SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Elaborate on the merits of specific tournaments or have general theoretical discussion here.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by Progcon » Tue Mar 20, 2018 2:56 pm

anderson wrote:Unfortunately, I think this might have been a consequence of the rounds you didn't play having those tossups (well, there was a tossup on "boundedness" in one of the finals packets, as well as an algebra tossup on "invertible" in one of the later packets). Also, I object to calling number theory "silly". :P
Glad you enjoyed the CS, though!
Damn. That always seems to happen with math and this seems especially prevalent when I only play 8 packets. My favorite categories are all my minor ones (1/1 of distro or less) so stuff like this affects me more than other players. Regardless, I characterized some number theory questions as silly because I feel that questions on "named prime number theorems and results" come up way too much in quizbowl. This is a bigger issue in high school quizbowl, but I would just prefer if more analysis and algebra came up because I have spent a lot more time in undergrad proving and applying the Weierstrass M-test then I have proving Abel Ruffini or Goldbach Conjecture which come up way more in quizbowl because I think they seem more "interesting". I understand accessibility concerns with these answerlines but I would like to see the boundeness tossup because I didn't see that and seems interesting.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by anderson » Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:51 pm

Here is the boundedness tossup:
Continuous measurable functions must have this property almost everywhere to be assigned the L-infinity norm. The Riemann-Stieltjes integral can be computed on functions whose total variation has this property. In topology, if for every x, a metric space has a finite cover of open balls with radius at most x, the space is “totally” this property. A function that has this property and is holomorphic everywhere is constant, by Liouville’s theorem. A set of real numbers is (*) compact if it is closed and has this property. A monotone sequence converges if and only if it has this property, and a sequence with this property has a convergent subsequence by the Bolzano-Weierstrass theorem. For 10 points, a sequence has what property if the absolute value of every term is less than some fixed number?
It's unfortunate how the categories didn't align well with your interests this tournament, but keep in mind that math is a big subject and that there are many people out there who are more into number theory or discrete math than, say, analysis. Though, it is possible that the balance was a little too much in one direction.

Maybe Abel-Ruffini comes up too much in quizbowl, but it is a super important result in Galois theory and would likely be encountered in several algebra courses. I agree that dropping random "named prime number theorems" is silly, but I don't think this tournament did that.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by CPiGuy » Sat Mar 31, 2018 6:31 pm

I'll probably have more comments later once I have time to look through my notebook. Overall, I liked the tournament a lot. One comment though: the tossup on Fiji was the worst of atlasbowl -- it was just eight sentences of mostly irrelevant physical features with generic Polynesian names. this is the kind of question that makes people want to remove geography from quizbowl.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by username1 » Sat Mar 31, 2018 9:44 pm

I thought this was a great set to play overall, and I especially appreciated the amount of ballet in the set and that the questions on it were less repetitive/formulaic than the ones that usually come up at the high school level.
Could I see the common-link tossup on artwork from Italy? Thanks!
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by Thiccasso's Guernthicca » Sat Mar 31, 2018 10:55 pm

Could I see the Ionesco tossup? Unless I'm dumb and/or heard it wrong, the second line could be neg bait for Beckett.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by Your Genie Felon, Me » Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:07 pm

username1 wrote:Could I see the common-link tossup on artwork from Italy? Thanks!
Packet 7 wrote:An artist from this country painted a statue of a man with a coat next to a blueprint drawing whose blue color matches the sky behind it. Another artist from this country painted the numbers (+) 6, 9, 4, and 3 next to billowy white smoke in the center of The Farewells, the first of the States of Mind series. A painter from this country used empty train stations and plazas in paintings such as The Song of Love and (*) The Disquieting Muse. An artistic movement from this country declared that “a roaring racecar” is “more beautiful than The Victory of Samothrace” and produced the paintings The City Rises and The Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash. For 10 points, name this country, the origin of Giorgio de Chirico’s “Metaphysical Art” and the Futurist painters Giacomo Balla and Umberto Boccioni.
This tossup also included the instructions "[NOTE: Read the answerline before reading the tossup]" and "[prompt on Greece BEFORE (+) by asking “Where did he work for most of his life?”, AFTER (+) DO NOT ACCEPT OR PROMPT]" in case you were curious. So glad you enjoyed the set!
Thiccasso's Guernthicca wrote:Could I see the Ionesco tossup? Unless I'm dumb and/or heard it wrong, the second line could be neg bait for Beckett.
Packet 4 wrote:In one of this author’s plays, a character scratches his head “like Stan Laurel” when asked to “imitate the month of February” by a woman he calls Semiramis. One of this author’s plays concludes with the stage going dark and the cast repeating at increasing speeds, “it’s not that way, it’s over here!” In that play, a character concludes that when the doorbell rings, “sometimes there is someone, other times there is no one.” That play by this author features a maid who decides she is (*) Sherlock Holmes and many discussions of “Bobby Watson.” This author of a play about the Smiths and the Martins wrote about Berenger’s unwillingness to “capitulate” and transform into a horned creature. For 10 points, name this Romanian absurdist playwright of The Chairs, The Bald Soprano, and Rhinoceros.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by Pablo Picasso 2 » Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:21 pm

