Search found 351 matches

by Excelsior (smack)
Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:28 pm
Forum: Databases and Quizbowl Software
Topic: quizbowl and technology: a proposal
Replies: 43
Views: 23423

Re: quizbowl and technology: a proposal

Oh, yes, definitely. SQBS should only be a stopgap until such a time as we have a better data interchange format. Jonah, is a specification for LiveStat and/or code that handles LiveStat-formatted data available publically? If so, could you point us to it? I've looked at Chris Carter's proposal ( To...
by Excelsior (smack)
Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:59 pm
Forum: Databases and Quizbowl Software
Topic: quizbowl and technology: a proposal
Replies: 43
Views: 23423

Re: quizbowl and technology: a proposal

As I mentioned in the previous thread, I would definitely be willing to commit some time to these projects (starting in June or so). Unfortunately, I'm more of a back-end guy, too, but yeah. As another Python guy I'd like to cast a vote for Django over Node, for the same reasons you mention. Assumin...
by Excelsior (smack)
Mon Apr 14, 2014 5:54 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University NYC
Replies: 102
Views: 74171

Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Obviously, I haven't thought about the tournament schedule as deeply as Matt Weiner et al have, so I'm guessing the answer is yes, but: was it necessary to adopt a tournament schedule in which some packets (e.g. the Michigan packet) were used during multiple rounds? This seems like a recipe for disa...
by Excelsior (smack)
Mon Apr 14, 2014 2:01 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals congratulations, thanks, and discussion
Replies: 169
Views: 46130

Re: ACF Nationals congratulations, thanks, and discussion

This set was lots of fun. I particularly enjoyed the other science and the parts of the social science I was familiar with. Commendations are due to the editors for producing a darned good set. I am pleased that this year's incarnation of ACF Nationals did not feature Bruce or a Bruce-like-entity li...
by Excelsior (smack)
Wed Apr 02, 2014 8:36 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Lederberg 2 Discussion
Replies: 33
Views: 10079

Re: Lederberg 2 Discussion

Adding some brief thoughts onto what Ike said: Machine learning - pretty solid. Java - concur with Ike that the first half of the tossup is kind of meh. As Ike points out, tossups on individual programming languages are not the greatest idea. polynomial factorization - the bits and pieces of this th...
by Excelsior (smack)
Mon Mar 31, 2014 2:52 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Lederberg 2 Discussion
Replies: 33
Views: 10079

Re: Lederberg 2 Discussion

Thanks to Eric for allowing me to write for this, and special thanks for being so understanding when I had to back out of half my commitment when real life intervened. My questions that made it into the set were on: numerical integration, a math common link on "smooth", the heat equation (in math),...
by Excelsior (smack)
Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:56 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Lederberg 2 Discussion
Replies: 33
Views: 10079

Re: Lederberg 2 Discussion

A+ tournament; would undergo mind-wipe and play again. My brain was kind of fried by the time we started playing Lederberg, so I don't really have anything in the way of substantive commentary other than to say that I enjoyed this tournament a lot. (also, I will pay you the dollars you are owed once...
by Excelsior (smack)
Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:11 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Where Are You Going Next Year? [Collegiate edition, 2014]
Replies: 34
Views: 11830

Re: Where Are You Going Next Year? [Collegiate edition, 2014

I'm going to be employed in the Madison, WI area come fall and am not planning on being back in school for at least a year or two. I imagine I will still play (resp. staff) nearby open (resp. closed) tournaments for a while, or at least until the weather kills me. I don't know if high school quizbow...
by Excelsior (smack)
Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:45 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: General Discussion
Replies: 9
Views: 2000

Re: General Discussion

Absent a thread for physics or other science, I will post about those things here instead. (Go ahead and migrate this to a topic-specific thread if somebody makes one.) I felt that the physics was all around decent in this tournament. There were some rather good questions - position, magnetic flux (...
by Excelsior (smack)
Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:43 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Errata
Replies: 31
Views: 4370

Re: Errata

Hm, okay. In my experience, the term "darshan" is used for the actual act of reverence, such as touching the feet of a priest or idol, but I'm willing to chalk this up to me not understanding the spiritual implications of the physical act.
by Excelsior (smack)
Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:43 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Biology and Chemistry
Replies: 30
Views: 4729

