Penn Bowl Discussion

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Penn Bowl Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:09 am

I think the mirrors are all done and people are clamoring for discussion. So here we go. Sorry if this isn't right.
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Re: Penn Bowl Discussion

Post by Matt Weiner » Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:09 am

Yes, the set is done being used. It will be posted shortly. Discuss away.
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Re: Penn Bowl Discussion

Post by Tower Monarch » Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:21 am

One part of the discussion I would like to hear as someone who has not seen the questions: how did this end up comparing to ACF Winter in terms of difficulty and/or variability? Just a scan of the stats says that MD A and VCU put up a bit higher PPG against a harder field than the Reynolds Winter site, while the PPB for those two were roughly the same. Was this generally true?
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Re: Penn Bowl Discussion

Post by DumbJaques » Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:35 am

One part of the discussion I would like to hear as someone who has not seen the questions: how did this end up comparing to ACF Winter in terms of difficulty and/or variability? Just a scan of the stats says that MD A and VCU put up a bit higher PPG against a harder field than the Reynolds Winter site, while the PPB for those two were roughly the same. Was this generally true?
I'm not sure what exactly went into this, but I do think the tossups at Penn Bowl were more accessible, across the board, than those at Winter. Certainly, there weren't any tossups on the Cartagena Manifesto, which really just makes everyone's life a little sadder.

Bonus conversion seems analogous or even slightly lower for Penn Bowl, particularly among the top teams. I'd say that this might be due to the significant variability in difficulty of the hard parts of Penn Bowl bonuses. Every tournament has some relatively easy 30s or tough 10s (or 0s) that slip in, but I noticed quite a range in the difficulty of the hard parts yesterday. Most bonuses were pretty even, though they may have ranged from something that might have passed for a hard high school bonus to something more regionals level, but a significant amount of hard parts seemed to be way, way out there. I certainly remember exchanges during games against really good teams where we basically looked at each other and noted an impression that someone had just heard a 20 point maximum bonus. Other stuff seemed to be making its quizbowl debut in non-clue form, which may have had a negative side effect that caused the variation you noticed. On the plus side, this led to hearing about some very interesting things and I can't wait to book the Partially Buried Woodshed for my next birthday.
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Re: Penn Bowl Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:41 am

I felt it was slightly easier than ACF Winter, but I'm bad at judging this sort of thing.

This was an entertaining tournament with solid packets. Without being rude, I can only say a little tighter editing may have resulted in a stronger set--the packets were highly variable in terms of predilections and sometimes quality.

Favorite TU: I liked Battle of Yavin IV, even though I didn't get it. Knowledge of "Becoming Jane" paid off. My only powers were Harold Pinter (off "Betrayal"--ha ha, Seinfeld knowledge) and Dorothea Lange (sophomore year term paper).

Most Embarassing Moment: Writing an unused tossup on The Yellow Wallpaper and sitting like a moron as Mike Sorice easily beat me to the usused Yellow Wallpaper tossup which included a similar reference to Silas Weir Mitchell.

Worst Neg for Me: Inventing the fictional presidential election of 1934 for election of 1936 (I knew what it was off the damn Frank Knox clue in the lead-in, but I'm bad at years).

Things I Was Happy to Finally Have Come Up: "Season of Migration to the North" by Salih and Lord Haw-Haw. The former is an awesome book, BTW. Now all I need is "Harvest of Thorns" to come up and that world lit class will be worth it.

Niggling Points: Don't have more than one presidential election year TU at a tourney--1884 could have easily become a TU on James Blaine or something. Some packets were stuffed with ill-advised or questionable common link tossups ("invading Hungary," "penal colonies," and I am told I missed out on a packet which featured even more).
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Re: Penn Bowl Discussion

Post by BuzzerZen » Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:51 am

Cheynem wrote:James Blaine
Cheynem wrote:James G. Blaine
Cheynem wrote:James Gillespie Blaine, the Continental Liar from the State of Maine
Um, as you were.
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Re: Penn Bowl Discussion

Post by Kyle » Mon Jan 26, 2009 1:35 am

Hey, can someone post the Season of Migration question? (Or is the whole set posted yet?) Thanks!
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Re: Penn Bowl Discussion

Post by theMoMA » Mon Jan 26, 2009 4:08 am

There were a lot of good packets in this tournament, but there were also packets that seemed to suffer from a lack of editing that was really necessary. It's a shame when you get a packet full of pretty good questions that aren't quite up to par, and it takes almost as much work to make it a quality packet as it would to fix a really bad packet wholesale. But it has to be done. My experience of this tournament would have been wildly different had a competitive match taken place on a few of the packets that had this issue.

