that even though the wording of the first sentence sounds vague, it does specifically identify the concept of inertia.

I'll leave it to the scientists to speak up on behalf of the subsequent three sentences...
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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by Cody » Mon May 30, 2016 3:11 pm

jonah wrote:
jonpin wrote:Without regard to the content of any specific question, I noticed what appeared to be a shift in the grammatical phrasing of the giveaway line of tossups and certain bonus prompts. I don't think this phrasing was around even in NAQT sets from earlier this year.

Almost every tossup I can remember reading that ends with a demand rather than a question would end with something like: "For 10 points, name this first president of the United States." A significant number of tossups at 2016 HSNCT would end with: "For 10 points, name the first president of the United States."
Likewise, the first part of a bonus, when following on from the lead-in, would often say "Name the bloodiest one-day battle in American history" rather than "Name this bloodiest one-day battle in American history."

If this was a conscious style choice, I think it's a poor decision. The word "this" is universal in quiz bowl to mean "THIS is the thing you are trying to name", and especially in the case of bonuses, it links together the thing you talked about in the lead-in with the thing we're now asking about in the first part.
This was a deliberate style choice and it was not found in other NAQT sets. I wanted to try it as an experiment. The rationale is that I don't think the phrase, e.g., "this author of Oliver Twist" makes sense: there is only one author of that novel, but the word "this" suggests a selection from several authors of it. This is contrary to quiz bowl convention, but I don't think that "name the author of Oliver Twist" is substantially less clear—"name the author" is about as direct a command as there can be.

In the case of bonuses, I agree that it makes the relationship between intro and first part a little bit less clear. That, along with the long tradition of "this" (despite its possible illogicality), are among the reasonable arguments against this experiment. I don't know whether we will continue or standardize this experiment, but I'm guessing no.
The most important NAQT tournament of the year is not exactly a time to experiment with a very bad stylistic choice!

Among the many proper English usages of "this" is to refer to a singular thing that you are indicating. Your stated rationale doesn't make any sense and I'm pretty astonished that this was allowed!
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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by Couch's Kingbird » Mon May 30, 2016 5:06 pm

Can I see the bonus on Adam Bede? I personally felt like that was pretty difficult.
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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by That DCC guy » Mon May 30, 2016 6:28 pm

So first off could I just have confirmation that u guys made these questions harder than last year like looking at the stats their isn't even a comparison.
Secondly what was the decision made specifically during the debacle at the end of the DCC TJ game?
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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by Inifinite Jest » Mon May 30, 2016 6:43 pm

That DCC guy wrote:So first off could I just have confirmation that u guys made these questions harder than last year like looking at the stats their isn't even a comparison.
This was probably the easiest HSNCT set that NAQT has ever produced, I think that the lower stats are probably just indicative of a somewhat weaker field than last year.

Also, I'd be interested in seeing that hydrolysis bonus. I was sitting in the back of the room so I really couldn't hear the question and I'm curious about the exact of wording that bonus part.
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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by swimmerstar » Mon May 30, 2016 6:51 pm

Could I see the tossups on New Orleans and quintic?
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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by bluejay123 » Mon May 30, 2016 7:24 pm

Can I just say that I loved the tu on turning the lights out (specifically referencing The Glass Menagerie)
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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by AKKOLADE » Mon May 30, 2016 8:11 pm

Numbers instead of speculation.

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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by setht » Mon May 30, 2016 8:23 pm

To be clear, Jonah okayed the "the-not-this" experiment with R. and myself. I figured it wouldn't affect gameplay and might turn out to be a stylistic tweak players liked. If it did affect gameplay I apologize. If we get positive feedback we'll consider continuing; if we don't, we won't.