Re: Biology and Chemistry

I've thought about the microstates bonus part a bit, and I still don't think there's any way I would be able to come up with "microstates" after hearing that. This might just be because I'm dumb, though, so maybe check with some other people to see what they thought about it?
by Excelsior (smack)
Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:22 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Errata
Replies: 31
Views: 4370

Re: Errata

Can someone post the religion bonus from round 5 that went aarti / something / darshanam? Something seemed bizarre about the wording of the last part of that.
by Excelsior (smack)
Mon Mar 03, 2014 12:32 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Biology and Chemistry
Replies: 30
Views: 4729

Re: Biology and Chemistry

I enjoyed the increased proportion of EEB questions in this tournament, but at the same time would be opposed to seeing those topics receive significantly increased representation in all tournaments. Your questions on these topics were very interesting, and the ones I knew anything about seemed good...
by Excelsior (smack)
Sun Mar 02, 2014 1:47 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Social Science/"Thought"/"Modern World" Questions
Replies: 16
Views: 2846

Re: Social Science/"Thought"/"Modern World" Questions

I found the psychology, economics, and economics-like questions about which I knew anything at all (GDP, advertising, tenure, lobotomy, a couple others) to be uniformly enjoyable and well-executed. The same is true of the "modern world" questions subject to the same caveat (Airbus, immigration, publ...
by Excelsior (smack)
Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:16 pm
Forum: New Collegiate Teams
Topic: Starting Quiz Team at the University of Cincinnati
Replies: 15
Views: 11732

Re: Starting Quiz Team at the University of Cincinnati

To make Matt Weiner's good advice more concrete, it appears that OSU will be hosting the Minnesota Undergraduate Tournament (which is a relatively easy tournament for undergraduates) at some point in April. If, by then, you have found some other people who want to play quizbowl with you, you should ...
by Excelsior (smack)
Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:06 pm
Forum: New Collegiate Teams
Topic: Starting Quiz Team at the University of Cincinnati
Replies: 15
Views: 11732

Re: Starting Quiz Team at the University of Cincinnati

UC always gets a ton of people from the greater Cincinnati area who have played OAC or some other quizbowl-like substance in high school, so you shouldn't be lacking for members if you can advertise effectively. Brandon Williams is probably the best high school player currently at UC, and there have...
by Excelsior (smack)
Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:49 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Crowdsourced Head to Head Rankings
Replies: 56
Views: 10819

Re: Crowdsourced Head to Head Rankings

This is awesome! (In retrospect, I can't believe nobody had thought of this before, seeing as it makes _so_ much sense!)
by Excelsior (smack)
Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:17 pm
Forum: Databases and Quizbowl Software
Topic: Does quizbowl need a public Ginseng-analogue?
Replies: 22
Views: 8677

Re: Does quizbowl need a public Ginseng-analogue?

Thanks to Raj Kesavan for alerting me to this thread. I had been working on a Ginseng-like project for collaborative question editing, and I've gotten maybe halfway to something usable before I had to shelve it to focus on my editing work. You can find what exists of it here: https://github.com/gra...
by Excelsior (smack)
Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:21 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Poll: Midseason Edition
Replies: 33
Views: 13293

Re: Poll: Midseason Edition

Indeed he did: link. It appears to be updated to include everything up to and including SCT.
by Excelsior (smack)
Sun Feb 23, 2014 1:54 pm
Forum: Databases and Quizbowl Software
Topic: Does quizbowl need a public Ginseng-analogue?
Replies: 22
Views: 8677

Re: Does quizbowl need a public Ginseng-analogue?

Garuda Oh, this is awesome. I haven't looked over your code in detail (though I probably will do so at some point), but here are some brief thoughts about the points you raised: Security - I don't think that making per-site installations easy is something that is worth spending too much time on. I ...
by Excelsior (smack)
Sun Feb 23, 2014 1:16 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: 2014 ACF Regionals: General Discussion
Replies: 49
Views: 7233

Re: 2014 ACF Regionals: General Discussion

I would like to reiterate what Evan said - Seth's and Jerry's (and especially Seth's) input was tremendously useful for the categories I ostensibly edited, and if anything about the physics and other science wasn't bad, that's why. (But the blame for anything terrible in those categories still falls...
by Excelsior (smack)
Sat Feb 22, 2014 1:01 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Regionals 2014 Northeast @ Yale (New Haven, CT, 2/22/14)
Replies: 12
Views: 5925