Can I see the tossups on Taiwan, crossroads, hanging, racing, and (probably my favorite) “Call me Ishmael”?

The myth in this set was very fun to play, the common links especially so.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by Your Genie Felon, Me » Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:33 pm

geremy wrote:Can I see the tossups on Taiwan, crossroads, hanging, racing, and (probably my favorite) “Call me Ishmael”?

The myth in this set was very fun to play, the common links especially so.
Glad you thought so! Here are the tossups:
Packet 5 wrote:Like North Korea, this nation has a state news known as the Central New Agency, which recently reported shakeups in its cabinet meant to strengthen the president’s power in regards to foreign policy. The 2016 elections in this nation marked the first time that a party not allied with the Pan-Blue Coalition had captured the most legislative seats since 2004, when (*) Chen Shui-bian [“chun shway-b’yen”] was re-elected as President. Panama, this country’s greatest ally, recently cut diplomatic relations with it in a free trade deal with its neighbor, in a series of disturbances ever since the Progressive Democratic Party swept back to power. For 10 points, name this Asian nation where Tsai Ing-Wen rules from Taipei, which China claims control over.
Packet 6 wrote:In Ancient Rome, the lares publici spirits were honored with the hanging of wool dolls at these places during the Compitalia festival. A god associated with these places has a Petro aspect named Kalfu, is depicted as a old man with a walking stick, and is petitioned for access to the realm of Guinee. In England, the bodies of suicides were traditionally staked through the heart and buried at these places. In (*) Voodoo, the loa Papa Legba serves as the guardian of these places. The belief that a “black man” would bestow a skill upon petitioners at one of these places gave rise to the legend of blues musician Robert Johnson selling his soul to the devil at one of them. For 10 points, identify these intersections of thoroughfares.
Packet 8 wrote:A figure undergoing this action learned a set of “mighty songs” from the “son of Bolthor, Bestla’s father.” Sets of nine corpses from different species, such as dogs, horses, and humans, were said to be subjected to this action at the Temple of Uppsala in Adam of Bremen’s account. The speaker recalls how “No bread did they give me nor a drink from a horn” while he underwent this experience in a “windy” place in a poem from the Hávamál book. After (*) stabbing himself with a spear, a god did this action for nine days and nine nights while staring into Mimir’s well in order to learn the Runes; in that story, Odin sacrifices himself by undergoing this action on the trunk of Yggdrasil. For 10 points, Odin takes the form of a raven to converse with people undergoing what fate in his role as “Lord of the Gallows?”
This tossup also had the additional answerline instructions "[or more specific answers like hanging from Yggdrasil; prompt on garroting, strangulation, or self-sacrifice (until “sacrifices” is read) by asking “by what method?”]".
Packet 10 wrote:During one of these events, a dragon was distracted by some villagers in need of help and a rabbit was stranded on a log in a river. After one of these events in the Iliad, Ajax the Lesser jokes that Athena watches over Ulysses “as though she were his mother” while spitting cow manure out of his mouth. During one of these events, Ganesha (*) circled his parents three times, claiming that they were the world. Cats hate rats because they were excluded from one of these events, which was used to design the Chinese Zodiac. Myrtilus was convinced to sabotage one of these events by Pelops, who thus won the hand of Hippodamia. Another woman was distracted during one of them by several golden apples. For 10 points, name these athletic competitions, in one of which Hippomenes beat the fleet-footed Atalanta.
Packet 11 wrote:A critical study titled for this phrase argues that there are two versions of the book it appears in, with the second being influenced by the author’s reading of King Lear; that study is by the poet Charles Olson. A sentence about something John’s parents almost did follows a parody of this phrase in Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle. This sentence opens a paragraph that describes times when the protagonist finds himself “involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses” or experiencing a “damp, drizzly (*) November of the soul.” This sentence begins the chapter “Loomings,” which is followed by a description of the protagonist’s arrival at the Spouter-Inn and encounter with the cannibal Queequeg. For 10 points, give this first sentence of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by Muriel Axon » Sun Apr 01, 2018 12:04 am

The tossup on migration was a great idea and pulled from good clues. However, it should accept dispersal, which is essentially synonymous with migration. (The main difference is that migration usually implies that individuals move; dispersal can also include movement by seeds or other propagules. But they're often used interchangeably.) I think the Hardy-Weinberg clue could also be rephrased to prevent players from buzzing in halfway through with "gene flow" -- which, granted, is not a behavior.

