2010 HSNCT discussion thread

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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by etchdulac » Mon May 31, 2010 4:10 pm

I'd guess many coaches think they have enough on their hands without having to go out of their way to evaluate a moderator. It seems more likely that we could get them to just record what rooms they were in when they had good or bad experiences. Even if you don't know people's names, which I totally understand, the rooms people are in are unchanged at least for all of Saturday. Blank cards to turn in somewhere after Saturday play, maybe, listing round number, room number, and comment? They wouldn't have to be any larger than the record cards turned in after saturday play.
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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by nafitzgerald » Mon May 31, 2010 4:38 pm

I'll echo the sentiment that this was the best HSNCT yet. The vast majority of tossups seemed great to me: pyramidal, reasonable answer choices, all that good stuff. In general, the questions basically seemed to do a good job of distinguishing between better teams and worse teams, which is the point anyway.

Like every NAQT set I've played, it did have some clunkers (mostly in the GK section), which is kind of a shame; I think if these (relatively few) disappointing questions were replaced, the set would feel much more solid.

The math computation bonuses were without question the worst part of the tournament, IMO. And it's not that I'm bad at them; I'm our team's main computation player, and I 20'd or 30'd every bonus we got. But WHY are we still asking things like: "You have a 2x5 array of plots of land, each 100x100. What is the perimeter of the array? What is its total area? How much fence length do you need to separate the plots?" I can't imagine anybody not knowing how to do any of the parts of this bonus. This bonus doesn't even try to hide the fact that it boils down to 100% addition/multiplication speed.

This is particularly annoying because most of the math theory questions were great, being both fairly deep and fairly accessible IMO (except maybe "existential quantifier"). I would love to see the remaining math calculation be replaced.

History was solid, as far as I can remember. Lit was a little uneven: some of the bonuses seemed much harder than others, and I felt like the shorter length of NAQT tossups meant that author questions that tried to include a lot of books boiled down to surface knowledge. But certainly not bad overall!

The CE actually seemed pretty good to me: our team was afraid, going into the tournament, that we would get stuff like "FTP, name the junior senator from Idaho", but I don't remember much, if anything, like that coming up.

Like others, I'd like to see less sports and pop culture. Geography is debatable, I suppose, but I think there should be quite a bit less.

Other than that...if you really must write Beatles tossups, make the lead-ins harder than "A Day in the Life".
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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by jbarnes112358 » Mon May 31, 2010 5:23 pm

If "only" getting through 23 questions in the finals is such a "tragedy" or " huge deal", perhaps the solution would be to turn off the clock in last few rounds of the playoffs. There are a number of variables other than reading speed that determine how many questions are read. Some of the biggest factors include the number of questions that go dead (none did in these finals), how long teams deliberate on bonuses, and in what part of the question cycle the halftime and final bell sounds. In two days of competition, we only got through more than 23 complete question cycles once or twice. In one of those cases, I believe the reader was going a bit too fast, and seemed to be short counting his answer prompts. I understand the frustration, if you were pulling for State College in the finals. If the tables were turned, I would also be frustrated if the time ran out before the questions did, especially if the game is decided within a one question margin. But, I saw nothing wrong with the speed of the reader in the finals. He was an excellent reader. I can't see how it would be so much more desirable to frenetically speed read through a game as important as a national finals, just to say all 26 questions were read.

I can understand why a clock might be desirable in keeping the tournament on schedule. But, in the final few games, there should be enough quality readers that the clock could be turned off without excessively delaying the tournament.
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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by Frater Taciturnus » Mon May 31, 2010 5:38 pm

I still don't get what the fixation with READING ALL 26 TOSSUPS AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE is all about. Yes, it is favorable to hear more tossups, and I get that people like to hear more tossups when possible, but I always considered TU 24-26 as insurance that almost any game that ends in a tie has tiebreaker questions there, since in addition to OT games being few and far between, so are games that exceed 24 TUH, with the extra tossups coming from accounting for the HSNCT having better readers that are more likely to get through 21+ in the 18 minutes than the average reader at the average NAQT event would. Really, instead of whining that you *only* (only!) heard 23 tossups instead of 24 or 25, consider it cool that NAQT included extra tossups so that fast moving, competitive games get to hear extra tossups.
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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Mon May 31, 2010 5:48 pm

Well, one of the unfortunate things is that the entire NAQT argument (as presented by R. on these boards sometime last year) in favor of shorter tossups is that--while there is somewhat decreased ability to judge between two teams that just played twenty shorter tossups than twenty longer ones--there's a much bigger difference between twenty plus four to six shorter tossups and twenty tossups, length being constant. When more tossups are no longer guaranteed, you've got nothing left.
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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by Frater Taciturnus » Mon May 31, 2010 5:54 pm

Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:Well, one of the unfortunate things is that the entire NAQT argument (as presented by R. on these boards sometime last year) in favor of shorter tossups is that--while there is somewhat decreased ability to judge between two teams that just played twenty shorter tossups than twenty longer ones--there's a much bigger difference between twenty plus four to six shorter tossups and twenty tossups, length being constant. When more tossups are no longer guaranteed, you've got nothing left.
I'm not saying "Just hear 20 and be happy with it" I'm saying that 23-24 is a totally reasonable number of tossups for a game to end in and teams should not get upset when the clock goes off before every tossup is read.
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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Mon May 31, 2010 6:15 pm

Frater Taciturnus wrote:
Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:Well, one of the unfortunate things is that the entire NAQT argument (as presented by R. on these boards sometime last year) in favor of shorter tossups is that--while there is somewhat decreased ability to judge between two teams that just played twenty shorter tossups than twenty longer ones--there's a much bigger difference between twenty plus four to six shorter tossups and twenty tossups, length being constant. When more tossups are no longer guaranteed, you've got nothing left.
I'm not saying "Just hear 20 and be happy with it" I'm saying that 23-24 is a totally reasonable number of tossups for a game to end in and teams should not get upset when the clock goes off before every tossup is read.
They should be upset if they didn't even get to 20 though.
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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by BucsMath » Mon May 31, 2010 6:22 pm

Judy Sucks a Lemon for Breakfast wrote:The reader we had when we faced Hoover interjected with comments while the clock was running and we got through only 18 tossups.
I completely agree. The most frustrating thing about this entire tournament (besides playing without our full team) was that in our most contested matches it seemed to come down to whether or not our reader could read the questions well enough to be understood while getting in the most possible tossup-bonus cycles in the shortest amount of time.

I also thought there were some extreme difficulty disparities among bonuses, especially on some of the science bonuses. We had two players on our team that have taken both Physics B and C and there were several physics bonuses we zeroed because they were on topics the most advanced physics classes in high school don't even touch. I'm not saying that the canon needs to stick to what is taught in school, but you shouldn't have two students who have completed the most advanced physics classes most schools offer be absolutely clueless as to what a question is asking.

On the subject of computation bonuses, time was definitely an issue that prevented some parts from being doable. Most of them could be done in the 5 seconds and almost all could be done in 10 seconds if that amount of time was given. Most of them had a trick that made them fairly simple. Specifically mentioned in this thread, the Pascal's Triangle bonus required knowing the combinatorics to find specific items in a row, or in the case of the 6th term of the third diagonal, knowing that the entries of the third diagonal are triangular numbers. On the whole, I thought the math bonuses were clear in what they wanted and if more time was allotted to solve them, they would be perfectly fine.

Just as a side note, I found it interesting that the Wuthering Heights tossup in Round 19 started with almost the exact same clue and wording of the clue as the Wuthering Heights tossup in the Prison Bowl set. This may be due to the stock nature of the clue, but it was almost a case of reflex buzzing on my part because it sounded so familiar to a question I'd heard less than a week before in practice.
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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Mon May 31, 2010 6:56 pm

BucsMath wrote:I also thought there were some extreme difficulty disparities among bonuses, especially on some of the science bonuses. We had two players on our team that have taken both Physics B and C and there were several physics bonuses we zeroed because they were on topics the most advanced physics classes in high school don't even touch. I'm not saying that the canon needs to stick to what is taught in school, but you shouldn't have two students who have completed the most advanced physics classes most schools offer be absolutely clueless as to what a question is asking.
What were those physics questions that you think were too hard? I'm curious.
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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by BucsMath » Mon May 31, 2010 7:43 pm

Carangoides ciliarius wrote:What were those physics questions that you think were too hard? I'm curious.
Off the top of my head, I remember the RLC circuits bonus giving us trouble. The AP Physics C test might have one multiple choice question about RLC circuits, but usually sticks to RC or RL and never asks anything that in depth. It could just be that we're the only team not studying terms associated with complex circuits and the rest of the field did very well on this question, and if that's the case, my bad. Without reviewing the tournament questions again, that's the only question I remember specifically.

On the whole, I thought the science tossup difficulty levels were good, but the bonuses just seemed much more difficult than the bonuses in other categories at times, like when the same questions about the Crimean War come up for the hundredth time and basically counts as a free 30 points.
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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by Important Bird Area » Mon May 31, 2010 7:58 pm

BucsMath wrote:when the same questions about the Crimean War come up for the hundredth time and basically counts as a free 30 points.
round 18 wrote:C. The defense of Home Hill was key to this November 1854 battle that was fought in fog and saw the outnumbered Allied forces drive off the Russians.

answer: Battle of _Inkerman_
This is actually the first time in the history of NAQT that this battle has been used as an answer (we've used it a dozen or so times as a clue for answer: Crimean War).
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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Mon May 31, 2010 8:01 pm

I'm willing to buy that. I never got to take AP Physics in high school, and so I'm a little out of touch with what one actually learns in those classes. I probably should have edited that bonus down more stringently; as it was, it was definitely among the hardest physics bonuses in the set. (Though I think there were certainly a few literature bonuses that were as difficult.)
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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by jagluski » Mon May 31, 2010 8:14 pm

Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:Perhaps future HSNCTs should package--with every packet--two moderator evaluation cards. That would be easier than, at the end of the day, trying to recall specific moderator experiences. The actual length of time it would add to the game would be the time it takes for the moderator to say his or her name.