Re: ACF Regionals 2014 Northeast @ Yale (New Haven, CT, 2/22

This tournament is occurring. We are starting round 5 (out of 7) of the prelims, after which we will rebracket and things like that. Stats may appear after this round. EDIT (1:30 pm): Round 6 (post-lunch) is about to begin. Once prelims are over, the house team will collapse and we will rebracket in...
by Excelsior (smack)
Sat Feb 22, 2014 6:49 am
Forum: Databases and Quizbowl Software
Topic: Does quizbowl need a public Ginseng-analogue?
Replies: 22
Views: 8677

Re: Does quizbowl need a public Ginseng-analogue?

Any such project would have the inherent flaw of leaving access available to the questions to whoever is hosting the site. Well, in principle, it is possible to encrypt everything client-side so that the server operator never sees any of your data (cf. for example Mega.co.nz), though this still req...
by Excelsior (smack)
Thu Feb 20, 2014 5:11 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: CO Matchmaking
Replies: 36
Views: 11684

Re: CO Matchmaking

I would like to play CO with some people who I have not played quizbowl with before, and who would like to shoot for a finish somewhere in the third or fourth quintile of the field. As usual, I know some things about science and little else.
by Excelsior (smack)
Thu Feb 20, 2014 5:04 pm
Forum: Databases and Quizbowl Software
Topic: Does quizbowl need a public Ginseng-analogue?
Replies: 22
Views: 8677

Re: Does quizbowl need a public Ginseng-analogue?

If all questions are written/edited before you assemble packets, it's much faster to put questions in by subject instead of by game. For a 10-round set, cut and paste the 10 chemistry questions in, one per round, from round 1 to round 10. Then the 10 bio, or 10 US hist, or whatever. Doing it that w...
by Excelsior (smack)
Thu Feb 20, 2014 1:40 pm
Forum: Databases and Quizbowl Software
Topic: Does quizbowl need a public Ginseng-analogue?
Replies: 22
Views: 8677

Does quizbowl need a public Ginseng-analogue?

I don't know what other people's experience with writing tournaments is, but in my four years of BHSAT, I have found it to be the Worst Thing. Perhaps the only thing less pleasant than writing chemistry questions for high-schoolers is _assembling_ those questions into an actual packet set. This bein...
by Excelsior (smack)
Tue Feb 18, 2014 4:30 pm
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: Don't power-mark question sets without the editors' consent
Replies: 44
Views: 7031

Re: Don't power-mark question sets without the editors' cons

The request for mirrors stated clearly that hosts were not allowed to interfere with packets. You are missing the point, which is that it is entirely possible that a reasonable person could construe "power until three lines" as "not interfering with packets". Surely you aren't claiming that the peo...
by Excelsior (smack)
Tue Feb 18, 2014 10:21 am
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: Don't power-mark question sets without the editors' consent
Replies: 44
Views: 7031

Re: Don't power-mark question sets without the editors' cons

Another thing to consider: every year when we at Yale run our A-set tournament, we skip all the computational math questions. Imagine that we had never asked NAQT for permission to do this.* This, to my mind, is a far more egregious change to a set than the mere addition of length-based powermarks. ...
by Excelsior (smack)
Tue Feb 18, 2014 1:31 am
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: Don't power-mark question sets without the editors' consent
Replies: 44
Views: 7031

Re: Don't power-mark question sets without the editors' cons

The problem with the arbitrary decision is that what if mirror A wants to make it every 3 lines, and mirror B wants to do "old-style NSC" powers? I'm not seeing why this is an issue for basically any tournament besides SCT, which is the only multi-site tournament that _requires_ that fields be nati...
by Excelsior (smack)
Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:51 pm
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: Don't power-mark question sets without the editors' consent
Replies: 44
Views: 7031

Re: Don't power-mark question sets without the editors' cons

Okay, another question: suppose somebody runs a tournament on an unpowermarked housewrite and decides, for whatever reason, that they want to implement "old NSC-style" powers, in which you receive power for a correct answer at any point before "For 10 points" is read. I have little knowledge of old ...
by Excelsior (smack)
Mon Feb 17, 2014 2:33 pm
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: Don't power-mark question sets without the editors' consent
Replies: 44
Views: 7031