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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by Unicolored Jay » Mon May 30, 2016 8:28 pm

As a reader, while I definitely did notice the replacement of "the" for "this" in the giveaways and bonus parts, I was so used to saying "this" that I kept doing so throughout the weekend anyway. Did anyone else do the same?
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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by schen » Mon May 30, 2016 10:03 pm

Kyle wrote:The inertia question happened to be in one of the packets that I was helping to edit. I'm not especially up on my physics, so I didn't attempt to make any definitive determination about the question as a whole, but I did spend some time reading about the first sentence. Here is that sentence:
HSNCT Packet 16 wrote:"A precursor to the classical understanding of this property was {Avicenna}'s [AH-vuh-SEH-nuh's] ~{mayl}~ ["mail"], which concerned {projectiles}."
As soon as I read this question, I was concerned that it seemed vague -- but the more I read about Avicenna, the more I started to become convinced that it was actually okay. The word "mayl" in Arabic comes from a root that can mean things like "to turn" or "to tilt" or "to incline," and virtually every translation of Avicenna I could find translates "mayl" as "inclination." In other words, it refers to the inclination of an object to continue traveling in the direction it's already traveling, unless something comes along to incline it in a new direction. As a result, I became convinced that even though the wording of the first sentence sounds vague, it does specifically identify the concept of inertia.

I'll leave it to the scientists to speak up on behalf of the subsequent three sentences...
I also negged this tossup with "momentum". I buzzed on the clue describing Buridan's theory of impetus, which is defined very similarly to momentum.
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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by bajaj » Mon May 30, 2016 11:03 pm

Could I see the glomeruli tossup? It seemed fairly difficult.
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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by luke1865 » Mon May 30, 2016 11:10 pm

AKKOLADE wrote:Numbers instead of speculation.

Image
My analysis would be that it was somewhere in between 2014 and 2015 in difficulty level. I would really object to the idea that the field was weaker than last year in a significant way.
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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by Corry » Tue May 31, 2016 5:05 am

I want to jump in here, and say that I welcome any and all feedback on the geography in this year's HSNCT. In this set, I probably wrote/edited around 90% of the geography, a slightly higher number than in 2015. My writing philosophy has stayed relatively constant: I don't really care about all of the random highest peaks or minor tributaries or miscellaneous mountain ranges throughout the world. Instead, what interests me is how people interact with the geography around then. To an extent, I try to ensure that every clue in my geography questions is significant, and that I explain this significance, whether it be historical, cultural, economic, or even just tourism-based.

So if any particular geography question begrieved you, it was probably my fault! If there were questions that you especially liked, I will also take credit. Please let me know. :)
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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by Cody » Tue May 31, 2016 6:43 am

Cody wrote:
jonah wrote:This was a deliberate style choice and it was not found in other NAQT sets. I wanted to try it as an experiment. The rationale is that I don't think the phrase, e.g., "this author of Oliver Twist" makes sense: there is only one author of that novel, but the word "this" suggests a selection from several authors of it. This is contrary to quiz bowl convention, but I don't think that "name the author of Oliver Twist" is substantially less clear—"name the author" is about as direct a command as there can be.

In the case of bonuses, I agree that it makes the relationship between intro and first part a little bit less clear. That, along with the long tradition of "this" (despite its possible illogicality), are among the reasonable arguments against this experiment. I don't know whether we will continue or standardize this experiment, but I'm guessing no.
The most important NAQT tournament of the year is not exactly a time to experiment with a very bad stylistic choice!

Among the many proper English usages of "this" is to refer to a singular thing that you are indicating. Your stated rationale doesn't make any sense and I'm pretty astonished that this was allowed!
I would like to pop up again and note that the alleged "illogicality" of quizbowl's use of "this x", by the above reasoning, would apply to every usage of "this x" in all good questions. There is (should be) only one answer at every point in the question, which would contravene with quizbowl's use of "this x" at every point in a question!
setht wrote:To be clear, Jonah okayed the "the-not-this" experiment with R. and myself. I figured it wouldn't affect gameplay and might turn out to be a stylistic tweak players liked. If it did affect gameplay I apologize. If we get positive feedback we'll consider continuing; if we don't, we won't.
This is precisely why I was pretty astonished!
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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by AKKOLADE » Tue May 31, 2016 7:16 am

I personally don't see the confusion of switching to the style utilizing "the" as described above. In the examples given above, the directions are really clear.