The choice of some particular paper on juncos to describe sex-biased dispersal was eccentric (doesn't seem to be a famous paper?), and the clue was oddly worded. Keeping the juncos clue, I would change it from:
"The altitudinal form of this behavior can be sex-biased, as shown by the Juncos males being less likely to perform this behavior."
to:
"This behavior can be sex-biased, as shown by the fact that male juncos are less likely to perform it across altitudinal gradients."

This is obviously nitpicking, since it was a good question.

Reinforcement was also a good formerly-hard-part-now-an-easier-part for the bonus on reproductive isolation -- it's an extremely important and well-studied topic.

From the exoplanets tossup:
These objects are found in the High Resolution Echelle Spectrometer from the Keck Observatory, which measures the incoming light intensities of color channels.
This seems a bit misleading, since as far as I know, the exoplanets are not inside the spectrometer.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by Thiccasso's Guernthicca » Sun Apr 01, 2018 2:11 pm

Thanks for posting the Ionesco TU! My issue with it was that Beckett also has a play that is often concluded with the stage fading into darkness and the cast repeating at increasing speeds the entire play itself. I had buzzed in before the actual repeated quote from The Bald Soprano and negged it with Beckett because I was only going off of the fading into darkness/repeating clues – this might just be a me problem, but maybe switching the order of the sentence to put the quote earlier might make it a little clearer (ex. "... the cast repeating 'It's not that way, it's over here!' at increasing speeds").

Also, I'm not sure why people were complaining about the NYC musicals tossup – cluing a line from a not-as-well-known number from an admittedly (and unfortunately!) not-as-well-known musical in the first line isn't really an issue. The only people who would feasibly get it there are people who actually know In the Heights well enough, which is kinda the point of it being in power (and frauding this TU isn't as easy as people have been saying, considering there are many canonical musicals that are notably not set in NYC). I personally loved it!
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by Progcon » Sun Apr 01, 2018 5:35 pm

I only played the first 9 packets on Discord, so I when I read packet 10 yesterday, I was surprised to see a tossup on Eugene McCarthy. The tossup on him went dead on my room and someone negged with "Humphrey" about midway through. This seems pretty hard to me.

I might have to more to add later, but I really appreciated the inclusion of a sports tossup on the Eagles! The tossup was pretty good but I thought the clue about Any Reid could have been written a bit more succinctly.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by Thiccasso's Guernthicca » Sun Apr 01, 2018 7:58 pm

Progcon wrote:I only played the first 9 packets on Discord, so I when I read packet 10 yesterday, I was surprised to see a tossup on Eugene McCarthy. The tossup on him went dead on my room and someone negged with "Humphrey" about midway through. This seems pretty hard to me.
The exact same neg happened with us. However, even though it's certainly a hard tossup, I don't think it's unreasonable for this set.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by kitakule » Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:51 pm

Can I see the Sodom tossup? I'm really not sure why anyone thought this was a good idea; why not use "Sodom and Gomorrah" as an answer line? The cities are always mentioned together in the Bible and having to guess between the two on a tossup isn't fun at all. They don't even have separate Wikipedia pages.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by Your Genie Felon, Me » Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:00 pm

kitakule wrote:Can I see the Sodom tossup?
Packet 5 wrote:A Jacques Derrida book about a certain virtue closes by comparing the story of this place with a similar episode on the hill of Ephraim in Judges. Stories of this place, such as people being mutilated to fit uniformly-sized beds and a girl being executed by a swarm of bees for helping a beggar, are described in the midrashim [“meed-rah-SHEEM”]. A resident of this place leaves it for the town of Zoar because the mountains are too far; later, while living in a (*) mountain cave, he drunkenly impregnates his daughters. A mob in this place is struck blind after they are offered a man’s daughters in place of the two men they want to rape. Because he showed hospitality to two angels, a man is allowed to leave this place with his family, but his wife looks back and is turned to salt. For 10 points, name this city destroyed with Gomorrah in Genesis.
The answerline was "Sodom and Gomorrah". The answerline originally had a prompt on Gomorrah, but that was taken out because all of the clues apply only to Sodom, as most of the famous events mentioned in the section of Genesis about the two cities take place in Sodom specifically. But if someone said "Sodom and Gommorah" they'd be fine. I'm sympathetic to your concern, but unsure as to whether saying "these two cities" for the pronoun would lead to some transparency.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by jmarvin_ » Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:15 pm