In the past, the coaches actually received their moderator evaluation forms at the beginning of the day, so they could have filled out the forms after every round. The reasons the forms weren't included this year were that in the past they a) weren't filled out at all b) were filled out at the end of the day or c) held limited value because in all of the "trade off" rooms, we had no idea who read in those individual rounds (granted that should have been fixed with a field for a moderator name).

Finally, I don't take the criticism about the final only getting through 23 tossups as valid. Both coaches were asked before the final who they wanted to read the final and both picked Jeff Hoppes. Since both coaches had heard Jeff throughout the tournament, they knew exactly what they were going to get.

I have read the criticism about some moderators during the tournament on the board. We will try to do better next year. If you have feedback about specific moderators, please email it to me at gluskin@naqt.com so that I can work to accomplish this goal. Thanks.
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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by Cheynem » Mon May 31, 2010 8:21 pm

I'd hope no one really wants to blame the moderator for "only" getting through 23 tossups in the final. Twenty three is a perfectly fine amount (judging by overtime rules, it appears to actually be the expected amount for games). Jeff is a great moderator, and while it can be galling (especially if you lose), I fail to see how this is the moderator's fault barring some unacceptable behavior which I have heard no one describe.
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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by jdeliverer » Mon May 31, 2010 8:53 pm

Yeah, the argument about # of questions has been made in depth before, but the argument that I think applies is that even in the finals, quiz bowl is a competition with previously agreed upon rules.

We could have agreed on 30, or 20, or 100 tossups to be read, and there's always a tradeoff when adding another question. NAQT happened to use a set of rules that provided for 23 tossups, and that shouldn't be described as a "shame" any more than if all rounds were 20 questions.

It wouldn't be a shame if we had gotten through all 26 questions, though one could argue that 30 question rounds (or whatever) are appropriate for determining the national champion. It's part of the game.
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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by jbarnes112358 » Mon May 31, 2010 9:18 pm

jagluski wrote:
Finally, I don't take the criticism about the final only getting through 23 tossups as valid. Both coaches were asked before the final who they wanted to read the final and both picked Jeff Hoppes. Since both coaches had heard Jeff throughout the tournament, they knew exactly what they were going to get.
Thank you. I polled my players who requested Jeff as the finals moderator. I'm glad to know State College also requested him. As I said earlier, he is an excellent reader and moderator, sufficiently fast, but controlled and not frenetic.

It is a shame that someone had to lose, as both teams were worthy. State College is an amazing quiz bowl team. We have played probably 150 rounds this year. I can count our total number of losses on one hand, with three of them being to State College. In the only tournament we lost this year, we came in second to State College. That aforementioned State College comeback in the earlier playoff game on Sunday was incredible. They were down 230 points,(425-195), then won the last six toss-ups including 5 powers, to come up just 15 points short. If they got a couple of more bonus parts in that run, it would have been a comeback of historical proportions. Look out for them at NSC next week, and with everyone returning next year... well, I hate to even think about how scary that is.
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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by Important Bird Area » Mon May 31, 2010 9:42 pm

RyuAqua wrote:For better or for worse, though, this was certainly the hardest HSNCT in recent memory - if "difficulty creep" is a real thing that's happening, this tournament suffered far more for that than for previously-decried NAQT issues. The bonuses, especially, fluctuated some but were on the whole too hard. It seemed like teams at even the highest levels of this tournament were getting 17 to 19 points per bonus (the stats will make or break this claim; for now it's a ballpark estimate)
If that's the right ballpark, then we will certainly have some work to do for 2011.

Compare the last four years' worth of stats:

(champion, team ranked x/2, team ranked x-5)
where x=field size

2009: 21.58, 10.91, 5.33

2008: 21.03, 10.48, 5.95

2007: 21.73, 13.01, 6.58

2006: 20.59, 14.44, 5.98

That's actually very consistent, the only obvious trend being that the performance of the median team is dropping slightly. (That would appear to be a logical consequence of expanding the field size for constant difficulty; by contrast, there is a larger pool of replacement-level teams capable of converting about half of the easy parts.)

