Mons Mathstrosity II: Even Primes Redux [Announcement]

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Mons Mathstrosity II: Even Primes Redux [Announcement]

Postby The Real Master of Flémalle » Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:37 am

I’m pleased to announce the sequel to Math Monstrosity: Mons Mathstrosity II - Even Primes Redux, a tossups-only math side event.

The set will be edited by myself, Matt Mitchell and Harrison Brown. If you are interested in editing for this tournament, please get in touch with me through PM or email at neelavd0210@gmail.com.

There will be 12 packets of 20 power marked tossups, following this distribution:
3.5 Algebra (Groups, Rings, Fields, Commutative and Noncommutative Algebra, Algebraic Geometry)
3.5 Analysis (Real and Complex Analysis, Functional Analysis, Dynamical Systems, Probability Theory)
2 Topology (Point-set, Algebraic Topology, Differential Topology and Differential Geometry)
2 History of Math
2 Number Theory (Elementary, Algebraic and Analytic)
2 Discrete Math and Combinatorics
1 Logic + Foundations (Set theory, model theory, HoTT)
1 Applied Math
1 Computer Science
1 High School Math (Algebra, Trig, Pre-calculus)
1 Math Culture + Other

Notes on the distribution:

-What do I mean by “Math Culture”? In essence this part of the distribution takes the place of the “Recreational/Other/Mixed” category from last year. This category is on things that aren’t mathematics themselves, but pertain to the practice of mathematics. These are meant to be topics that the working math student or mathematician would be familiar with - for example LaTeX. This category will also have questions pertaining to mathematics in other academic areas.

-There will be a minimum of computational math in the set, if any.

-Contemporary mathematicians may make appearances as clues in tossups (e.g “So-and-so’s work on such-and-such theory generalizes this construct.”), however, contemporary mathematicians will not be answer lines for tossups. Non-contemporary mathematicians will not be tossed up outside the history of math questions.

-The parenthetical lists of sub-topics are not exhaustive.

Tossups will be around seven lines in 11 point Times New Roman font. The difficulty may range from regular difficulty up to Nationals or higher - there will necessarily be tossups and clues about things unseen in the quizbowl canon. However, we will do our best to control the difficulty of the answer lines, so that the majority of tossups feel difficult but gettable. Pyramidality will be a central focus in the editing.

The tournament will be a doubles tournament, much like the original Math Monstrosity. The cost to play will be in the range of $15 to $20 per person, with a discount of 10 dollars available to people who submit half-packets by April 14th. The full cost will be waived for individuals who write a full packet of questions. The cost to players of the tournaments we're mirroring at will be $10. Individuals who wish to submit a half-packet should email me at neelavd0210@gmail.com.

Our goal is to run mirrors of this tournament at MSNCT, HSNCT and PACE, staffing permitting. We’ll probably be looking at the same 6 packet half tournament followed by a shootout at the end unless there is significant interest and we can put together the staff and time to do more. With sufficient interest and staffing we can also run a Skype tournament after all mirrors have concluded.

EDIT 1: Price adjustments due to justified concern.

EDIT 2: Split the third topology question between algebra and analysis.
Last edited by The Real Master of Flémalle on Sun Jan 21, 2018 4:02 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Mons Mathstrosity II: Even Primes Redux [Announcement]

Postby LeoLaw » Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:41 am

Very happy to see this happening. I didn't play the first Math Monstrosity because I can only do it on Skype and I am not the biggest fan of Skype bowl. But I did play/read through all the packets. While I am not a big fan of the fact that my reader was struggling to read the nicely complied Latex Math equations/sums/ or whatever else that is amazing about Latex, I understand the difficulty to do a pronunciation guide for every single instance of that. Are you just going to do that same for this?
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Re: Mons Mathstrosity II: Even Primes Redux [Announcement]

Postby Dominator » Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:46 pm

While I am excited for a side event to play and pleased at the growth of math within quizbowl, I have to say that I am concerned about this event.

The description of the distribution laid out a fairly strong editorial vision, which is perfect for a side event with a small (1, 2) writing team. An event like this that tries to write multiple rounds, each one of which contains far more questions on the topic than most entire tournaments, is necessarily going to be ambitious and require careful planning and an acute editorial eye to execute well. But then you mention packet submission, which muddies everything. Will submitted packets be able to maintain the same standards? Aren't submitted packets overwhelmingly likely to repeat clues and answer lines given the rather small quizbowl math canon? If so, are the editors prepared to do quite a bit of surgery on their submissions, or will it be more of a guerrilla event?