Packet 5 wrote:A Jacques Derrida book about a certain virtue closes by comparing the story of this place with a similar episode on the hill of Ephraim in Judges. Stories of this place, such as people being mutilated to fit uniformly-sized beds and a girl being executed by a swarm of bees for helping a beggar, are described in the midrashim [“meed-rah-SHEEM”]. A resident of this place leaves it for the town of Zoar because the mountains are too far; later, while living in a (*) mountain cave, he drunkenly impregnates his daughters. A mob in this place is struck blind after they are offered a man’s daughters in place of the two men they want to rape. Because he showed hospitality to two angels, a man is allowed to leave this place with his family, but his wife looks back and is turned to salt. For 10 points, name this city destroyed with Gomorrah in Genesis.
Could I ask what the Derrida book in the first clue is, and why it isn't named? Am I correct to think it is Of Hospitality, and that it is not named because that would immediately suggest Sodom and Gommorah? And if that is the case, does that also explain not mentioning its co-author?

Also, shoutouts to whoever wrote the J.Z. Smith bonus, which I only 20d, becoming a casualty of my own crusade.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by Your Genie Felon, Me » Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:41 pm

jmarvin_ wrote:Could I ask what the Derrida book in the first clue is, and why it isn't named? Am I correct to think it is Of Hospitality, and that it is not named because that would immediately suggest Sodom and Gommorah? And if that is the case, does that also explain not mentioning its co-author?
Yeah, it is, and that seems to be the reason. The co-author could have been mentioned as well, though, but after all, it's Derrida's section in particular that mentions Sodom.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by Bensonfan23 » Mon Apr 02, 2018 3:08 am

Sorry if any of these comments have already been addressed up thread, but here are some comments on various, predominantly science questions that stood out while playing this set.

The bonus part on the TERT gene should accept "hTERT" as an alternate answer. This was a protest that very nearly mattered in the final at the VT site.

The tossup on surfactants not outright accepting micelles early seems suspect to me, especially since the Kraft temperature is also known as the "critical micelle temperature".

The post-zygotic barriers bonus seemed notably difficult, and gastrulation is probably too hard of an easy part for this level.

Could you post the charge tossup? I remembered there being some unclear wording around the von Klitzing constant clue.

Could I also see the "redox" and the "cyanide group" tossups?

What category was the "riddles" tossup? The pop culture clue in the middle seemed a bit out of place, but if the entire question was trash, then I stand corrected.

EDIT: Also, a few miscellaneous answerlines that stood out as being potentially too hard or ill-advised for this difficulty: catholic emancipation, Eugene McCarthy, Heathers, Aurangzeb.

Lastly, and so this post isn't entirely critical, here are six questions that I really enjoyed playing: drosophila, temperature (in biology), Delos, dancing (in painting), March sisters, "Call me ishmael".
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by Livia Did It » Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:21 am

May I see the tossups on ligases, Ra's Journey, the Axumite Empire, Delos and Roman Forums?

Overall I really enjoyed the myth in this tournament as I felt that there were a lot of interesting tossups that really do not show up that much. Also, the ancient history tossups were really fun to play.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by Muriel Axon » Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:48 am

Bensonfan23 wrote:The post-zygotic barriers bonus seemed notably difficult, and gastrulation is probably too hard of an easy part for this level.
I assumed the easy part was the part that said "name this guy who co-discovered natural selection."
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by Your Genie Felon, Me » Mon Apr 02, 2018 12:08 pm