But, I also agree with Cody that using "this" is completely acceptable and is in no way confusing, either in terms of "real" grammar or "quiz bowl" grammar. I also am very surprised that this change was made for the first time at the HSNCT.
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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by gustavadolf » Tue May 31, 2016 8:51 am

schen wrote:
Kyle wrote:The inertia question happened to be in one of the packets that I was helping to edit. I'm not especially up on my physics, so I didn't attempt to make any definitive determination about the question as a whole, but I did spend some time reading about the first sentence. Here is that sentence:
HSNCT Packet 16 wrote:"A precursor to the classical understanding of this property was {Avicenna}'s [AH-vuh-SEH-nuh's] ~{mayl}~ ["mail"], which concerned {projectiles}."
As soon as I read this question, I was concerned that it seemed vague -- but the more I read about Avicenna, the more I started to become convinced that it was actually okay. The word "mayl" in Arabic comes from a root that can mean things like "to turn" or "to tilt" or "to incline," and virtually every translation of Avicenna I could find translates "mayl" as "inclination." In other words, it refers to the inclination of an object to continue traveling in the direction it's already traveling, unless something comes along to incline it in a new direction. As a result, I became convinced that even though the wording of the first sentence sounds vague, it does specifically identify the concept of inertia.

I'll leave it to the scientists to speak up on behalf of the subsequent three sentences...
I also negged this tossup with "momentum". I buzzed on the clue describing Buridan's theory of impetus, which is defined very similarly to momentum.
I'd go one step further and say that I think if there's a tossup on a "concept" (as this seemed to be), there's no difference between inertia and momentum - inertia, the tendency of objects to stay in motion, is just a manifestation of conservation of (linear) momentum. Avicenna's idea of "mayl" and Buridan's "impetus" could both be said to presage the idea of momentum just as much as they do the idea of inertia (especially given that Buridan proposes a formula of "impetus = weight x velocity", which is eerily similar to p=mv).
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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by jonah » Tue May 31, 2016 12:39 pm

That DCC guy wrote:So first off could I just have confirmation that u guys made these questions harder than last year like looking at the stats their isn't even a comparison.
This is addressed somewhat between your post and this one. I might add some more data later. If in fact the set was harder than last year, which is plausible, I suspect it is more that last year was unusually easy than this year was unusually hard. (This does not contradict what you said.)
That DCC guy wrote:Secondly what was the decision made specifically during the debacle at the end of the DCC TJ game?
The events in question can be viewed at https://www.periscope.tv/w/1dRJZkbnaemxB starting around 27 minutes in.

As I was reading the tossup, Ryan from Thomas Jefferson A buzzed in. Ryan gave the correct answer a fraction of a second before I said "time, minus five," but I had already mentally committed to saying it and was unable to stop the words coming out. The timing was close enough that in the moment I was not sure whether the answer was given in time; the previous sentence is based on the review of the call and the video. Although at the moment I was uncertain on the timing call, I decided the safest course of action was to continue the tossup for Detroit Catholic Central A, so that if the original call were upheld, they would have been able to answer the tossup within the flow of the game. As soon as they answered correctly, I stopped the clock and conferred with the other game officials (who are there in part for this exact sort of situation) about the timing call. We determined that the answer had been given in time, and therefore the 5-point penalty to Thomas Jefferson A did not apply, nor did the points earned by Detroit Catholic Central A; rather, Thomas Jefferson A earned credit for the tossup answer and was to be read a bonus question.