The good packets were all what I expect from a quality regular difficulty event, but there were a couple of packets that were not up to that standard. Those packets rewarded buzzes like "hmm, this guy is a Canadian from the 1860s" or "this is a treaty that governed what 16th century Spanish explorers did." The biggest problem with this tournament in general, and these packets in specific, is that there were quite a few transparent and misplaced clues, which could have been avoided with more careful editing.
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Re: Penn Bowl Discussion

Post by Auroni » Mon Jan 26, 2009 6:10 am

yeah, seconding what Andrew said. There were a lot of transparent tossups in this set, plus tossups that had weak early clues (el jaleo and gassed for sargent and a mention of hiding from buffaloes, a plot element from Billiards at Half Past 9, for Boll are two examples that come to mind now). On the whole, the tossups were enjoyable and the bonuses were mostly spot on with only a couple of glaring problems.
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Re: Penn Bowl Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:15 am

theMoMA wrote:There were a lot of good packets in this tournament, but there were also packets that seemed to suffer from a lack of editing that was really necessary. It's a shame when you get a packet full of pretty good questions that aren't quite up to par, and it takes almost as much work to make it a quality packet as it would to fix a really bad packet wholesale. But it has to be done. My experience of this tournament would have been wildly different had a competitive match taken place on a few of the packets that had this issue.

The good packets were all what I expect from a quality regular difficulty event, but there were a couple of packets that were not up to that standard. Those packets rewarded buzzes like "hmm, this guy is a Canadian from the 1860s" or "this is a treaty that governed what 16th century Spanish explorers did." The biggest problem with this tournament in general, and these packets in specific, is that there were quite a few transparent and misplaced clues, which could have been avoided with more careful editing.
I think that transparency was a large issue, certainly--in terms of what made my experience more frustrating, it certainly was the largest. (Several tossups in crucial games, including our bracket final against Brown, featured me staring at the wall trying to rationalize why I was so sure I knew the answer in a subject that I don't know as well as, say, Ted Gioia.)

But an equally large issue, in terms of what might have skewed results, was, as Chris said, bonus variability. I distinctly remember some bonuses feeling almost high school, or maybe high-school-plus-a-legitimate-college-third-part, while others made it to regular difficulty and a few went higher than that (and certainly some of the fuck-you third parts were not "regular difficulty" in that a tournament that featured them appropriately wouldn't be considered regular difficulty.

On the whole, this was a tournament, and I like tournaments. Like FEUERBACH, I know that if I put out a call to everyone to play my regular difficulty set, it wouldn't be this good. But I think that this set, largely because it suffered from problems that reflected a lack of editing attention (wild bonus variability, lack of middle clues, transparency, all of which varied with the writing experience of those who wrote the packet), didn't live up to expectations.
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Re: Penn Bowl Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:03 am

I have to agree with the general assessment of Penn Bowl thus far: it was a pretty solid tournament, with many good questions, but I can't shake the feeling of a certain split identity disorder that this event suffered from. On the one hand, many tossups were ridiculously easy, with very obvious clues popping up very early in many questions. When I say "very obvious," I mean obvious relative to the knowledge-base of stronger teams; most of the clues would have been fine for an EFT or ACF Fall-level tournament but when you potentially have several good teams in your bracket that can be playing on any given packet, it seems misguided to have such tossups come up repeatedly. I don't know if part of this was the general ease of answer selection, but I'd like to think that it's possible to write an interesting Chandragupta tossup without resorting to mentioning the Arthasastra in the second clue.