Bensonfan23 wrote:Could you post the charge tossup? I remembered there being some unclear wording around the von Klitzing constant clue.
Packet 9 wrote:This quantity squared is in the numerator of the equation calculating Hall conductance, and this quantity is equal to 2 divided by the Josephson constant and the von Klitzing constant. It’s not current, but the nuclear form factor gives the spatial distribution of this quantity over elastic scattering. This quantity is necessarily zero for a Majorana fermion. (*) Gauss’s law states that the flux integral of electric field equals this quantity over epsilon-naught. An experiment by Cronin and Fitch demonstrated the violation of symmetry under parity inversion and the conjugation of this quantity. An inaccurate value for the viscosity of air led to errors in calculating this quantity for an electron in the Millikan oil drop experiment. For 10 points, name this quantity measured in coulombs which is positive for protons and negative for electrons.
Bensonfan23 wrote:Could I also see the "redox" and the "cyanide group" tossups?
Packet 9 wrote:One compound used to study this process contains two ruthenium atoms linked by a bridging pyrazine ligand. A theory of this process describes an inverted region where the rate of it decreases with increasing exergonicity in the very negative delta-G domain. That theory describes the “outer-sphere” form of this process and is named for Rudolph (*) Marcus. The free energy change associated with this process is depicted on a Frost diagram. TTF and ferrocene are commonly used in electrochemical sensing as they easily undergo this process. This process is often written as two half-reactions, each with a standard electrode potential. For 10 points, name this process that changes the oxidation states of atoms as they exchange negatively charged particles.
Packet 10 wrote:De-aeration and zinc dust are applied to a solvent of this compound to precipitate other atoms from it. N-heterocyclic carbenes such as thiamine can display similar reactivity to this species, leading to their use in umpolung [“OOM-po-lung”] transformations of carbonyls such as the benzoin [“BEN-zo-in”] condensation. The mitochondrial enzyme rhodanese mitigates the adverse effects of this compound by adding a sulfur atom to it. This substance is used to extract (*) gold from low-grade ore by converting it into a water-soluble complex. The pigment Prussian blue is made of iron bonded with atoms of this functional group. Molecules with this functional group are known as nitriles, and it can be detoxified by the body to thiocyanate. For 10 points, name this functional group that has a carbon triple bonded with a nitrogen.
Bensonfan23 wrote:What category was the "riddles" tossup? The pop culture clue in the middle seemed a bit out of place, but if the entire question was trash, then I stand corrected.
Here's the tossup. It was placed in British Lit. Using The Hobbit here doesn't seem super egregious to me, but it does kinda stick out.
Packet 10 wrote:Northrop Frye suggested that the aspect of poetry Aristotle called opsis is rooted in this sort of text, whereas melos is rooted in the charm. A medieval text of this sort uses phallic imagery to describe an onion being cut by a “proud woman”; that one is collected with over ninety of these texts in the Anglo-Saxon Exeter Book. One of these things that describes “Thirty white horses on a red hill” appears in a (*) chapter of The Hobbit titled for these things “in the dark,” in which Bilbo Baggins and Gollum exchange statements of this sort. In Alice and Wonderland, the Mad Hatter gives one of these things that consists of the question “Why is a raven like a writing-desk?” For 10 points, name this type of puzzling statement or question with an answer.
piecake31 wrote:May I see the tossups on ligases, Ra's Journey, the Axumite Empire, Delos and Roman Forums?
Packet 10 wrote:ProTAC drugs comprise a linked binder for a target protein and a binder for one of these enzymes. The activity of one type of these enzymes can be quantified by Weiss units, which measures the rate of transfer of phosphate from pyrophosphate to ATP. The SCF and APC complexes are among the RING-finger family of enzymes of this class. An enzyme of this type complexes with XRCC4 in the process of non-homologous end (*) joining. Proteins are targeted to the proteasome by ubiquitination, which requires an “E3” one of these enzymes. Another enzyme in this class joins together Okazaki fragments by forming a phosphodiester bond between a 5-prime phosphate and the 3-prime hydroxyl of DNA. For 10 points, name these enzymes that catalyze the joining together of molecules.
Packet 7 wrote:Description acceptable. This event, which began at the Ur-Nes, was threatened by a figure that was born from its accomplisher’s umbilical cord. Part of this event took place in a snake-guarded realm described in the fourth of twelve chapters of the “Book of the Hidden Chamber.” A book for “overthrowing” the enemy of this task describes how to make wax models that are to be spat on or burnt in order to help accomplish this process. This event is carried out on the (*) Mesektet, and its central figure is accompanied by protectors like the snake-god Mehen, and by Set, who fights the demon Apophis. At the end of this journey, its ram-headed accomplisher is reborn through the sky goddess Nut. For 10 points, name this nightly journey through the Duat made by a god of the Sun.
Packet 8 wrote:One of this kingdom’s monarchs thwarted Constantius II’s efforts to extradite his tutor for heresy. Cosmas Indicopleustes recorded two stone inscriptions he saw in this kingdom’s port of Adulis, which he was visiting when its king Kaleb launched an overseas military campaign against Dhu Nuwas’s Ḥimyarite Kingdom. The mysterious queen Gudit laid waste to this kingdom. It’s not Medina, but followers of Muhammad fled to this kingdom in the First Hijra. (*) Ge’ez [“GHEE-ezz”] was the main language of this kingdom, which was succeeded by the Zagwe dynasty. Frumentius converted this kingdom’s ruler Ezana to Christianity and oversaw the building of the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion, the purported site of the Ark of the Covenant, here. For 10 points, name this Christian kingdom located in modern-day Eritrea and Ethiopia.
Packet 5 wrote:For a purification ceremony at this place, the wealthy general Nicias built a boat bridge to it and paid its inhabitants to pray for him at banquets. During the Roman era, Cilician pirates used the “Agora of the Italians” at this place as the site of the Mediterranean’s largest slave market. Socrates’s death was delayed because executions could not occur in Athens while a ship sailed to this place during its namesake festival. Ten officials called the (*) hellenotamiai managed a treasury located in a temple on this island that Pericles moved to Athens in 454 BC. After the Battle of Plataea, this island became the namesake of an Athens-led league of anti-Persian city-states. For 10 points, name this small island, a member of the Cyclades sacred as the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis.
Packet 9 wrote:One of these places is the site of the oldest public inscription of its language, which is carved on a mysterious shrine known as the Black Stone. A marble and gilt-bronze column called the Golden Milestone stood as a symbolic crossroads in the best-known of these places. People in one of these places customarily defiled the strangled corpses that were thrown down into it from the Gemonian stairs. An altar to Hercules stood in the (*) “boarium” one of these places, which served as a cattle market. The northeast section of the most famous one of these places featured a speaking platform called the rostra. Buildings such as basilicas and curias place usually stood adjacent to these places, the analogues of the agora of Greek cities. For 10 points, name these public squares in Roman cities.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by kitakule » Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:25 pm

