Why don't we have 1/1 math?

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Deviant Insider
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Why don't we have 1/1 math?

Post by Deviant Insider » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:48 pm

There is already a thread on this topic in the collegiate section, but I don't think that the arguments and/or possibly the conclusion are the same for high school quizbowl.

A little historical background:
Back before 2000, high school quizbowl was a much more regional activity. Instead of the current Big Three categories of History, Literature, and Science, many states had a Big Four of Literature/Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies. The math was mostly computational. There were movements to nationalize the game and make it more in line with mACF, and there was also a big movement to eliminate computation. In a lot of places, there was a change from 4/4 Math to 0.5/0.5 Math. There weren't many examples of good math questions, so it was easy to allow that change, and some tournaments did not have any math.

I think that high school and middle school quizbowl would be better off with 1/1 math than with less than that. This can be done either by making Science+Math 5/5 or by making Bio, Chem, and Physics a total of 2.5/2.5 instead of 3/3, leaving 0.5/0.5 for Astro, Earth Science, and Mixed Science. CS can go with the minor science or be a part of the 1/1 Math.

If we want question sets to be accessible to middle school teams and young high school teams, we should consider the fact that they have spent at least as much time in math class as in science class, and significantly more time in math class than any subset of science such as physics. At the top end, there are high school students that go above and beyond the standard curriculum in math and all the other sciences.

If anybody wants to argue that it will happen when people write such sets, my response is been there, done that. If anybody wants help putting together an answer space, I can give you a list of hundreds of answers I have used.
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Re: Why don't we have 1/1 math?

Post by Cheynem » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:54 pm

I should note that I think math works pretty well for high school questions, so my answer to this question is slightly different than college.
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Re: Why don't we have 1/1 math?

Post by CPiGuy » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:00 pm

High school quizbowl should have 0/0 computational math and 1/1 non-computational math.

Seriously, comp math sucks and is impossible to make pyramidal. Stop including it in otherwise excellent tournaments, people who do so!
Conor Thompson
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Re: Why don't we have 1/1 math?

Post by Deviant Insider » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:06 pm

CPiGuy wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:00 pm
High school quizbowl should have 0/0 computational math and 1/1 non-computational math.

Seriously, comp math sucks and is impossible to make pyramidal. Stop including it in otherwise excellent tournaments, people who do so!
I should have been clearer in my original post. I am not calling for computational math. I am calling for 1/1 non-computational math.
David Reinstein
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Re: Why don't we have 1/1 math?

Post by CPiGuy » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:10 pm

Deviant Insider wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:06 pm
CPiGuy wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:00 pm
High school quizbowl should have 0/0 computational math and 1/1 non-computational math.

Seriously, comp math sucks and is impossible to make pyramidal. Stop including it in otherwise excellent tournaments, people who do so!
I should have been clearer in my original post. I am not calling for computational math. I am calling for 1/1 non-computational math.
I know; sorry for the confusion -- I thought your post was good! I'm making an additional point that computational math sucks, shouldn't be counted as part of the "math" distribution, and should in fact not exist in quizbowl (at least in the form of tossups; I'm actually very open to computational bonuses or just bonus parts for MS and HS students, as computing things is a thing they often learn how to do!)
Conor Thompson
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Re: Why don't we have 1/1 math?

Post by Cody » Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:44 am

Deviant Insider wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:48 pm
If we want question sets to be accessible to middle school teams and young high school teams, we should consider the fact that they have spent at least as much time in math class as in science class, and significantly more time in math class than any subset of science such as physics. At the top end, there are high school students that go above and beyond the standard curriculum in math and all the other sciences.
I agree. One of my take-aways from reading at a lot of high school tournaments is that 1/1 physics (and to a much, much lesser extent, 1/1 chemistry) is not good at the regular-difficulty high school level and goes dead far more frequently than other science subjects. I think some decrease in physics and a corresponding increase in math would be a good idea in the "standard distribution" that housewrites & companies use for the high school level. (The problem is only more pronounced in middle school.)
Last edited by Cody on Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
Cody Voight, VCU ‘14. I wrote lots of science and am an electrical engineer.
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Re: Why don't we have 1/1 math?

Post by alexdz » Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:00 am

Cody wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:44 am
I think some decrease in physics and a corresponding increase in math would be a good idea in the "standard distribution" for that housewrites & companies use for the high school level. (The problem is only more pronounced in middle school.)
As a middle school (and elementary!) writer, I've definitely found physics (and chemistry) to be the hardest to write at the lower levels. For MS sets which get to create their own distribution, I'd highly suggest following this suggestion and reducing physical science content in favor of a slight increase in math.
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Re: Why don't we have 1/1 math?

Post by Banned Tiny Toon Adventures Episode » Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:04 am

alexdz wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:00 am
Cody wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:44 am
I think some decrease in physics and a corresponding increase in math would be a good idea in the "standard distribution" for that housewrites & companies use for the high school level. (The problem is only more pronounced in middle school.)
As a middle school (and elementary!) writer, I've definitely found physics (and chemistry) to be the hardest to write at the lower levels. For MS sets which get to create their own distribution, I'd highly suggest following this suggestion and reducing physical science content in favor of a slight increase in math.
I've found that the split doesn't really work very well at the MS level. I'm not sure about other people but I found that it would make more sense to do a split along the lines of life science/physical science since at least in my middle school coursework things were more explicitly split between the two
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Re: Why don't we have 1/1 math?

Post by the return of AHAN » Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:26 am

As a coach who has dealt with comp math for 22 years, the issue with making a computational math question is that you are either writing something that's super easy to complete, and becomes a buzzer race, or something requiring a few steps to arrive at the answer (from yesterday; express 51/120 as a percentage in mixed number form). For the latter, you need to allow more time to answer (which IESA does; 30 seconds for comp math). In either case, the incentive is for strong players to actually buzz just before they've arrived at the answer, and THEN be able to figure the answer and say it before being counted out for stalling. I can think of no other case* where it's correct to buzz BEFORE you know what the answer is.

(* - Don't get me started on spelling toss-ups; where it's correct to buzz BEFORE you even know for sure what is being asked)
Jeff Price, Barrington Station Middle School Coach (2013 MSNCT Champions, 2013 & 2017 Illinois Class AA State Champions)
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Re: Why don't we have 1/1 math?

Post by touchpack » Sat Apr 20, 2019 1:35 am

NAQT already has 1/1 math at the HSNCT and SSNCT, though some of the bonuses are computational.
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