On the other hand, the bonuses seemed intent on "challenging" stronger teams; I put that in quotes because a fair portion of the bonuses seemed rather intent on limiting the possible number of points to 20, although most of that 20 was a gift to any decent team. I can see why you would want to reduce bonus difficulty across the board, but it doesn't make sense to me to do so in a way that makes many third parts impossible, particularly when the other two parts are very easy for the upper half of the bracket. I think this accounts for the main difference in bonus styles between ACF Winter and Penn Bowl: at Winter, the easy parts were harder but the hard parts were easier, and I specifically edited most of the hard parts down to something I knew was canonical. I think that explains why teams like Chicago and Minnesota were able to convert upwards of 23 or even 24 PPB while many bottom teams struggled. At Penn Bowl, the top teams' conversion was slightly suppressed, but the bottom teams seemed to do better (although this also varies across sites and I haven't done the full numbers yet). In general, I think that some in-between approach that combined the best from each tournament would probably have been ideal.

The logistics were very well done; kudos to Matt and the Penn team for that. My only regret was that the structure did not allow us to have a playoff bracket and the final was a one-off between us and Chicago; it would have been great to be able to play some sort of playoff brackets, but I guess the time and field size constraints didn't allow for it. Other than that, everything was great.
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Re: Penn Bowl Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:07 am

Also, a couple of nitpicky science points: I'm 99% positive (and will check my sources this evening) that the stock-cutting problem is a subset of knapsack problems (I was negged for this when buzzing on the first clue) and that the magnetocaloric effect is essentially the same thing as adiabatic demagnetization, which I gave as an answer on a bonus part and which was not accepted.
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Re: Penn Bowl Discussion

Post by aestheteboy » Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:11 pm

I enjoyed this tournament a lot. One of my few regrets is that we didn't get to play either of the high school A teams, but it's obviously a minor quibble. I agree with Jerry's comment about bonus difficulty. The tossups (in particular the middle clues) were generally quite accessible compared to winter, which I guess was both good and bad, but I didn't think the bonus overall was much easier than winter.

Also, I noticed a lot of Roman history.
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Re: Penn Bowl Discussion

Post by Not That Kind of Christian!! » Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:22 pm

I agree with the comment that some packets seemed to have much less editing than others: Once or twice, packets just seemed inferior to the rest of the very solid set. I also second the bonus difficulty criticism, since there was both a Philip Glass bonus (which began with the ever-typical "Knee Play" clue about Einstein on the Beach) that was extremely easy and a sort of bizarre "disastrous battles" bonus that seemed difficult to get more than 10 on.

We very much enjoyed playing this tournament. Thanks to UPenn, Matt Weiner, etc.
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Re: Penn Bowl Discussion

Post by ezubaric » Mon Jan 26, 2009 1:30 pm

grapesmoker wrote:Also, a couple of nitpicky science points: I'm 99% positive (and will check my sources this evening) that the stock-cutting problem is a subset of knapsack problems
You're right, Jerry, it's much more related to knapsack problems (but such things are all relative given that they're all NP complete). It would be nice to see how the actual question was phrased, though, as I remember hearing the cutting stock clue, being confused, and then an undergrad who was once in a lecture I have about TSP approximations ended up winning the buzzer race on Lin-Kernighan. Not that I'm bitter or anything.

I liked the tournament. There were a couple of transparent questions (Taft-Hartley, Great Attractor, Tale of Genji), but a very solid and fun set. It was relatively well run (the moderators we saw were either excellent or mediocre, but all were adequate), and the field was rock solid. It would have been nice to have crossover between brackets, but that would have been a tough schedule.

EDIT: Spelling
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Re: Penn Bowl Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Mon Jan 26, 2009 2:36 pm

ezubaric wrote:You're right, Jerry, it's much more related to knapsack problems (but such things are all relative given that they're all NP complete). It would be nice to see how the actual question was phrased, though, as I remember hearing the cutting stock clue, being confused, and then an undergrad who was once in a lecture I have about TSP approximations ended up winning the buzzer race on Lin-Kernighan. Not that I'm bitter or anything.
I don't remember the wording of most of the question, but I remember that it began with the words "The stock-cutting problem..." at which point I buzzed.
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Re: Penn Bowl Discussion

Post by fleurdelivre » Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:09 pm