Can I see the sugar tossup?
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by Off To See The Lizard » Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:49 pm

I'd like to see the superfluid tossup. It was buzzed on really early in my room and I wanted to see the first few clues again. Thanks.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by Your Genie Felon, Me » Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:29 pm

kitakule wrote:Can I see the sugar tossup?
Packet 14 (Finals 1) wrote:A woman known as La Carlota was executed for planning a revolt of workers producing this commodity during the 1844 “Year of the Lash.” A widely-copied system for producing this commodity, which made use of a machine called the trapiche, was developed by the European colonizers of West African islands such as Cape Verde and Madeira. A William Fox pamphlet spurred a 1790s boycott campaign against this commodity in England, where (*) abolitionists protested against the slave labor used to produce it in Barbados. A liquid refined from this commodity was shipped from the West Indies to Boston, where it was used to make rum, in one leg of the triangle trade. For 10 points, name this commodity extracted from namesake beets and cane, whose liquid form is molasses.
Off To See The Lizard wrote:I'd like to see the superfluid tossup. It was buzzed on really early in my room and I wanted to see the first few clues again. Thanks.
Packet 4 wrote:A boojum is a pattern on the surface of this substance caused by a monopole singularity. A 2002 paper by Greiner et al. discussed quantum phase transitions of a system without thermal fluctuations from one of these substances to a Mott insulator. The circulation in these substances was first posited by Lars Onsager to follow quantized vortices. One form of these substances exhibit a fluctuation in thickness and temperature known as (*) “third sound.” Lev Landau posited the existence of rotons as excitations in one of these substances. These substances form Rollin films on the sides of their containers. Helium-4 was first observed by Pyotr Kapitsa to act as one of these substances below its “lamba point” of 2.17 kelvins. For 10 points, name these substances that exhibit zero viscosity.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by Karansebes Schnapps Vendor » Tue Apr 03, 2018 4:13 pm

I really really enjoyed this set, and I thought there were a lot of cool tossup ideas and clues (I really really enjoyed the races in myth tu and the electron transfer tus, along with numerous others)

I had a couple comments on some stuff:
-The pronoun in the above superfluids tossup being singular in the first line seemed a bit confusing for me playing through the question (It made it seem like you wanted a specific superfluid to me at least.)
-I'm not sure if this is just a me thing, but hearing "like Prim's algorithm" neg-baited me into thinking of Kruskal's algorithm (I know theres a lot of things wrong with that buzz, especially that Kruskal would probably never get TU'd at this level, but I feel that flipping the clauses so the thing about comparable run times was first might help players understand the relationship better.)
-Could I see the tossup on School Shootings? I remember there being something about a Marco Rubio quote that made me think of his repetitive debate quote.
-I felt that the tossup on "Repealing the Edict of Nantes" could have had more directed promptlines for people who mentioned expelling Huguenots, as going down that line of thinking might lead you to a dead end.
-The bonus on Jonson seemed kind of easy to me, compared to other lit bonuses.