I recognize that it could have looked like we reviewed the call because of a(n attempted) protest from Thomas Jefferson A, but that was not the case: the call is not protestable per se, but we reviewed it under my prerogative (specifically, under rule B.4). Naturally, it would have been unfair to not review the call simply because Thomas Jefferson A attempted to protest. I'm sorry for the initial mistaken ruling, am very thankful to my fellow game officials for working with me to get the call right, and am pleased (and relieved) that the video linked above clearly demonstrates that the answer was, in fact, given in time.

I also want to thank Detroit Catholic Central A for their gracefulness in handling this frustrating situation, and I want to congratulate both them and Thomas Jefferson A on a phenomenal game.
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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Tue May 31, 2016 1:16 pm

Couch's Kingbird wrote:Can I see the bonus on Adam Bede? I personally felt like that was pretty difficult.
2016 HSNCT round 13 wrote:This character lives with her uncle, Martin Poyser, at his farm. For 10 points each—

A. Name this woman, the cousin of a preacher named Dinah Morris. The title character of an 1859 novel loves her.

answer: Hetty Sorrel (or Hester Sorrel; accept any underlined portion)

B. Arthur Donnithorne impregnates Hetty even though this man loves her more; he ends up marrying Dinah instead.

answer: Adam Bede (accept Adam; prompt on "Bede")

C. Adam Bede was the first full-length novel by this Victorian author.

answer: George Eliot (or Mary Ann Evans or Marian Evans or Mary Ann Cross; accept Marian Evans Lewes; prompt on "(Marian) Lewes")
This bonus probably needed an easier easy part (by adding information to part C.) The most obvious fix is precluded by the presence of an entire tossup on Middlemarch elsewhere in the set.
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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Tue May 31, 2016 2:26 pm

swimmerstar wrote:Could I see the tossups on New Orleans and quintic?
2016 HSNCT round 19 wrote:A myth about this battle claims that the 7th Infantry made defenses out of cotton bales. Ignace de Lino de Chalmette's plantation was contested in this battle. Before Christmas, a "Baratarian" force led by the (*) pirate Jean Lafitte entered this battle. Edward Pakenham lost this battle on January 8, after the signing of the Treaty of Ghent. For 10 points—name the battle in the War of 1812 that made Andrew Jackson famous.

answer: Battle of New Orleans
2016 HSNCT round 21 wrote:"Bring radicals" are defined in terms of zeroes of these expressions, and are used to write other zeroes of them. Because the splitting fields associated with these expressions do not always have solvable (*) Galois groups, the Abel-Ruffini theorem states that there is no general formula to solve this kind of polynomial. For 10 points—give the term for a polynomial whose degree is 5.

answer: quintic polynomials (or quintics; accept quintic equations; accept fifth-degree polynomial or polynomial of degree 5 before "degree")
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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by Urech hydantoin synthesis » Tue May 31, 2016 2:40 pm

Could I see the tossup on colon (in computer science)? The Java clue seemed potentially inaccurate.
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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Tue May 31, 2016 2:45 pm

Urech hydantoin synthesis wrote:Could I see the tossup on colon (in computer science)? The Java clue seemed potentially inaccurate.
2016 HSNCT round 10 wrote:This punctuation mark is used for definitions and indenting when editing MediaWiki sites like Wikipedia. In Java and C, it follows the label for a block of code like a loop. This punctuation mark separates the bytes of an IPv6 address, and separates (*) keys and values in JSON. In a URL, it goes before a port number. For 10 points—name the punctuation mark that also appears in URLs immediately after a protocol like "http."

answer: colon
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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by bluejay123 » Tue May 31, 2016 3:00 pm

Urech hydantoin synthesis wrote:Could I see the tossup on colon (in computer science)? The Java clue seemed potentially inaccurate.
I negged semicolon on that... it was pretty tragic
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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by Santa Claus » Tue May 31, 2016 3:09 pm

I want to just point out second clue in colons, which was a really, really bad hose in it.