HKirsch wrote:I agree with the comment that some packets seemed to have much less editing than others: Once or twice, packets just seemed inferior to the rest of the very solid set. I also second the bonus difficulty criticism, since there was both a Philip Glass bonus (which began with the ever-typical "Knee Play" clue about Einstein on the Beach) that was extremely easy and a sort of bizarre "disastrous battles" bonus that seemed difficult to get more than 10 on.
The problem with "disastrous battles" was less that it was hard than that it had no actual information. The intro called them "European battles," but then the first answer was Dien Bien Phu - which teams were supposed to get off "the French positioned themselves in a valley and lost". No names, no dates, no opponents mentioned - and then the other two continued this trend. Sure, mentioning Giap might make it too easy, but this bonus desperately needed real clues.
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Re: Penn Bowl Discussion

Post by Sir Thopas » Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:43 pm

fleurdelivre wrote:The problem with "disastrous battles" was less that it was hard than that it had no actual information. The intro called them "European battles," but then the first answer was Dien Bien Phu - which teams were supposed to get off "the French positioned themselves in a valley and lost". No names, no dates, no opponents mentioned - and then the other two continued this trend. Sure, mentioning Giap might make it too easy, but this bonus desperately needed real clues.
This. Of course I know about the Battle of Balaklava; instead I Was left scratching me head and taking the 0 trying to figure out what the hell was going on.
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Re: Penn Bowl Discussion

Post by swwFCqb » Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:49 pm

Sir Thopas wrote:
fleurdelivre wrote:The problem with "disastrous battles" was less that it was hard than that it had no actual information. The intro called them "European battles," but then the first answer was Dien Bien Phu - which teams were supposed to get off "the French positioned themselves in a valley and lost". No names, no dates, no opponents mentioned - and then the other two continued this trend. Sure, mentioning Giap might make it too easy, but this bonus desperately needed real clues.
This. Of course I know about the Battle of Balaklava; instead I Was left scratching me head and taking the 0 trying to figure out what the hell was going on.
Does anyone have the text of this bonus handy??
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Re: Penn Bowl Discussion

Post by Sir Thopas » Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:51 pm

Williams packet, bonus 19:
19. Name these European military disasters, for 10 points each:
[10] The French set up camp in the bowl of a valley, convinced that the high ground cannot be used against them. They proceed to be surrounded by heavy artillery; disaster ensues.
ANSWER: The Battle of Dien Bien Phu
[10] The Austrian cavalry buys alcohol and gets drunk. Some of the infantry find the cavalry drinking and are turned away when they ask if they can join the party. A fight occurs, and the rest of the army thinks they've encountered the enemy. Disaster ensues; the opposing army shows up two days later and finds 10,000 dead.
ANSWER: The Battle of Karansebes
[10] An officer is sent to inform a British cavalry unit to charge a position. The officer waves his arm vaguely to indicate the target area, and the cavalry commander misinterprets the gesture. The cavalry charges the wrong position, and runs right into an artillery crossfire; disaster ensues.
ANSWER: The Battle of Balaclava [or the Charge of the Light Brigade]
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Re: Penn Bowl Discussion

Post by Lapego1 » Mon Jan 26, 2009 6:23 pm

I'm interested in what people thought about the non-CS science in general. It was my first true collegiate editing experience, so any further feedback either here or by e-mail (mrazviREMOVE@sas.upenn.edu) would be appreciated when the set gets posted. I hope it was generally a positive experience. I tried to keep most of the answers that were submitted except in the case of the math, where, following the discussion from ACF Winter, I tried to rewrite some of what I received on more accessible topics as best I could. It seemed after all the talk about the chemistry distribution, people shied away from organic a little more, which was good to see for the sake of variability, but only so many questions on enthalpy, entropy, and Gibbs free energy can go into the set. Thanks again to everyone who came out to the Penn site. We ended up running 16 rounds, and it was excellent to see that nobody left early and people wanted to keep playing even though it was past 9pm by round 16.
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Re: Penn Bowl Discussion