A cost of $30/person is really high. I like math, but not $30 worth. When I wrote my last side event, I charged $10/person for 10 packets. That seems to be about the going rate. Why is this tournament 3 times as expensive? How many rounds will there be?

I'm also not a fan of running this sort of event at every HS or MS national. The intended difficulty is well beyond HS and MS, and youngsters who have a casual interest in trying their hand are unlikely to pay $30 for a lark. From my perspective as a guy who would play it, I almost certainly wouldn't because running so many mirrors weakens the field at each one. I'd much rather play all of the mathiest of nerds at once. A single Skype event that could pull everyone interested from across the country would be far more attractive.
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Re: Mons Mathstrosity II: Even Primes Redux [Announcement]

Postby CPiGuy » Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:56 pm

Needless to say, I am very excited about this and looking for a teammate at either HSNCT or MSNCT.

Also, you mentioned that you'll be writing 12 packets; assuming a sufficient field it is probably reasonable to read 8 or 9 packets as the actual tournament rather than just 6.

LeoLaw wrote:Very happy to see this happening. I didn't play the first Math Monstrosity because I can only do it on Skype and I am not the biggest fan of Skype bowl. But I did play/read through all the packets. While I am not a big fan of the fact that my reader was struggling to read the nicely complied Latex Math equations/sums/ or whatever else that is amazing about Latex, I understand the difficulty to do a pronunciation guide for every single instance of that. Are you just going to do that same for this?


Leo, as the author of the first Math Monstrosity, yeah, formatting sums, integrals, etc. in LaTeX was a mistake and I don't think Neelav and Matt plan on doing so for this tournament.

Dominator wrote:The description of the distribution laid out a fairly strong editorial vision, which is perfect for a side event with a small (1, 2) writing team. An event like this that tries to write multiple rounds, each one of which contains far more questions on the topic than most entire tournaments, is necessarily going to be ambitious and require careful planning and an acute editorial eye to execute well. But then you mention packet submission, which muddies everything. Will submitted packets be able to maintain the same standards? Aren't submitted packets overwhelmingly likely to repeat clues and answer lines given the rather small quizbowl math canon? If so, are the editors prepared to do quite a bit of surgery on their submissions, or will it be more of a guerrilla event?


I trust that the editors will actually edit the questions; the fact that the packet deadline is a month in advance of the tournament seems to confirm this.

Dominator wrote:A cost of $30/person is really high. I like math, but not $30 worth. When I wrote my last side event, I charged $10/person for 10 packets. That seems to be about the going rate. Why is this tournament 3 times as expensive? How many rounds will there be?


I do agree with this point; while I would gladly pay $30 for a math tournament, many people wouldn't. I understand the editors want to create an incentive for packet submission, but this is probably too high. I would perhaps set the price at $20 with a $10 submission discount. I would also charge actual HSNCT/MSNCT players just $10, as many of them will have only found out about this at the event, but that's definitely up to the editors.

Dominator wrote:I'm also not a fan of running this sort of event at every HS or MS national. The intended difficulty is well beyond HS and MS, and youngsters who have a casual interest in trying their hand are unlikely to pay $30 for a lark. From my perspective as a guy who would play it, I almost certainly wouldn't because running so many mirrors weakens the field at each one. I'd much rather play all of the mathiest of nerds at once. A single Skype event that could pull everyone interested from across the country would be far more attractive.


Math Monstrosity 1 had ten-team fields at both NAQT nationals and six-team fields at PACE and at an online mirror. None of these fields were particularly weak, and they all featured at least four or five teams of "good players". I understand the desire to get everyone together, but playing quizbowl in person is better than doing so online, so you shouldn't expect people to prioritize online mirrors over physical ones. Not only that, but people have different plans, including plans to play other HSNCT side events, so it makes sense to have an MSNCT mirror for those people.
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Re: Mons Mathstrosity II: Even Primes Redux [Announcement]

Postby Dominator » Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:14 pm

CPiGuy wrote:
Dominator wrote:The description of the distribution laid out a fairly strong editorial vision, which is perfect for a side event with a small (1, 2) writing team. An event like this that tries to write multiple rounds, each one of which contains far more questions on the topic than most entire tournaments, is necessarily going to be ambitious and require careful planning and an acute editorial eye to execute well. But then you mention packet submission, which muddies everything. Will submitted packets be able to maintain the same standards? Aren't submitted packets overwhelmingly likely to repeat clues and answer lines given the rather small quizbowl math canon? If so, are the editors prepared to do quite a bit of surgery on their submissions, or will it be more of a guerrilla event?