With all that out of the way, I wanted to note that the CS and math (and the rest of the science in general) in this set were very very cool and some of the most enjoyable I've played ever - thank you for writing!
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by Thiccasso's Guernthicca » Wed Apr 04, 2018 9:15 am

Sorry to request more questions, but could I see the Virginia Woolf, Shostakovich, Debussy, and Porgy and Bess tossups?
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by Your Genie Felon, Me » Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:15 pm

Sorry about the late replies here! Here are the questions requested:
Karansebes Schnapps Vendor wrote:Could I see the tossup on School Shootings? I remember there being something about a Marco Rubio quote that made me think of his repetitive debate quote.
Packet 3 wrote:A conspiracy theory about one of these events argues that it was actually caused by nuns in a purple van, although that theory is denied by people like Lenny Pozner. Nick and Laura Phelps were falsely associated with two of these events in a 2018 viral Facebook post. A video produced in response to one of these events shows a boy nicknamed “bored” interrupted while signing a yearbook. (*) Marco Rubio was booed for “repeating what [he] said” at a February 2018 town hall meeting regarding these events. Emma Gonzalez was called a “crisis actor” after one of these events perpetrated by Nikolas Cruz. For 10 points, name these events that took place at institutions in Parkland, Florida, Newtown, Connecticut, and Columbine, Colorado.
Karansebes Schnapps Vendor wrote:With all that out of the way, I wanted to note that the CS and math (and the rest of the science in general) in this set were very very cool and some of the most enjoyable I've played ever - thank you for writing!
Thank you for those kind words! I believe Deepak and our Math+CS editor Anderson Wang will be very happy to hear that.
Thiccasso's Guernthicca wrote:Sorry to request more questions, but could I see the Virginia Woolf, Shostakovich, Debussy, and Porgy and Bess tossups?
Packet 10 wrote:In one novel, this character watches her sister’s children pile yellow roses around a dead thrush to give it a funeral. The story of a day in this person’s life is intertwined with narratives of Ms. Vaughan’s interactions with the dying poet Richard and the housewife Laura Brown’s near-suicide in the novel that won the 1999 Pulitzer, Michael Cunningham’s The Hours. In a play titled for this person, a man relates the plot of his “second novel” in order to (*) accuse his wife of using her “hysterical pregnancy” to force their marriage; that occurs during a game of “Get the Guest” in the section “Walpurgis Night.” A dead son who “swerved, to avoid a porcupine,” is revealed to be fictional in that play titled for this person, about Nick and Honey’s visit with Martha and George. For 10 points, an Edward Albee play title asks “Who’s Afraid of” what British author?
Packet 3 wrote:The third movement of one of this composer’s symphonies begins with 16 bars of a marcatissimo viola soli in E minor. A symphony by this composer was inspired by Mussorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death and includes a soprano and bass singing lyrics by Garcia Lorca and Rilke. The first movement of a symphony by this composer opens with the strings dramatically playing rising and falling (*) minor sixths and ends with a chromatic celesta solo. A symphony by this composer uses the motif E A E D A to represent one of his students, Elmira Nazirova. This composer of a work subtitled “the creative reply of a Soviet artist to justified criticism” used a snare drum ostinato as part of one of his piece’s “invasion theme.” For 10 points, name this Russian composer of the Leningrad Symphony.
Packet 8 wrote:The flutes and oboes play the motif E F-sharp E in a dotted rhythm in this composer’s Fantasy for Piano and Orchestra, his only work in that genre. This composer drew inspiration from The Songs of Bilitis for his Six Antique Epigraphs for piano duo. Another of this composer’s piano duos opens with an Avec emportement [“uh-VEK om-port-MAWN”] waltz dedicated to Serge Koussevitzky and is his (*) En Blanc et Noir. The pieces “What the west wind saw” and “The girl with the flaxen hair” are grouped together in this composer’s first book of preludes. An orchestral piece by this composer was published with a Hokusai piece on its cover and opens with a movement depicting the titular feature seen “from dawn to midday.” For 10 points, name this French composer of Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun and Claire de Lune.
Packet 9 wrote:In a duet from this opera, the two characters say they will love each other “morning time and evening time” and one character says that there is no wrinkle on her brow because the “sorrow of the past is all done.” A character in this opera sings about doubting “the things you’re liable to read in the Bible.” Characters in this opera sit around a bed and sing (*) “Gone, Gone, Gone” to mourn a man’s death. The song “I got plenty o’ nuttin” is reprised in this opera while characters are setting off to a picnic on Kittiwah Island. In this opera, Crown kills Robbins with a cotton hook while arguing over craps winnings, and Sportin’ Life sings “It Ain’t Necessarily So” at the picnic. For 10 points, name this opera set in Catfish Row where Clara sings the song “Summertime,” an opera by George Gershwin.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by La Nona Ora » Fri Apr 06, 2018 3:03 pm