Re: Don't power-mark question sets without the editors' cons

Auxiliary questions: should tournaments be able to use bouncebacks without receiving explicit authorization from the editors? Should tournaments be able to take an already-powermarked set and run it with NSC scoring (20-point powers, 0-point negs)? Can a powermarked set be played without powers? Wh...
by Excelsior (smack)
Mon Feb 17, 2014 2:22 pm
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: Don't power-mark question sets without the editors' consent
Replies: 44
Views: 7031

Re: Don't power-mark question sets without the editors' cons

If you add powers when there aren't any, it's power-marked, whether you actually edit the documents or not. Well, no, I don't think that the producer of a set has (or should have) the power to specify what scoring system tournaments should use, which is effectively what you are suggesting here. Mor...
by Excelsior (smack)
Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:41 pm
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: General discussion
Replies: 19
Views: 2278

Re: General discussion

My only major general complaints were science-related. I was underwhelmed by the chemistry: there was a heavy focus on things like scientific instruments or lab techniques, and less on actual chemistry. That glass tossup was classified as chemistry, I'm pretty sure. It wasn't. Then there were quest...
by Excelsior (smack)
Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:45 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: 2014 SCT: general discussion
Replies: 35
Views: 5845

Re: 2014 SCT: general discussion

For the record, I had literally no idea that this kerfuffle occurred, have no recollection at this time of answering this question, and was not even aware that you were talking about your match with us until you explicitly pointed it out just now. Looking at the question now, though, that's pretty l...
by Excelsior (smack)
Mon Feb 03, 2014 1:47 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Question Specific Discussion
Replies: 44
Views: 7117

Re: Question Specific Discussion

There was also a bonus in the Illinois B / Penn B packet that was on complex analysis and whose third part was something that sounded like "Rouche's theorem". This theorem is very much a thing, but I don't think it is given a name very often. Okay. I wasn't familiar with it so I trusted the interne...
by Excelsior (smack)
Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:19 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Question Specific Discussion
Replies: 44
Views: 7117

Re: Question Specific Discussion

Do you mean the Yale A packet? I can't find many questions with powers ending at the end of sentences.
I do, yes. My memory might be off, though - it is entirely possible I saw one such question and then erroneously extrapolated to "you all suck at power-marking"; if so, sorry, my mistake.
by Excelsior (smack)
Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:39 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Question Specific Discussion
Replies: 44
Views: 7117

Re: Question Specific Discussion

I will maybe post more things later, but briefly: it is _extremely_ dubious to refer to "the set of all undecidable problems" as a "complexity class". I really enjoyed the tossup on that (at first I was thinking "oh cripes another question on either P or NP" and was very pleasantly surprised when I ...
by Excelsior (smack)
Sun Nov 24, 2013 8:38 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Arrabal discussion
Replies: 19
Views: 4048

Re: Arrabal discussion

For what it's worth, I didn't feel that any of the science was absurd or a bad idea or anything. While some of it was incredibly hard, all of it seemed interesting. I commend the people who were responsible for that. I enjoyed the high amount of statistics / numerical analysis / compsci / etc (all t...
by Excelsior (smack)
Sun Nov 24, 2013 3:29 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Fernando Arrabal Tournament of the Absurd: 11/23/13 @ CMU
Replies: 110
Views: 39986

Re: Fernando Arrabal Tournament of the Absurd: 11/23/13 @ CMU

100% agree with Jarret on all counts. Many thanks to Jerry and friends for putting this on.
by Excelsior (smack)
Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:43 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Question-Specific Discussion
Replies: 94
Views: 13645

Re: Question-Specific Discussion

I might have more to say later; briefly: the beginning of the tossup on "pressure" states "this quantity equals two-fifths times the density times the Fermi energy". You should probably specify that you're talking about a "number density", since "density" unqualified typically refers to "mass densit...
by Excelsior (smack)
Tue Nov 19, 2013 5:22 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Fernando Arrabal Tournament of the Absurd: 11/23/13 @ CMU
Replies: 110
Views: 39986