I trust that the editors will actually edit the questions; the fact that the packet deadline is a month in advance of the tournament seems to confirm this.


I would hope so, but then again, I've edited high-level math from other people's submissions before, and it takes a lot of time. Writing and editing math (like any small portion of the distribution) in large numbers is very difficult because most of your time is spent blazing trails. Some packets being submitted could contain more math quizbowl that its writer had ever written before because there just aren't many volume math writers out there. Many of those questions won't be ready to play, and with so much answer and clue space burned on the other 200ish questions, there may not be great ways to fix them.

CPiGuy wrote:
Dominator wrote:I'm also not a fan of running this sort of event at every HS or MS national. The intended difficulty is well beyond HS and MS, and youngsters who have a casual interest in trying their hand are unlikely to pay $30 for a lark. From my perspective as a guy who would play it, I almost certainly wouldn't because running so many mirrors weakens the field at each one. I'd much rather play all of the mathiest of nerds at once. A single Skype event that could pull everyone interested from across the country would be far more attractive.


Math Monstrosity 1 had ten-team fields at both NAQT nationals and six-team fields at PACE and at an online mirror. None of these fields were particularly weak, and they all featured at least four or five teams of "good players". I understand the desire to get everyone together, but playing quizbowl in person is better than doing so online, so you shouldn't expect people to prioritize online mirrors over physical ones. Not only that, but people have different plans, including plans to play other HSNCT side events, so it makes sense to have an MSNCT mirror for those people.


I'm not asking people to prioritize anything in any particular way. I'm saying that I wouldn't care to play in a diluted field (other people are free to), and certainly not for $30.
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Re: Mons Mathstrosity II: Even Primes Redux [Announcement]

Postby The Real Master of Flémalle » Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:55 pm

Dominator wrote:
The description of the distribution laid out a fairly strong editorial vision, which is perfect for a side event with a small (1, 2) writing team. An event like this that tries to write multiple rounds, each one of which contains far more questions on the topic than most entire tournaments, is necessarily going to be ambitious and require careful planning and an acute editorial eye to execute well. But then you mention packet submission, which muddies everything. Will submitted packets be able to maintain the same standards? Aren't submitted packets overwhelmingly likely to repeat clues and answer lines given the rather small quizbowl math canon? If so, are the editors prepared to do quite a bit of surgery on their submissions, or will it be more of a guerrilla event?


I went into the idea of packet submission fully expecting to do a lot of surgery on submissions. You're right that there's an overwhelming probability that submissions will repeat clues and answer lines, but a large portion of the writing is also going to be done on our end - I don't expect packet submissions to fill the entire 12 packets, and they certainly wouldn't be going in without surgery even if they do.

Dominator wrote:A cost of $30/person is really high. I like math, but not $30 worth. When I wrote my last side event, I charged $10/person for 10 packets. That seems to be about the going rate. Why is this tournament 3 times as expensive? How many rounds will there be?


I'm glad you brought this up since I was actually up last night thinking about the price point I had set. I agree that it's entirely too high right now - when I set that price it was out of concern for being able to pay for staffers and Matt for their work, but the more I thought about it the more I realized that $30/person would put me in excess of what I need for that. I also wanted to provide a strong incentive for submitting questions (and indeed if one submits a half packet then the tournament actually costs less than it did last year). I'll be taking that price off the post for now and I'll wait to see how much interest we get before committing to a price, but you can expect it to be lower (in the range of 15 to 20 dollars), with similar incentives to submit a half/full packet. I'll also probably implement Conor's suggestion of charging $10 for HSNCT/MSNCT players.

Dominator wrote:I'm also not a fan of running this sort of event at every HS or MS national. The intended difficulty is well beyond HS and MS, and youngsters who have a casual interest in trying their hand are unlikely to pay $30 for a lark. From my perspective as a guy who would play it, I almost certainly wouldn't because running so many mirrors weakens the field at each one. I'd much rather play all of the mathiest of nerds at once. A single Skype event that could pull everyone interested from across the country would be far more attractive.