First off, colon's probably one of the harder punctuation marks to tossup in a CS context, since it's not very commonly used in the big programming languages, but that's fine; there's lots of clues, and as in the first line of the tossup, you can have clues like those for editing Wikipedia. The main problem was the the second clue referenced colons as something used to end labels, citing the example of loops. Immediately there's a problem here, since labels are not taught in most CS classes, as it's not part of the AP curriculum. It's in the same group of loop manipulation as continue and break, but is significantly less well known (a fun exercise is to look up "what is a label in Java" or "why does loop: compile" on Stack Exchange). I personally thought that the question was actually wrong, much as Ben did, but it turns out that that's actually a thing.

As a result, I am almost certain that most teams buzzed there and said either some variation of a brace or semi-colon or parentheses - basically any other punctuation mark. All of those answers are really reasonable in the context of loops, especially since practically the only application of colons I can think of in either C or Java is in switch statements (also not in the AP curriculum). I'm pretty sure once conversion stats come out, they will not look favorably upon this question.
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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by bluejay123 » Tue May 31, 2016 3:25 pm

2016 HSNCT round 10 wrote: answer: colon
break;
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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by Santa Claus » Tue May 31, 2016 3:48 pm

Santa Claus wrote:colons
Also just so people who are interested don't have to look it up themselves, labels are pretty much only used to break the outer loop of a nested loop, with the syntax as follows:

Code: Select all

label1:
for(){
    label2:
    for(){
        break label1; //this breaks the outer loop, rather than the inner
    }
}
Last edited by Santa Claus on Tue May 31, 2016 4:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by Gibberish Nonsense » Tue May 31, 2016 4:01 pm

Can I see the tossup on Jake Arrieta's no hitters? I vaguely remember that first date being off.
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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Tue May 31, 2016 4:08 pm

Gibberish Nonsense wrote:Can I see the tossup on Jake Arrieta's no hitters? I vaguely remember that first date being off.
2016 HSNCT round 20 wrote:Athlete and feat required. The first of these events was in August 2015 on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball against the Dodgers, and was followed by a press conference featuring a mustache onesie. The second of these games, in April 2016, had a nearly unprecedented (*) 16-run margin of victory and was against the Reds. For 10 points—name these events in which the Chicago Cubs' ace allowed no singles, doubles, triples, or homers.

answer: Jake Arrieta's no-hitters (accept any answer containing Jacob (Joseph) Arrieta and no-hitter; prompt on partial answers; do not accept or prompt on answers containing "perfect game")
"August 2015" is correct (boxscore).
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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by bluqiu » Tue May 31, 2016 4:09 pm

Could I please see the tossup on Shanghai? I wanna see what I missed.
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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by The_Imperator » Tue May 31, 2016 4:20 pm

What was the distribution for Packet 17? It felt to be incredibly lit heavy, with most of the remainder filled by geography, music, and history. We only got to three math and science questions in my room.
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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Tue May 31, 2016 4:27 pm

bluqiu wrote:Could I please see the tossup on Shanghai? I wanna see what I missed.
2016 HSNCT round 25 wrote:Replicas of European towns were built around this city as part of its "One City, Nine Towns" program. A red, upside-down pyramid and a structure with a giant, funnel-shaped membrane roof were built in this city for its 2010 World Expo. This city's historic Bund district is across the (*) Huangpu River from its Pudong district, which contains the Oriental Pearl Tower. For 10 points—name the most populous city in China.
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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Tue May 31, 2016 4:47 pm

The_Imperator wrote:What was the distribution for Packet 17? It felt to be incredibly lit heavy, with most of the remainder filled by geography, music, and history. We only got to three math and science questions in my room.
Round 17 contained the expected number of math and science questions:

tossup 2 Red Queen hypothesis
tossup 7 common link on "four" in chemistry
tossup 12 moraines
tossup 15 halving
tossup 20 function composition

(and tossup 23, a physics tossup on Planck's constant which was unheard in the round 17 game for Saint Stephen's Episcopal A)
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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by jonah » Tue May 31, 2016 4:50 pm

Santa Claus wrote:I want to just point out second clue in colons, which was a really, really bad hose in it.