If, in fact, this year's Maggie Walker and State College teams were under 19 ppb (I have no idea, since I was reading on Saturday and didn't spend any time in the stat rooms), then my instinct is that the bonus difficulty would have been very punishing to teams 120 or so on down. Maybe that happened.
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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by Important Bird Area » Mon May 31, 2010 9:44 pm

RyuAqua wrote:It seems like the usual goal of tournament difficulty for a field - producing a bell curve-like distribution for the field maxing out at 30 PPB for the best team ever, and working its way down with a height at 15 - didn't happen, capping out at around 20 and maxing around 10. This seemed wrong, especially when teams like LASA and State College were sometimes 0ing academic bonuses.
More on this in a new thread, since I ended up writing some stuff about theory that wasn't remotely specific to HSNCT.
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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by TheKingInYellow » Mon May 31, 2010 9:45 pm

I just want to second what everyone else said about Jeff being a great moderator and 23 being a perfectly valid number of questions to get through. The one problem I had with the round was the math comp bonus which was dramatically longer than any other question I had heard all day-- it seemed out of place and detracting. That being said, Maggie Walker beat us consistently throughout the tournament and certainly deserved to win the match.
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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by Sir Thopas » Mon May 31, 2010 9:51 pm

TheKingInYellow wrote:The one problem I had with the round was the math comp bonus which was dramatically longer than any other question I had heard all day-- it seemed out of place and detracting.
On that note—I strongly recommend against giving more time for calculation bonuses. They eat up the clock like a starving lion as it is. If it comes down to giving more time for calculation bonuses, trying to make all computation bonuses equally difficult and time-consuming (note: this is impossible), and cutting them, the choice is obvious to me.
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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Mon May 31, 2010 10:12 pm

Speaking of stats, when can we expect to see them all?
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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by Joe Romersa » Mon May 31, 2010 10:54 pm

Math computation bonuses should just be taken out. Almost all reasonable math bonuses would allow 10 seconds for the question to be answered (5 seconds isn't enough), but then that would eat up more of the clock, which could make a difference in close games. It just doesn't seem like it works.


We had a room where a moderator said "my perception is not protestable", after he ruled an answer incorrect for a bonus part, where they said "n", our whole team and their whole team heard "n", but the moderator heard "m". In the end, it didn't matter, but how is this supposed to be handled?
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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by Cheynem » Mon May 31, 2010 10:59 pm

I'm not sure on this situation if both teams agreed on the hearing or not hearing of a certain word. It's one thing if one team agrees and the other doesn't--that shouldn't be protestable because it's just "he heard, they heard."
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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by Excelsior (smack) » Mon May 31, 2010 11:00 pm

Cheynem wrote:Wait, THEIR whole team heard the wrong answer? What exactly does that mean? The reason why it is not protestable in abstract is because everyone can hear different things. If both teams came to an agreement that the wrong answer was said though (this has happened in matches because quizbowl teams should show good sports and honesty), then I don't know why the answer was accepted.
"n" was the correct answer.

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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by Joe Romersa » Mon May 31, 2010 11:33 pm

Cheynem wrote:I'm not sure on this situation if both teams agreed on the hearing or not hearing of a certain word. It's one thing if one team agrees and the other doesn't--that shouldn't be protestable because it's just "he heard, they heard."
They clearly knew the right answer, and their protest was shot down. (I think) we (probably) would have backed them up out of good sportsmanship, but never had the chance, and they were kind of distracted after that question.
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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by samer » Mon May 31, 2010 11:53 pm

I was responsible for looking over some of these questions for editing. If I had been told that the questions were going to allot five seconds per part (my understanding, which apparently was incorrect, was that the standard 10 seconds for calculations would apply), I would have done my best to reduce the math.

Personally, if the only choices are (A) 5 seconds per part, or (B) none at all, I'd rather go with none at all. If people would prefer, e.g., 10-minute halves and 10 seconds per part, though, I wouldn't complain.
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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by Dan-Don » Tue Jun 01, 2010 2:36 am

I wanted to point out that State College might have missed a chance to protest after Monica(?) negged "meiosis." This is the question as Samer edited it (I wrote it originally):
Dan-Don wrote:Leptotene [LEP-tuh-teen] is the first phase, and pachytene [PACK-ih-teen] the third phases of this process, for which bdelloids [b'DEH-loyds] appear to be the oldest extant animals not to engage. After those phases, and before {kinetochore} [kih-NEE-tuh-kor] microtubules attach, (*) homologous chromosomes have paired up, exchanged DNA, and separated to form daughter nuclei. Bacteria do not engage in--for 10 points--what process of cell division that forms haploid gametes?

answer: _meiosis_ [my-OH-sis] (prompt on "sexual reproduction")
Perhaps Monica remembers where she buzzed, but most of those early clues apply to her answer of "Prophase I."
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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by Geringer » Tue Jun 01, 2010 3:40 am

BucsMath wrote:
Carangoides ciliarius wrote:What were those physics questions that you think were too hard? I'm curious.
Off the top of my head, I remember the RLC circuits bonus giving us trouble. The AP Physics C test might have one multiple choice question about RLC circuits, but usually sticks to RC or RL and never asks anything that in depth. It could just be that we're the only team not studying terms associated with complex circuits and the rest of the field did very well on this question, and if that's the case, my bad.
I don't remember this bonus off the top of my head, but I know that sometimes Differential Equations classes will cover the RLC circuit from a theoretical perspective (it's a prime example for a second order non-homogenous, I think). A fair amount of people take DiffEQ in high school so this might have been gettable to a select few.
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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by jonah » Tue Jun 01, 2010 3:43 am