Post by cornfused » Mon Jan 26, 2009 6:54 pm

Sir Thopas wrote:Williams packet, bonus 19:
19. Name these European military disasters, for 10 points each:
[10] The French set up camp in the bowl of a valley, convinced that the high ground cannot be used against them. They proceed to be surrounded by heavy artillery; disaster ensues.
ANSWER: The Battle of Dien Bien Phu
[10] The Austrian cavalry buys alcohol and gets drunk. Some of the infantry find the cavalry drinking and are turned away when they ask if they can join the party. A fight occurs, and the rest of the army thinks they've encountered the enemy. Disaster ensues; the opposing army shows up two days later and finds 10,000 dead.
ANSWER: The Battle of Karansebes
[10] An officer is sent to inform a British cavalry unit to charge a position. The officer waves his arm vaguely to indicate the target area, and the cavalry commander misinterprets the gesture. The cavalry charges the wrong position, and runs right into an artillery crossfire; disaster ensues.
ANSWER: The Battle of Balaclava [or the Charge of the Light Brigade]
This reads like old-school NAQT, but longer.
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Re: Penn Bowl Discussion

Post by aceofspades » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:00 pm

Jerry immediately thought knapsack problem too? Cool, so I'm not crazy after all :p

So, I definitely enjoyed this tournament, though of course I've only ever been to a few. (I have to add I liked the powers, they make people like me who only actually know one "minor" topic look cool.) I'm posting due to one minor complaint. I wrote a math bonus starting with the heat equation; unfortunately I don't think I have a copy of my submitted version accessible, but I think the edited version I heard was mathematically incorrect.
The first part, as I recall, mentioned Fick's law as did the edited version, but the editors inserted an explicit description of the equation that went more or less "the partial time derivative [of temperature?] is k times the partial spatial derivative [of temperature?]." The "partial spatial derivative" phrase unfortunately makes the clue not well-defined, and incorrect; it's a really bad way of attempting to describe the correct term "Laplacian" (or "Laplacian with respect to space", something equivalent etc.).
First of all, since the heat equation is for any number of dimensions, it's not clear what the "partial derivative" of such a multivariable function means. But let's forget that. The Laplacian is a second order differential operator, so really it's like a "second derivative". Saying just "derivative", which would generally be assumed to mean first order, is misleading. Besides, since the Laplacian has a very specific form composed of multiple terms with derivatives in different dimensions, i.e. delta(f)=SUM_i(df/dx_i) where the d's are partial, (or if you wanted to make it simpler you'd have to mention other operators, namely "divergence of the gradient"), a single phrase "partial derivative" is inaccurate because it makes it sound like one term. Sorry, but I see no reason why "partial space derivative" should be seen as indicative of the Laplacian, so the question as it stood did not give the correct heat equation.
On the other hand, to render the entire rambling above moot, the fact that there was another correct unique and well-known clue (Fick's law) means people got it from that anyway.
</pedant>

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Re: Penn Bowl Discussion

Post by Matt Weiner » Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:12 pm

Hey, I think most of the criticisms in this thread match up with the questions that, when moderating at the tournament, I thought I probably should have done another editing pass on. Though everything was edited a couple times, it was difficult, with 19 submitted packets and the 2 editors packets I wrote, to give every question a playtest or an out-loud read and find all the pitfalls. So, most of the specific complaints are right-on, and I hope they didn't jeopardize the general tournament experience. I recommend, in the future, that if one person edits the entirety of a packet set of this size, you find someone else who may not be doing any direct work but can just read your completed packets and tell you if something seems off.

With that said, this thread also has the frequently-seen-of-late banal element of people overcomplaining about easy questions/clues. Sure, a couple of bonuses were too easy to 30, some tossups (like the Tordesillas one) were open to lateral buzzing, etc. But just because you powered a tossup or 30ed a bonus, that doesn't mean it was "transparent" or too easy. I think there's a dangerous combination of needing to show off that you powered something by complaining about how it was too easy, and lack of self-confidence leading people to think that anything they know can't actually be difficult, that, when taken seriously, leads to things like 9-line tossups with 8 lines of leadins and no middle clues. You should ask around and see how other rooms did on the same question, and make sure you're not just looking for an excuse to mention your own buzz, before you make such a complaint.
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Re: Penn Bowl Discussion

Post by Lapego1 » Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:16 am

Yeah, sorry about that heat equation one. In the one you submitted, the only uniquely identifying clue was the mention of Fick's Law, so in my effort to speedily amend that, I seem to have forgot the word "second", which I intended to stick in but somehow forgot. I avoided mentioning Laplacian because those were already tossup answers.
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Re: Penn Bowl Discussion

Post by qdogg224 » Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:37 am

There was a bonus part on the Equipartition theorem that states that the Kronecker delta times the temperature is a constant? That's not its most common statement, but also, I don't think that makes any sense-- Temperature is usually a continuous function while the Kronecker delta takes values of zero or one... so that speaks to me as kinda... wrong. Is this for some crazy system that I can't think of off the top of my head or not?