Could I see the Icarus tossup?
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by ansonberns » Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:25 pm

Can I see the neural nets question?
Last edited by ansonberns on Thu Apr 12, 2018 8:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by Your Genie Felon, Me » Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:46 pm

La Nona Ora wrote:Could I see the Icarus tossup?
Packet 6 wrote:The speaker recalls how this man “said he would be back and we’d drink wine together” in Muriel Rukeyser’s poem about “Waiting for” this man. A poem notes how “the whole pageantry of the year was awake tingling” when this person died. Another poem compares this figure’s demise with a “dreadful martyrdom” occuring nearby where “the dogs go on with their doggy life.” That poem about this person notes how “everything turns away / Quite leisurely from the disaster.” A (*) ploughman is mentioned in William Carlos Williams’s poem about a painting of this figure’s death. The words “About suffering they were never wrong, / The old Masters” opens a poem inspired by Brueghel’s painting of this figure drowning, W. H. Auden’s “Musee des Beaux Arts.” For 10 points, name this mythical boy who flew too close to the sun while wearing wax wings.
Sorry for the delay on this one, Evan!
ansonberns wrote:Can I see the neural nets question?
Packet 6 wrote:One example of these systems, known as VGG-16, is especially useful for image segmentation. RMSprop, Adam, and Nesterov momentum are all methods of optimizing these systems. One type of these systems is composed of LSTM units, which are made of input, output, and forget gates. Dropout and early stopping are methods for “regularizing” these things to reduce (*) overfitting. These systems can be trained by using backpropagation and gradient descent. Images are handled especially well by the “convolutional” type of these systems, and they are called “deep” when they have multiple hidden layers. For 10 points, name these computational structures inspired by the connections of namesake cells in the human brain.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by SpanishSpy » Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:52 pm

I second the recommendation for a wider acceptance of answers for "revocation of the Edict of Nantes." That one threw me off, and I think it was reasonably acceptable that not the actual legislative act but rather the actual policy be an acceptable answer.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by connor.mayers » Thu Apr 12, 2018 3:47 pm

Can I see the McCarthy tossup and the Fanon bonus?
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by Your Genie Felon, Me » Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:18 am

connor.mayers wrote:Can I see the McCarthy tossup and the Fanon bonus?
Packet 10 wrote:This politician was one of the plaintiffs in a 1976 case that declared that federal limits on election spending were unconstitutional, Buckley v. Valeo. During the 1960 DNC, this man declared that time had come to raise “the cry of the ancient prophet” in his speech nominating two-time failed candidate Adlai E. Stevenson for the presidency. In one bid for this man’s presidency, young voters cut their hair to show support for this (*) anti-Vietnam War politician whose surprise win in the New Hampshire primary in that race led the sitting president, President Lyndon Johnson, to not seek re-election. For 10 points, name this former Democratic Senator who, despite winning the most votes in the 1968 presidential Primary, lost the nomination to fellow Minnesotan Hubert Humphrey.
Packet 10 wrote:This book claims that inferiority complexes result from embracing the culture of the Mother Country. For 10 points each:
[10] Name this book that uses psychoanalysis to study the effect of colonization on blacks in the chapter “The Negro and Psychopathology.”
ANSWER: Black Skin, White Masks
[10] This Martinique philosopher wrote Black Skin, White Masks as well as a book that argues that the colonized need to utilize the power of the lumpenproletariat to violently expel the colonizers, The Wretched of the Earth.
ANSWER: Frantz Fanon
[10] Frantz Fanon was strongly influenced by this philosopher, from whom he borrowed the term lumpenproletariat. This philosopher is best known for The Communist Manifesto, which he wrote with Friedrich Engels.
ANSWER: Karl Marx
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