KHAAAAN please wrote:A fair amount of people take DiffEQ in high school
No.
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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Tue Jun 01, 2010 5:56 am

jonah wrote:
KHAAAAN please wrote:A fair amount of people take DiffEQ in high school
No.
Yeah a grand total of 0 people from my high school have ever taken this class before graduating.
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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by TheKingInYellow » Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:51 am

Dan-Don wrote:I wanted to point out that State College might have missed a chance to protest after Monica(?) negged "meiosis." This is the question as Samer edited it (I wrote it originally):
Dan-Don wrote:Leptotene [LEP-tuh-teen] is the first phase, and pachytene [PACK-ih-teen] the third phases of this process, for which bdelloids [b'DEH-loyds] appear to be the oldest extant animals not to engage. After those phases, and before {kinetochore} [kih-NEE-tuh-kor] microtubules attach, (*) homologous chromosomes have paired up, exchanged DNA, and separated to form daughter nuclei. Bacteria do not engage in--for 10 points--what process of cell division that forms haploid gametes?

answer: _meiosis_ [my-OH-sis] (prompt on "sexual reproduction")
Perhaps Monica remembers where she buzzed, but most of those early clues apply to her answer of "Prophase I."
She buzzed on homologous chromosomes, so yeah, prophase I should have been accpetable, at least according to my wikipedia research.
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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by Steve Watchorn » Tue Jun 01, 2010 8:38 am

I was responsible for the RLC circuits question. Here it is in full, by the way:

For 10 points each--answer the following about series RLC circuits under alternating current:

A. Because the average value of current in such a circuit is zero, the current and voltage are typically described by this type of value, equal to their maximum amplitude over the square root of two.

answer: _r-m-s_ or _root-mean-square_ current

B. The time relationship between occurrences of the maximum values of each component in such a circuit can be described by these rotating Cartesian vectors.

answer: _phasor_s

C. The {impedance} for such a circuit is the quadrature addition of the resistance of the resistor and the difference between the inductive and capacitive values of this quantity.

answer: _reactance_


Actually, looking back at it, the element that made the question more complicated was actually, I think, the AC driving, rather than the RLC circuit. Really, RLC is a rather straightforward step up from RC or RL. However, the AC driving is what causes the phase issues for maximum energy storage and dissipation in each part, necessitates the RMS notation, and makes the phasors really useful. It is usually taught in college calc-based physics with differential equations, but, like other subjects, can be approached without that by just fiating in some rules (like in the non-calc-based college physics I taught). It sounds like straight DC driving of RC and RL circuits (with time constants and such) is the more common high school topic, though. I'm sorry if I exceeded high school knowledge with that one (and I know I wouldn't have had anywhere near that in high school, but that was *ahem* a while ago).

I also should have been more precise in my phrasing of "maximum values" in the second part. I meant maximum energy and maximum current.
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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by btressler » Tue Jun 01, 2010 8:57 am

Let me agree with all of the following stated above:

- This set was in general good.
- Get rid of the computation. You can't do it in five seconds.
- The lit was a bit hard at times.
- Bonus difficulty swung wildly at times.
- There were a few tossups that caused "why are they tossing this up?" head scratching

But again, in general I thought the tournament was good.

To elaborate on the bonuses, the most egregious example that comes to mind was somewhere around round 13. Charter A got a Gestalt psychology bonus whose first answer wasn't even Gestalt. In retrospect, the answers of perception and holistic made sense but in the time allotted both my team and me in the audience got zero. Then later there was "Let's name Aaron Copland's three most famous works for 30 points".

It occurs to me that what I would like to see improved is the same discussion we had on here back in October when I commented on IS sets: middle parts. The bonuses definitely had easy and hard answers, but the middle difficulty was sometimes missing. Same with the tossups. There were a lot of times that I felt the sentence before "for 10 points" wasn't a middle clue at all. A tossup that comes to mind was the Norman Mailer tossup in the GDS/Charter match. Neither myself nor any of the seven good players sitting at buzzers could get it until some very well known title got dropped after "for 10 points". This is consistent with the number of times I heard people complain about all the buzzer races. This is probably endemic with the current tossup length and I, for one, wouldn't mind seeing HSNCT go to the round and tossup length of ICT.

I miss the days where we could reseed between rounds. In their last match, two strong 7-2 teams (Torrey Pines and us) had to play. This caused Torrey Pines to be the top 7-3, but with way more points than several 8-2 teams. There are similar sharp jumps at the other records too and I think the reason is that we don't reseed at any point.