Also, that tossup on the Permeability of free space was a bad idea.

If these had been mentioned already, sorry.
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Re: Penn Bowl Discussion

Post by Mike Bentley » Tue Jan 27, 2009 1:15 am

Here is the full TSP tossup:
The one dimensional cutting stock problem is a special case of it and Applegate and Bixby designed the CONCORDE program to solve it. A 3/2 approximative algorithm to solve it is the Christofides algorithm. One heuristic often used for it is a generalization of the 2-opt and 3-opt methods, the Lin-Kernighan algorithm. Sometimes simplified by requiring the triangle inequality, it's inefficiently solved by the nearest neighbor algorithm, and it's equivalent to finding the Hamiltonian cycle with least weight given a complete weighted graph. For 10 points, name this NP-hard problem of finding the least cost round trip if a namesake merchant visits each city once.
ANSWER: Traveling Salesman problem (or TSP)

I apologize for not catching the Knapsack issue. I don't know all that much in-depth information about the TSP, and largely left that tossup (which seemed pretty good to me) undedited. In retrospect, I should have done more research on the clues to make sure there wasn't that ambiguity.

If anyone else has any comments about the CS, let me know.
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Re: Penn Bowl Discussion

Post by AdamL » Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:07 am

I'm trying to bear in mind what Matt said a few posts above, but given that my knowledge of opera is almost nil, I thought the tossup on Turandot had the whole thing about the guy answering the three questions too early (i.e. still in power).
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Re: Penn Bowl Discussion

Post by Lapego1 » Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:16 am

qdogg224 wrote:There was a bonus part on the Equipartition theorem that states that the Kronecker delta times the temperature is a constant? That's not its most common statement, but also, I don't think that makes any sense-- Temperature is usually a continuous function while the Kronecker delta takes values of zero or one... so that speaks to me as kinda... wrong. Is this for some crazy system that I can't think of off the top of my head or not?

Also, that tossup on the Permeability of free space was a bad idea.
Yeah, I heard other people complaining about the phrasing of the equipartition one. I am only now learning about it in a classroom setting, so I should've probably looked at older packets to double-check, but I basically went with what was submitted. Going off your logic alone, I can only think that this is a statement for constant temperature i.e. kT*(delta) is constant at a given temperature and a given state (n=m or n /= m in Kronecker delta).
CMU wrote: 15. The curl of the magnetic field is approximately zero because this times the current density is small and the energy density of a magnetic field is equal to one half B squared divided by this. (*) In a vacuum, it divides the cross product of the electric and magnetic fields in the Poynting vector. The line integral of the magnetic field equals the enclosed current times this according to the only one of Maxwell’s equations that uses it, Ampere’s law. It is set to 4pi times ten to the minus seven, and multiplying it by the speed of light squared and vacuum permittivity yields 1. For 10 points, name this quantity, symbolized mu naught.
ANSWER: permeability of free space [or vacuum permeability, prompt on mu naught before mentioned; do not accept “permittivity”]
When you say the permeability of free space one was "a bad idea", I can only assume you mean it was guessable as soon as it starts talking about magnetic fields. I am inclined to agree, but it still requires some knowledge of formulas that don't come up in the classroom setting (or at least in my classroom setting). I mean, the clue ordering seems fine here, but maybe a different lead-in that doesn't involve magnetic fields would make it less of a "bad idea". Is that what you meant?
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Re: Penn Bowl Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Tue Jan 27, 2009 3:27 am