I prefer to run it at multiple sites for a few reasons. First is that it would make finding staff easier - when I played Math Monstrosity at HSNCT, some staffers were people who had played the packet already at MSNCT. I don't really want to have to face the prospect of finding staff for a tournament composed of every single person interested in this packet at once. The second is simply to give as many people as possible the opportunity to play if they want to - sure in many cases if someone is staffing HSNCT, then they're probably staffing MSNCT or PACE too. However I for one could only attend HSNCT last year, and I would have been more than a little unhappy if Math Monstrosity only got mirrored at say PACE. Other than that I think Conor nicely summarized the reasons I want to offer more nats mirrors.

TL:DR: Sorry about the price, will fix.
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Re: Mons Mathstrosity II: Even Primes Redux [Announcement]

Postby A Very Long Math Tossup » Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:04 pm

Dominator wrote:Aren't submitted packets overwhelmingly likely to repeat clues and answer lines given the rather small quizbowl math canon? If so, are the editors prepared to do quite a bit of surgery on their submissions, or will it be more of a guerrilla event?


What Neelav said.

CPiGuy wrote:I would perhaps set the price at $20 with a $10 submission discount. I would also charge actual HSNCT/MSNCT players just $10, as many of them will have only found out about this at the event, but that's definitely up to the editors.


I think this is a great idea.
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Re: Mons Mathstrosity II: Even Primes Redux [Announcement]

Postby sbraunfeld » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:00 am

A few comments and questions about the distribution.
Questions:
Is statistics part of applied math?
How broad is "other"? Might it include trash? philosophy?
Will packets intentionally include questions of significantly varying difficulty? In particular, should packet writers attempt to include various questions across the possible range, or e.g. would a packet written entirely at Nats difficulty be fine?

Comments:
Putting topology on even footing with algebra and analysis strikes me as a lot of topology. (My suggestion, which you are of course free to ignore, would be to drop one topology question and either let it be assigned arbitrarily or split it between algebra and analysis).
I would have thought differential geometry would be lumped with analysis rather than topology.
I hope you're not seriously considering more than one question in the tournament on homotopy type theory.

Also, what is the timeline for planning a Skype mirror?
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Re: Mons Mathstrosity II: Even Primes Redux [Announcement]

Postby Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:53 am

I probably won't play this because I don't know anything, but I just wanted to say that $10 is way too low for a submission discount. If someone's sending in a substantial number of questions to a side event, they should be able to play for free.
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Re: Mons Mathstrosity II: Even Primes Redux [Announcement]

Postby The Real Master of Flémalle » Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:05 pm

sbraunfeld wrote:A few comments and questions about the distribution.
Questions:
Is statistics part of applied math?
How broad is "other"? Might it include trash? philosophy?
Will packets intentionally include questions of significantly varying difficulty? In particular, should packet writers attempt to include various questions across the possible range, or e.g. would a packet written entirely at Nats difficulty be fine?


I lean towards saying statistics is applied math (and probability theory falls under analysis).

Other is very broad, it can include trash or philosophy, or any other kind of eclectic math content. However, the content must be mathematical. For instance, I would rather not have an answer line be "Mean Girls", but I would be very amused to have an answer line be "the limit from Mean Girls", if you could write an entire tossup about that limit.

We don't intend to vary difficulty within a packet; we're not going to go "okay that question was a little easy, let's throw in a nats level question now". Part of the surgery we will be doing is trying to normalize questions to regular or regular plus difficulty. However this may not always be possible, which is why I say that difficulty could be somewhat variable. What this means though is that packet writers can write questions across the possible range, and where we can normalize the difficulty we will. So a packet at nats difficulty would be fine to submit, for example.

sbraunfeld wrote:Comments:
Putting topology on even footing with algebra and analysis strikes me as a lot of topology. (My suggestion, which you are of course free to ignore, would be to drop one topology question and either let it be assigned arbitrarily or split it between algebra and analysis).
I would have thought differential geometry would be lumped with analysis rather than topology.
I hope you're not seriously considering more than one question in the tournament on homotopy type theory.

Also, what is the timeline for planning a Skype mirror?


The topology may be bit of vanity on my part, since my background strongly lies in algebra and topology. However, since the general expectation of an undergraduate math curriculum is real analysis and algebra, I think you might be right about splitting that third topology question. I'll think about it over night and decide what is to be done.

Differential geometry can definitely be lumped in with analysis, but at times it could also fall into the realm of topology. I would say it depends on how its written.