This could be my last HSNCT as a coach for a while, depending on what happens in my job search. But I hope to make it back as a reader in a future year. I've enjoyed watching this tournament grow and improve.
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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:38 am

Dan-Don wrote:I wanted to point out that State College might have missed a chance to protest after Monica(?) negged "meiosis." This is the question as Samer edited it (I wrote it originally):
Dan-Don wrote:Leptotene [LEP-tuh-teen] is the first phase, and pachytene [PACK-ih-teen] the third phases of this process, for which bdelloids [b'DEH-loyds] appear to be the oldest extant animals not to engage. After those phases, and before {kinetochore} [kih-NEE-tuh-kor] microtubules attach, (*) homologous chromosomes have paired up, exchanged DNA, and separated to form daughter nuclei. Bacteria do not engage in--for 10 points--what process of cell division that forms haploid gametes?

answer: _meiosis_ [my-OH-sis] (prompt on "sexual reproduction")
Perhaps Monica remembers where she buzzed, but most of those early clues apply to her answer of "Prophase I."
I was concerned about that myself and was watching intently to see if they'd protest/ if the buzz would be protestable, because I realized the potential problem ("I don't think I remembered to edit that answer line") around "bdelloids." She buzzed somewhere between "homologous" and "exchanged," I think, and so her answer was strictly wrong--but it is very unfortunate that the first several clues in the tossup were equally applicable to prophase I--certainly the first two clues; I don't know if there's an older extant animal than bdelloids that somehow only lacks prophase I, but I'd doubt it.
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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by Susan » Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:54 am

Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:
Dan-Don wrote:I wanted to point out that State College might have missed a chance to protest after Monica(?) negged "meiosis." This is the question as Samer edited it (I wrote it originally):
Dan-Don wrote:Leptotene [LEP-tuh-teen] is the first phase, and pachytene [PACK-ih-teen] the third phases of this process, for which bdelloids [b'DEH-loyds] appear to be the oldest extant animals not to engage. After those phases, and before {kinetochore} [kih-NEE-tuh-kor] microtubules attach, (*) homologous chromosomes have paired up, exchanged DNA, and separated to form daughter nuclei. Bacteria do not engage in--for 10 points--what process of cell division that forms haploid gametes?

answer: _meiosis_ [my-OH-sis] (prompt on "sexual reproduction")
Perhaps Monica remembers where she buzzed, but most of those early clues apply to her answer of "Prophase I."
I was concerned about that myself and was watching intently to see if they'd protest/ if the buzz would be protestable, because I realized the potential problem ("I don't think I remembered to edit that answer line") around "bdelloids." She buzzed somewhere between "homologous" and "exchanged," I think, and so her answer was strictly wrong--but it is very unfortunate that the first several clues in the tossup were equally applicable to prophase I--certainly the first two clues; I don't know if there's an older extant animal than bdelloids that somehow only lacks prophase I, but I'd doubt it.
The answer ought to have been prompted or accepted outright; the preponderance of the clues in this question (everything but the bdelloids clue, "separated to form daughter nuclei", and the final sentence) refer specifically to prophase I.
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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by Kanye West » Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:57 am

Carangoides ciliarius wrote:
jonah wrote:
KHAAAAN please wrote:A fair amount of people take DiffEQ in high school
No.
Yeah a grand total of 0 people from my high school have ever taken this class before graduating.
Yeah, see, I took differential equations in high school but still ended up zeroing that bonus. We never learned anything about RLC circuits, but I have to admit that root-mean-square was somewhat common knowledge.
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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by Excelsior (smack) » Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:05 am

Kanye West wrote:
Carangoides ciliarius wrote:
jonah wrote:
KHAAAAN please wrote:A fair amount of people take DiffEQ in high school
No.
Yeah a grand total of 0 people from my high school have ever taken this class before graduating.
Yeah, see, I took differential equations in high school but still ended up zeroing that bonus. We never learned anything about RLC circuits, but I have to admit that root-mean-square was somewhat common knowledge.
Echoing that nobody at my high school has ever taken differential equations either, but my physics studying did allow me to get RMS and reactance, and I knew what phasors were. I think RMS is fine as an easy part (we briefly mentioned it in AP physics, but only as a vocabulary word), and either phasors or reactance would be fine as a hard part. Having both phasors and reactance is a bit excessive, though, and one of them ought to have been replaced with something more tractable - though I'm not sure what other simpler answers exist for AC-driven RLC circuits.
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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by Tanay » Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:16 am

I noticed that some of the Lit in this set was very similar to the Lit from last year's HSNCT (at least judging from however much we had heard of the question). The O'Connor and O'Casey questions led in with the same work being namedropped, and I think this may have been the case with the Kundera question as well. Not sure if this is a big deal as much as it is just an observation that helped us net a few powers where we normally wouldn't have gotten them.
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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by Steve Watchorn » Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:36 am

Perhaps "resonant frequency" or simple harmonic oscillation could have been fashioned into a middle part on the RLC question. My hindsight is kicking in...
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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by samer » Tue Jun 01, 2010 12:18 pm