Lapego1 wrote:The curl of the magnetic field is approximately zero because this times the current density is small and the energy density of a magnetic field is equal to one half B squared divided by this. (*) In a vacuum, it divides the cross product of the electric and magnetic fields in the Poynting vector. The line integral of the magnetic field equals the enclosed current times this according to the only one of Maxwell’s equations that uses it, Ampere’s law. It is set to 4pi times ten to the minus seven, and multiplying it by the speed of light squared and vacuum permittivity yields 1. For 10 points, name this quantity, symbolized mu naught.
ANSWER: permeability of free space [or vacuum permeability, prompt on mu naught before mentioned; do not accept “permittivity”]
When you say the permeability of free space one was "a bad idea", I can only assume you mean it was guessable as soon as it starts talking about magnetic fields. I am inclined to agree, but it still requires some knowledge of formulas that don't come up in the classroom setting (or at least in my classroom setting). I mean, the clue ordering seems fine here, but maybe a different lead-in that doesn't involve magnetic fields would make it less of a "bad idea". Is that what you meant?

I find this question pretty confusing. What does it mean to say that the curl of the magnetic field is approximately zero? Compared to what? B is divergence free, so that is strictly zero, but it's not curl-free and I've never heard its curl described as "approximately zero." The rest of the first sentence is right out of freshman E&M (energy stored in magnetic field) so I'm not sure what you mean that this requires knowledge not encountered in classroom settings; that's actually the exact kind of knowledge being required here, not that there's anything wrong with that. I think the major problem with this question is that it was immediately guessable that the answer had to be the permeability since it corresponds to all the magnetic terms. I'm not sure if there's a great way to write a question on this topic, because oftentimes physicists just work in Gaussian units anyway, where mu-nought and epsilon-nought are just equal to 1, so most people don't bother memorizing where those terms go and there's nothing terribly interesting about their placement in formulas. If I were rewriting this question, I make it a tossup on just permeability and then would look for effects that modify it in some way, or consequences of different values for it.
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Re: Penn Bowl Discussion

Post by theMoMA » Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:10 pm

There were a few hard parts of bonuses that I thought were made unnecessarily difficult. If you plan on introducing Louise Glück into the canon, for example, you should probably mention her most famous work (The Wild Iris).
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Re: Penn Bowl Discussion

Post by qroper224 » Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:57 pm

Lapego1 wrote: When you say the permeability of free space one was "a bad idea", I can only assume you mean it was guessable as soon as it starts talking about magnetic fields. I am inclined to agree, but it still requires some knowledge of formulas that don't come up in the classroom setting (or at least in my classroom setting). I mean, the clue ordering seems fine here, but maybe a different lead-in that doesn't involve magnetic fields would make it less of a "bad idea". Is that what you meant?
Yeah, Jerry kind of hit this one on the head: It's really only used in MKS units, which in and of itself doesn't make it bad, but that it's almost always associated with the magnetic field in formulas. So it becomes very guessable.
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Re: Penn Bowl Discussion

Post by ... and the chaos of Mexican modernity » Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:40 pm

Just wondering if this set will ever be posted?
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Re: Penn Bowl Discussion

Post by Gautam » Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:46 pm

Bakery, State, and Utopia wrote:Just wondering if this set will ever be posted?
Yeah dude, I don't think any editor will ever not post a set. Give Matt some time to fix up whatever he wants fixed.
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Re: Penn Bowl Discussion

Post by Matt Weiner » Fri Feb 06, 2009 2:35 pm

Hey, I finally got around to fixing the set (i.e., I wrote the third bonus part to the bonus that didn't have one and moved around tossups in the packet that had a tossup 21 but no tossup 11; I apologize for those oversights and I hope everyone simply skipped those questions when reading the games for real). Given that it's already been two weeks since the tournament and the questions were not yet posted, I didn't take more time to fix the typos; hopefully there weren't so many as to interfere with anyone's use of these for practice. In any case, the set has been sent to Chris and I assume he will post it within the next day.
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Re: Penn Bowl Discussion

Post by cdcarter » Sat Feb 07, 2009 9:05 am

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Re: Penn Bowl Discussion

Post by Ondes Martenot » Sun Feb 08, 2009 2:58 pm

I'm having issues trying to open the file....
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Re: Penn Bowl Discussion