First off, colon's probably one of the harder punctuation marks to tossup in a CS context, since it's not very commonly used in the big programming languages, but that's fine; there's lots of clues, and as in the first line of the tossup, you can have clues like those for editing Wikipedia. The main problem was the the second clue referenced colons as something used to end labels, citing the example of loops. Immediately there's a problem here, since labels are not taught in most CS classes, as it's not part of the AP curriculum. It's in the same group of loop manipulation as continue and break, but is significantly less well known (a fun exercise is to look up "what is a label in Java" or "why does loop: compile" on Stack Exchange). I personally thought that the question was actually wrong, much as Ben did, but it turns out that that's actually a thing.

As a result, I am almost certain that most teams buzzed there and said either some variation of a brace or semi-colon or parentheses - basically any other punctuation mark. All of those answers are really reasonable in the context of loops, especially since practically the only application of colons I can think of in either C or Java is in switch statements (also not in the AP curriculum). I'm pretty sure once conversion stats come out, they will not look favorably upon this question.
I'm afraid I don't understand the complaint. The clue clearly states it is talking about labels for loops. If a player doesn't know what labels are or how they work, they probably shouldn't buzz on a clue about labels. I don't believe NAQT or quiz bowl in general has adopted a standard that second clues (or any particular clue in general) has to be part of a curriculum in some fashion; even if such a standard were possible (no) it would not be a good idea.

What makes the question a hose? It sounds to me like the only problem is "a clue that lots of people didn't know," which is not a hose nor necessarily a problem for a second clue.
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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by The_Imperator » Tue May 31, 2016 4:57 pm

bird bird bird bird bird wrote:
The_Imperator wrote:What was the distribution for Packet 17? It felt to be incredibly lit heavy, with most of the remainder filled by geography, music, and history. We only got to three math and science questions in my room.
Round 17 contained the expected number of math and science questions:

tossup 2 Red Queen hypothesis
tossup 7 common link on "four" in chemistry
tossup 12 moraines
tossup 15 halving
tossup 20 function composition

(and tossup 23, a physics tossup on Planck's constant which was unheard in the round 17 game for Saint Stephen's Episcopal A)
OK thanks.
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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by Corry » Tue May 31, 2016 4:57 pm

jonah wrote:I'm afraid I don't understand the complaint. The clue clearly states it is talking about labels for loops. If a player doesn't know what labels are or how they work, they probably shouldn't buzz on a clue about labels. I don't believe NAQT or quiz bowl in general has adopted a standard that second clues (or any particular clue in general) has to be part of a curriculum in some fashion; even if such a standard were possible (no) it would not be a good idea.

What makes the question a hose? It sounds to me like the only problem is "a clue that lots of people didn't know," which is not a hose nor necessarily a problem for a second clue.
Hose is probably the wrong word, but I also doubt the second line here is a good clue. As far as I understand, labels are a very obscure and rarely-used feature in Java and C that most high schoolers would have never encountered. So I suspect that the clue likely would've prompted many negs from players who mistook labels for some other better-known aspect of loops.
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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by Gibberish Nonsense » Tue May 31, 2016 5:12 pm

bird bird bird bird bird wrote:
Gibberish Nonsense wrote:Can I see the tossup on Jake Arrieta's no hitters? I vaguely remember that first date being off.
2016 HSNCT round 20 wrote:Athlete and feat required. The first of these events was in August 2015 on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball against the Dodgers, and was followed by a press conference featuring a mustache onesie. The second of these games, in April 2016, had a nearly unprecedented (*) 16-run margin of victory and was against the Reds. For 10 points—name these events in which the Chicago Cubs' ace allowed no singles, doubles, triples, or homers.