Bad Boy Bill wrote:To elaborate on the bonuses, the most egregious example that comes to mind was somewhere around round 13. Charter A got a Gestalt psychology bonus whose first answer wasn't even Gestalt. In retrospect, the answers of perception and holistic made sense but in the time allotted both my team and me in the audience got zero. Then later there was "Let's name Aaron Copland's three most famous works for 30 points".
FWIW, I wrote the original version of that question as one focusing on perception rather than on Gestalt psychology per se (the original version of that question did not mention Gestalt at all).
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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by Auroni » Tue Jun 01, 2010 1:35 pm

For 10 points each--answer the following about series RLC circuits under alternating current:

A. Because the average value of current in such a circuit is zero, the current and voltage are typically described by this type of value, equal to their maximum amplitude over the square root of two.

answer: _r-m-s_ or _root-mean-square_ current

B. The time relationship between occurrences of the maximum values of each component in such a circuit can be described by these rotating Cartesian vectors.

answer: _phasor_s

C. The {impedance} for such a circuit is the quadrature addition of the resistance of the resistor and the difference between the inductive and capacitive values of this quantity.

answer: _reactance_
Yeah, I took a college physics lab class where we did RLC circuits, and that would have gotten me the first and last part. RMS is a potential HSNCT middle part ONLY IF you discuss velocity and Graham's law of effusion.
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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by Captain Sinico » Tue Jun 01, 2010 1:44 pm

Ice Warrior wrote:RMS is a potential HSNCT middle part ONLY IF you discuss velocity and Graham's law of effusion.
That's just so drastically wrong.

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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Tue Jun 01, 2010 2:13 pm

Captain Sinico wrote:
Ice Warrior wrote:RMS is a potential HSNCT middle part ONLY IF you discuss velocity and Graham's law of effusion.
That's just so drastically wrong.
Yeah, I really don't see how that's true.
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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by Captain Sinico » Tue Jun 01, 2010 2:23 pm

Incidentally, one could make that bonus a lot easier by just changing the last part to impedance or even Ohm's law, the AC analogue of which is directly applicable to the circuit in question. Without agonizing too much, my guess would be that RMS/Ohm's law/phasors would make a bonus closer to the median conversion and with more interface to things people are likely to have studied. I do think that the bonus as written isn't very much too hard, though the criticism that it's somewhat beyond what one's likely to learn in high school physics does obtain.

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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Tue Jun 01, 2010 4:11 pm

It has come to my attention that NAQT has a rule allowing players to be prompted on partial last names. I want to make it known that I think this is a bad rule and would like to advocate it be removed. The specific incident I know of is that the team I work with said just Strauss on the Levi-Strauss tossup and got prompted. I believe a basic premise of naming is that, if you have a compound last name, it should be treated as your sole name. Thus, prompting on Strauss is basically the same thing to me as having a tossup on Tchaikovsky and prompting when a player says "Tchaik." The abnormality of the fact he has a hyphen in his name does not take away from the fact that his name is Levi-Strauss, and under no circumstances is his name Levi or Strauss, and because of that, there should be no reason to treat him differently than anybody else who happened to be born without a hyphenated name. Just because it means there will be more players negging every now and then is not a bad thing - sometimes a wrong answer is a strong instructive tool (in this case, to make it clear how their last name works), and at least you are now accepting nothing but the right answer.
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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by Dresden_The_BIG_JERK » Tue Jun 01, 2010 4:17 pm

Jeremy Gibbs Freesy Does It wrote:It has come to my attention that NAQT has a rule allowing players to be prompted on partial last names. I want to make it known that I think this is a bad rule and would like to advocate it be removed. The specific incident I know of is that the team I work with said just Strauss on the Levi-Strauss tossup and got prompted. I believe a basic premise of naming is that, if you have a compound last name, it should be treated as your sole name. Thus, prompting on Strauss is basically the same thing to me as having a tossup on Tchaikovsky and prompting when a player says "Tchaik." The abnormality of the fact he has a hyphen in his name does not take away from the fact that his name is Levi-Strauss, and under no circumstances is his name Levi or Strauss, and because of that, there should be no reason to treat him differently than anybody else who happened to be born without a hyphenated name. Just because it means there will be more players negging every now and then is not a bad thing - sometimes a wrong answer is a strong instructive tool (in this case, to make it clear how their last name works), and at least you are now accepting nothing but the right answer.
I would imagine that the rule is in place in cases of married hyphenation more often than birth hyphenation, but perhaps it is a prompt that should be specified per instance rather than in bulk, as I agree with the evaluation of the question in question.
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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by Dan-Don » Tue Jun 01, 2010 4:23 pm