Post by cdcarter » Sun Feb 08, 2009 4:09 pm

aarcoh wrote:I'm having issues trying to open the file....
Sorry, it should be http://collegiate.quizbowlpackets.com/archive/pb09.zip
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Re: Penn Bowl Discussion

Post by setht » Mon Mar 02, 2009 1:49 am

Apologies in advance for resurrecting a thread over a month after discussion seems to have died down, but I was recently reminded of a question from the set that puzzled me: the tossup on "golden apples." The part that puzzled me was the second sentence, which reads "Three of these were changed into lions by Hera out of spite when either Melanion or Hippomenes forgot to thank her for their use in defeating his (*) beloved." I wasn't aware of any variant of the myth in which the apples were changed into lions by Hera. Some googling brings up the Wikipedia page with some quoted text that I guess could be (mis)read as saying that Aphrodite turned the apples into lions (the text has the phrase "...she turned them into lions." but that "them" refers to Atalanta and Hippomenes/Melanion, not the apples). The text is unattributed. Graves has nothing about apples being turned into lions, and I didn't see any other websites during my quick googling that have anything about this. If there is a source for a variant in which the apples are turned into lions, I'd love to hear about it.

Thanks,
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Re: Penn Bowl Discussion

Post by yoda4554 » Mon Mar 02, 2009 10:38 am

setht wrote:Apologies in advance for resurrecting a thread over a month after discussion seems to have died down, but I was recently reminded of a question from the set that puzzled me: the tossup on "golden apples." The part that puzzled me was the second sentence, which reads "Three of these were changed into lions by Hera out of spite when either Melanion or Hippomenes forgot to thank her for their use in defeating his (*) beloved." I wasn't aware of any variant of the myth in which the apples were changed into lions by Hera. Some googling brings up the Wikipedia page with some quoted text that I guess could be (mis)read as saying that Aphrodite turned the apples into lions (the text has the phrase "...she turned them into lions." but that "them" refers to Atalanta and Hippomenes/Melanion, not the apples). The text is unattributed. Graves has nothing about apples being turned into lions, and I didn't see any other websites during my quick googling that have anything about this. If there is a source for a variant in which the apples are turned into lions, I'd love to hear about it.

Thanks,
-Seth
This is my fault--I read the lions thing somewhere (forget where, maybe pantheon.org) in which the pronouns were slightly ambiguous and I was reading quickly. Hopefully that didn't confuse anyone.
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Re: Penn Bowl Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Tue Mar 03, 2009 3:31 pm

Also reviving an old thread: after finally seeing On the Waterfront, I am really confused about that tossup. Even after just seeing the film yesterday, I still am not really sure what the tippi-tippi-tim, tippi-tippi-tan thing is referring to in the lead-in. Like, I looked at an online copy of the script which includes the scene (a bum asking Terry for change in the opening scene, the sam bum from later in the film), but unless I watched an edited copy of the film, this scene did not appear in the film I watched. The tossup also says that Terry stops his story about the Children's Home by asking why he is "running off at the mouth," a line that again I do not recall from the film but appears in the original script. Also, the question claims a character named "John Doyle" died, when it actually is "Joey Doyle." I'm not angry about it and it certainly didn't confuse me into not buzzing, but I was just wondering if the writers of the question wrote it by looking at the original script, and not at the film.
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Re: Penn Bowl Discussion

Post by Auroni » Tue Mar 03, 2009 3:47 pm

Cheynem wrote:Also reviving an old thread: after finally seeing On the Waterfront, I am really confused about that tossup. Even after just seeing the film yesterday, I still am not really sure what the tippi-tippi-tim, tippi-tippi-tan thing is referring to in the lead-in. Like, I looked at an online copy of the script which includes the scene (a bum asking Terry for change in the opening scene, the sam bum from later in the film), but unless I watched an edited copy of the film, this scene did not appear in the film I watched. The tossup also says that Terry stops his story about the Children's Home by asking why he is "running off at the mouth," a line that again I do not recall from the film but appears in the original script. Also, the question claims a character named "John Doyle" died, when it actually is "Joey Doyle." I'm not angry about it and it certainly didn't confuse me into not buzzing, but I was just wondering if the writers of the question wrote it by looking at the original script, and not at the film.
All this was my fault, I was looking at the original script.
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