answer: Jake Arrieta's no-hitters (accept any answer containing Jacob (Joseph) Arrieta and no-hitter; prompt on partial answers; do not accept or prompt on answers containing "perfect game")
"August 2015" is correct (boxscore).
Ah, okay. I could've sworn it said August 24, 2015, but that's totally correct (and come to think of it, would seem like poor question writing). Thanks!
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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by Santa Claus » Tue May 31, 2016 5:33 pm

Corry wrote:Hose is probably the wrong word, but I also doubt the second line here is a good clue. As far as I understand, labels are a very obscure and rarely-used feature in Java and C that most high schoolers would have never encountered. So I suspect that the clue likely would've prompted many negs from players who mistook labels for some other better-known aspect of loops.
This was a big part of what the complaint was; sorry for not stating it properly. Using clues that don't appear in classes isn't a bad thing, but this clue in particular seems particularly liable to lead people astray. In this case I thought it was particularly egregious because of how heavily the question seems to imply any number of alternative (incorrect) answers.
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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by vinteuil » Tue May 31, 2016 5:51 pm

bird bird bird bird bird wrote:
swimmerstar wrote:Could I see the tossups on New Orleans and quintic?
2016 HSNCT round 21 wrote:"Bring radicals" are defined in terms of zeroes of these expressions, and are used to write other zeroes of them. Because the splitting fields associated with these expressions do not always have solvable (*) Galois groups, the Abel-Ruffini theorem states that there is no general formula to solve this kind of polynomial. For 10 points—give the term for a polynomial whose degree is 5.

answer: quintic polynomials (or quintics; accept quintic equations; accept fifth-degree polynomial or polynomial of degree 5 before "degree")
Do math contest people learn about the Galois theory stuff in this question? Or is this just really really really hard for a high school question? (I don't think Bring radicals showed up in any of the algebra or number theory material I've studied!)
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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Tue May 31, 2016 6:41 pm

vinteuil wrote:Do math contest people learn about the Galois theory stuff in this question?
No, but it's a common topic of self-study for "math contest people".
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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by swimmerstar » Tue May 31, 2016 6:43 pm

I'm pretty decent at math contests but would not have gotten the tossup until Abel-Ruffini. I'm curious to see the conversion stats for this question.
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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by Large Adult Song » Tue May 31, 2016 7:35 pm

The Quest for the Historical Mukherjesus wrote:
vinteuil wrote:Do math contest people learn about the Galois theory stuff in this question?
No, but it's a common topic of self-study for "math contest people".
I wouldn't say common, but it's also certainly not unheard of. Nevertheless, I would be very surprised if anyone powered this unless it was a quick guess based on "do not always have solvable" (and that kind of buzz would have required anticipation of such a clue).

Related: it's not a huge issue, but I think the inclusion of both quadratic and quintic polynomials as answerlines should have been avoided. There's nothing wrong with it (and both have interesting, unique clues) but there are more things to ask about in the high school canon than types of polynomials!
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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by Kasper Kaijanen » Tue May 31, 2016 8:01 pm

Could you post the tossup on Mexico? Because I remember re-reading the last sentence a few times and every time I read it it seemed like there were a few words missing from the last sentence.
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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Tue May 31, 2016 8:04 pm

That tossup indeed had a "fought" missing from the final sentence. I have fixed it in our database.
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Re: 2016 HSNCT discussion

Post by 100% Clean Comedian Dan Nainan » Tue May 31, 2016 9:12 pm

Two requests:
1) Can I see the tossup on Andrew Wyeth from round 16? I was pretty sure it was him for the majority of the question, and then I was confused and ended up buzzing with "Wood." Probably due to my misunderstanding of the clue than the wording of the question itself.
2) Who wrote the "Alabama" tossup in round 20? My team thoroughly enjoyed it in our consolation match!

EDIT: Also, as I am a senior and this is the only HSNCT I will be able to play, I wanted to take a moment to congratulate NAQT on an excellently run tournament. It was tons of fun, even for a team in the bottom half of the field.
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