The mention of HoTT was really to indicate that the Logic + Foundations category didn't have to just be "send me your questions on ZFC". I don't know if there will be any quesions in HoTT, but we won't be so extravagant as to make brutalize players with repeated instances of it if HoTT does make an appearance.
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Re: Mons Mathstrosity II: Even Primes Redux [Announcement]

Postby Silverman » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:17 am

The Real Master of Flémalle wrote:
sbraunfeld wrote:Comments:
Putting topology on even footing with algebra and analysis strikes me as a lot of topology. (My suggestion, which you are of course free to ignore, would be to drop one topology question and either let it be assigned arbitrarily or split it between algebra and analysis).
I would have thought differential geometry would be lumped with analysis rather than topology.
I hope you're not seriously considering more than one question in the tournament on homotopy type theory.

The topology may be bit of vanity on my part, since my background strongly lies in algebra and topology. However, since the general expectation of an undergraduate math curriculum is real analysis and algebra, I think you might be right about splitting that third topology question. I'll think about it over night and decide what is to be done.

I'd like to second reassigning the third topology question.
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Re: Mons Mathstrosity II: Even Primes Redux [Announcement]

Postby The Real Master of Flémalle » Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:21 am

The third topology question will be getting split between algebra and analysis! This means the distribution is now 3.5 Algebra, 3.5 Analysis and 2 Topology.
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Re: Mons Mathstrosity II: Even Primes Redux [Announcement]

Postby The Ununtiable Twine » Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:06 pm

Can we just agree to split the third topology question amongst algebra and topology? I mean just have 1 braid theory per packet and this will be guaranteed to be the best side event ever.
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Re: Mons Mathstrosity II: Even Primes Redux [Announcement]

Postby Fond du lac operon » Sun Jan 21, 2018 5:06 pm

I see Neelav's already edited the announcement, but I'd like to say I'm excited to be joining the editing team for this tournament. I had a ton of fun playing the predecessor event and hope that we can provide an equally fun experience while learning from some of the mistakes and smoothing over the rough patches.
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Re: Mons Mathstrosity II: Even Primes Redux [Announcement]

Postby CPiGuy » Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:41 pm

Fond du lac operon wrote:I see Neelav's already edited the announcement, but I'd like to say I'm excited to be joining the editing team for this tournament. I had a ton of fun playing the predecessor event and hope that we can provide an equally fun experience while learning from some of the mistakes and smoothing over the rough patches.


oh thank God the rest of us have a chance to win
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Re: Mons Mathstrosity II: Even Primes Redux [Announcement]

Postby The Ununtiable Twine » Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:55 pm

Fond du lac operon wrote:I see Neelav's already edited the announcement, but I'd like to say I'm excited to be joining the editing team for this tournament. I had a ton of fun playing the predecessor event and hope that we can provide an equally fun experience while learning from some of the mistakes and smoothing over the rough patches.


i like winning and all but this time you ain't gon ruin my ppg
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Re: Mons Mathstrosity II: Even Primes Redux [Announcement]

Postby scholarhillery » Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:35 pm

Looking for teammate for MSNCT :grin:
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Re: Mons Mathstrosity II: Even Primes Redux [Announcement]

Postby Fond du lac operon » Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:27 am

I was hoping that Neelav would post this himself, but he had to step down from editing duties for this tournament. An MSNCT mirror is pretty unlikely and we'd run at most a scaled-down version at HSNCT or NSC; expect an update soon.
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Re: Mons Mathstrosity II: Even Primes Redux [Announcement]

Postby CPiGuy » Sun Mar 25, 2018 4:35 pm

When can we expect an announcement / signups for HSNCT? Also, what exactly is "scaled-down"? Do you mean 5-6 packets or 9-10?
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Re: Mons Mathstrosity II: Even Primes Redux [Announcement]

Postby A Very Long Math Tossup » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:01 pm

So I had a lot of other things spring up, and I won't have time to finish the set by HSNCT or NSC. We'll be postponing this for a year (the next mirror will most likely be at the 2019 MSNCT).

I apologize to everyone--both for having to drop out, and for not announcing it sooner.
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Re: Mons Mathstrosity II: Even Primes Redux [Announcement]

Postby CPiGuy » Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:22 pm

A Very Long Math Tossup wrote:So I had a lot of other things spring up, and I won't have time to finish the set by HSNCT or NSC. We'll be postponing this for a year (the next mirror will most likely be at the 2019 MSNCT).

I apologize to everyone--both for having to drop out, and for not announcing it sooner.


Credit to Matt and Harrison for being willing to put this off in order to make sure they put out a sizeable and quality set. I'm looking forward to playing this next year.
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