Bad Boy Bill wrote:A tossup that comes to mind was the Norman Mailer tossup in the GDS/Charter match. Neither myself nor any of the seven good players sitting at buzzers could get it until some very well known title got dropped after "for 10 points".
Wasn't Gary Gilmore name-dropped before "For 10 points?"If so, I'm surprised no one from GDS or Charter got if off a description of his most famous work. I'm sorry for being nitpicky--I do agree with all your criticisms of the difficulty.
myamphigory wrote:
Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:
Dan-Don wrote:I wanted to point out that State College might have missed a chance to protest after Monica(?) negged "meiosis." This is the question as Samer edited it (I wrote it originally):
Dan-Don wrote:Leptotene [LEP-tuh-teen] is the first phase, and pachytene [PACK-ih-teen] the third phases of this process, for which bdelloids [b'DEH-loyds] appear to be the oldest extant animals not to engage. After those phases, and before {kinetochore} [kih-NEE-tuh-kor] microtubules attach, (*) homologous chromosomes have paired up, exchanged DNA, and separated to form daughter nuclei. Bacteria do not engage in--for 10 points--what process of cell division that forms haploid gametes?

answer: _meiosis_ [my-OH-sis] (prompt on "sexual reproduction")
Perhaps Monica remembers where she buzzed, but most of those early clues apply to her answer of "Prophase I."
I was concerned about that myself and was watching intently to see if they'd protest/ if the buzz would be protestable, because I realized the potential problem ("I don't think I remembered to edit that answer line") around "bdelloids." She buzzed somewhere between "homologous" and "exchanged," I think, and so her answer was strictly wrong--but it is very unfortunate that the first several clues in the tossup were equally applicable to prophase I--certainly the first two clues; I don't know if there's an older extant animal than bdelloids that somehow only lacks prophase I, but I'd doubt it.
The answer ought to have been prompted or accepted outright; the preponderance of the clues in this question (everything but the bdelloids clue, "separated to form daughter nuclei", and the final sentence) refer specifically to prophase I.
Well now my question is: do bdelloids engage in Prophase I and not meiosis? If that is the case, Monica was wrong (albeit slightly hosed) and we can sleep easier. But, when I made this post last night, I was making the assumption that because bdelloids do not engage is meiosis, they also do not engage in Prophase I. If that is the case, then Monica was definitely right.
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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by Susan » Tue Jun 01, 2010 4:41 pm

Dan wrote:Well now my question is: do bdelloids engage in Prophase I and not meiosis? If that is the case, Monica was wrong (albeit slightly hosed) and we can sleep easier. But, when I made this post last night, I was making the assumption that because bdelloids do not engage is meiosis, they also do not engage in Prophase I. If that is the case, then Monica was definitely right.
Bdelloid rotifers don't engage in meiosis and hence don't engage in substages of meiosis*, including prophase I. (Engaging in prophase I, which involves the deliberate formation of potentially lethal DNA damage, would be an extraordinarily costly maneuver for a creature that didn't proceed through the rest of meiosis and gain the benefits of sexual reproduction.)

(While bdelloids are considered to be the most definitive ancient-asexual eukaryotic taxa, there are a lot of critters that sexually reproduce only rarely, and plenty of putative "asexuals" have been found to actually engage in meiosis/sex--I assume that's why the tossup hedges a bit by saying they "appear" not to engage in meiosis.)
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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by Dan-Don » Tue Jun 01, 2010 4:46 pm

myamphigory wrote:
Dan wrote:Well now my question is: do bdelloids engage in Prophase I and not meiosis? If that is the case, Monica was wrong (albeit slightly hosed) and we can sleep easier. But, when I made this post last night, I was making the assumption that because bdelloids do not engage is meiosis, they also do not engage in Prophase I. If that is the case, then Monica was definitely right.
Bdelloid rotifers don't engage in meiosis and hence don't engage in substages of meiosis*, including prophase I. (Engaging in prophase I, which involves the deliberate formation of potentially lethal DNA damage, would be an extraordinarily costly maneuver for a creature that didn't proceed through the rest of meiosis and gain the benefits of sexual reproduction.)

(While bdelloids are considered to be the most definitive ancient-asexual eukaryotic taxa, there are a lot of critters that sexually reproduce only rarely, and plenty of putative "asexuals" have been found to actually engage in meiosis/sex--I assume that's why the tossup hedges a bit by saying they "appear" not to engage in meiosis.)
So then Monica was indeed correct when she buzzed. Now my question is: does someone have the scoresheet handy that can see how many points Maggie Walker earned on that bonus? If I'm not mistaken, the game was close enough that SC could have automatically won depending on how many points would have been subtracted from MW's score.
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Re: 2010 HSNCT discussion thread

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Tue Jun 01, 2010 5:55 pm

Also, anyone who thinks that tossup on Berlioz is effectively dead space before the March to the Scaffold is objectively wrong, because all of the things beforehand are perfectly fair game as clues for a high school tossup on the dude. Music players should really know that Berlioz wrote a number of compositions that are still performed rather frequently, and not just the Symphonie Fantastique.
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