Re: Fernando Arrabal Tournament of the Absurd: 11/23/13 @ CMU

When should people show up on the morning of?
by Excelsior (smack)
Sun Nov 17, 2013 1:17 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: DRAGOON at Yale (11/16/13)
Replies: 20
Views: 6140

Re: DRAGOON at Yale (11/16/13)

Eyes: during lunch, we split into two rooms ("regular" and "uber-competitive" or something) and played some rounds (30 TUs in regular; 40 TUs in uber-competitive). After the tournament, we finished off the set in one room (tossups 41-100 + extras). Stats: Lunch, regular (30 tossups) Wilton: 1/5/3 = ...
by Excelsior (smack)
Thu Nov 07, 2013 9:54 pm
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: Harvard Fall Tournament VIII @ Cambridge, MA (11/09/13)
Replies: 57
Views: 30896

Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VIII @ Cambridge, MA (11/09/13)

How to park a car or other small vehicle at Harvard for $6.00: 1. Go to ( https://www2.uos.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/permit/purchase.pl ) 2. Register an account (assuming you haven't already done so) 3. If it asks you for department information, select "Visitor to Campus" and use code "7700" 4. On the "Ad...
by Excelsior (smack)
Mon Nov 04, 2013 7:44 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Question Specific Discussion
Replies: 35
Views: 6559

Re: Question Specific Discussion

Seeing as there is going to be another mirror, I suppose I should point out the following repeats or repeat-like-substances (all packet numbers refer to the order in which they were read at Harvard): Yeats twice in packet 2; Buffalo Bill in packets 1 and 2; I have "Brubeck repeat" written down for p...
by Excelsior (smack)
Mon Oct 21, 2013 3:06 am
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: Discuss the anime rule here
Replies: 112
Views: 38810

Re: Discuss the anime rule here

So I think most people would be more open to discussion if proponents of repealing the anime rule could give some assurance that they won't disrupt the primary function of this forum - to promote good quiz bowl. For the record, I think the anime rule is dumb and ought to be done away with, and at t...
by Excelsior (smack)
Sat Oct 12, 2013 4:47 pm
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: FAcT IX at Yale (New Haven, CT, 10/12/13)
Replies: 9
Views: 5067

Re: FAcT IX at Yale (New Haven, CT, 10/12/13)

I wasn't at the tournament, but it looks like these things are stats: http://www.hsquizbowl.org/db/tournament ... /combined/
by Excelsior (smack)
Wed Oct 09, 2013 8:03 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Has any tournament ever not "suffered from variable bonuses"?
Replies: 11
Views: 3495

Re: Has any tournament ever not "suffered from variable bonuses"

@Gautam - that isn't quite the same thing, though. A tournament with enormous bonus-to-bonus variability can (and in fact, probably will, statistically speaking) still produce some sort of bell-curve-looking distribution of mean bonus conversion, as will a tournament with zero bonus-to-bonus variabi...
by Excelsior (smack)
Wed Oct 09, 2013 11:10 am
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: Split thread: "Venting and vituperation" and sexism
Replies: 83
Views: 19552

Re: Split thread: "Venting and vituperation" and sexism

Only board staff members are permitted to have “joke” accounts or secondary accounts of any kind. Changing this is something that might help eliminate the cliquishness. I agree with this. Every "joke" account from at least the past three years has been awful, and has served no real purpose. I would...
by Excelsior (smack)
Wed Oct 09, 2013 11:02 am
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: Discuss the anime rule here
Replies: 112
Views: 38810

an insider-only internet environment

we want to avoid this board becoming an insider-only internet environment And you think that prohibiting discussion of anime , a topic shunned by most board-goers, is in any sense effective towards this end? Let's be honest - anime is a banned topic of discussion because Matt Weiner doesn't like it...
by Excelsior (smack)
Mon Oct 07, 2013 6:53 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Has any tournament ever not "suffered from variable bonuses"?
Replies: 11
Views: 3495

Has any tournament ever not "suffered from variable bonuses"?

Every time we have a discussion thread about a tournament, someone will inevitably come in and say "well bonus X was so easy a trained monkey could answer it, while bonus Y wasn't even accessible to Nobel-winning experts in the field and therefore this tournament had awful bonus difficulty control" ...