2012 HSNCT discussion

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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Mon May 28, 2012 5:25 pm

Dominator wrote:I don't know how a tournament with the champion at less than 22 PPB is defensible.
Bellarmine did convert more than 22 ppb on Sunday with all of their players present.

That being said, the bonuses in this set were (still) too hard and too inconsistent; the set would certainly have benefited from an additional readthrough intended to even out bonus difficulty.
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by jonah » Mon May 28, 2012 5:29 pm

mtimmons wrote:On the imaginary numbers tossup I thought the representation clue was confusing/misleading though this could stem from my limited knowledge of representation theory. From my understanding, in the standard matrix representation of complex numbers, 2x2 antisymmetric matrices correspond to imaginary numbers but because the imaginary numbers lack algebraic structure [other than being a additive group trivially isomorphic to the real numbers with addition] you wouldn't typically say that the 2x2 antisymmetric matrices represent the imaginary numbers. Am I wrong about this?
I'm not sure I would say the imaginary numbers lack algebraic structure (they're not just a group but a ring under the isomorphism you describe, though I concede it's not hugely interesting), but other than that I think you're right. I think the intent of that clue was just that when you represent a complex number as a 2×2 matrix, the matrix is antisymmetric if (and only if) the number is purely imaginary.

edit: grammar
Last edited by jonah on Mon May 28, 2012 5:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Mon May 28, 2012 5:43 pm

RyuAqua wrote:Pelias/Aeetes/Apsyrtus?!
This did not have an easy part, and should have had one of them turned around to ask for Jason.
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Mon May 28, 2012 6:04 pm

Anyone have any idea what the hell happened here?
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by The Stately Rhododendron » Mon May 28, 2012 6:17 pm

Besides the H.W. bush tossup, i thought having "final call" in power for the nation was pretty generous, same with "griddle cakes" for Alfred the great and "red tails" for fighter pilots.
On the whole, i liked the tournament even though i was feverish and in coughing fits for most of it. I'm still not sure how we went 8-2, though.
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by mtimmons » Mon May 28, 2012 6:18 pm

jonah wrote:
mtimmons wrote:On the imaginary numbers tossup I thought the representation clue was confusing/misleading though this could stem from my limited knowledge of representation theory. From my understanding, in the standard matrix representation of complex numbers, 2x2 antisymmetric matrices correspond to imaginary numbers but because the imaginary numbers lack algebraic structure [other than being a additive group trivially isomorphic to the real numbers with addition] you wouldn't typically say that the 2x2 antisymmetric matrices represent the imaginary numbers. Am I wrong about this?
I'm not sure I would say the imaginary numbers lack algebraic structure (they're not just a group but a ring under the isomorphism you describe, though I concede it's not hugely interesting), but other than that I think you're right. I think the intent of that clue was just that when you represent a complex number as a 2×2 matrix, the matrix is antisymmetric if (and only if) the number is purely imaginary.

edit: grammar
I think the only way the imaginary numbers became a ring is if you define ai*bi=(ab)i which is obviously not how multiplication usually works for them and that definition of multiplication doesn't work with the matrix representation.
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by jonah » Mon May 28, 2012 6:22 pm

mtimmons wrote:I think the only way the imaginary numbers became a ring is if you define ai*bi=(ab)i which is obviously not how multiplication usually works for them and that definition of multiplication doesn't work with the matrix representation.
Bluh. You're right. I endeavor to do my editing when on more sleep than I am currently doing my posting. Sorry!
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Mon May 28, 2012 6:38 pm

Ukonvasara wrote:Anyone have any idea what the hell happened here?
Five real people, five How I Met Your Mother, one ASoIaF, and a lot I just don't get.
EDIT: Amy-Donna-Jack-Nick-Rory were all Round 14, so four are Doctor Who companions and a minor mystery, Nick.
Elaine-Jordan-Klaus are Round 15. Don't get these.
Athena and Maurice are Round 10 like Eddard. Don't get these.
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by Panayot Hitov » Mon May 28, 2012 6:52 pm

Just one problem here: In the Armenia/Ararat/Nagorno-Karabakh bonus in round 12, Nagorno-Karabakh was identified as an exclave of Armenia. This is incorrect, it is actually a de-facto independent state recognized only by Armenia, e.g. like calling Transdinistria an exclave of Russia.

EDIT: loved the tossup on _The Clouds_, btw.
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Mon May 28, 2012 7:06 pm

Dominator wrote: I'm hoping that NAQT missed their target difficulty, because otherwise I don't know how a tournament with the champion at less than 22 PPB is defensible.
Some notes on bonus difficulty.

(I'll have more to say about this later when I take a look at the whole field, but for now:)

2011 HSNCT:

Bonus conversion range (# of teams in that band)

22+ (3)
21-22 (2)
20-21 (6)
19-20 (6)
18-19 (5)

22 out of 224 teams earned at least 18 ppb, 9.8% of the field

2012 HSNCT:

Bonus conversion range (# of teams in that band)

22+ (1)
21-22 (6)
20-21 (5)
19-20 (9)
18-19 (10)

31 out of 240 teams earned at least 18 ppb, 12.9% of the field

That's a little bit of improvement, but not as much as we might have liked. This tournament could still stand to have everyone earn about 2 ppb more across the board.
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by Northern Central Railway » Mon May 28, 2012 7:34 pm

Mechanical Beasts wrote:
Ukonvasara wrote:Anyone have any idea what the hell happened here?
Athena and Maurice are Round 10 like Eddard. Don't get these.
Some google work shows that:
Eddard is Game of Thrones, Athena and Maurice are characters in City of Heroes.
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by Urech hydantoin synthesis » Mon May 28, 2012 7:41 pm

Seriously, this thing wasn't caught earlier?
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by jagluski » Mon May 28, 2012 7:44 pm

Christ, I Know wrote:Seriously, this thing wasn't caught earlier?
What thing? DeWitt playing under fake names starting in Round 10? The stat room figured it out immediately, but there isn't much of a way to fix it...there's no way to go back and figure out who played under which alias except for asking the team itself.
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Mon May 28, 2012 7:46 pm

Willmune Sof Burrghtenstein wrote:Just one problem here: In the Armenia/Ararat/Nagorno-Karabakh bonus in round 12, Nagorno-Karabakh was identified as an exclave of Armenia. This is incorrect, it is actually a de-facto independent state recognized only by Armenia, e.g. like calling Transdinistria an exclave of Russia.
Fixed.
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Mon May 28, 2012 8:15 pm

Honestly, i really would like someone to address what the heck was going on with scrimmage rounds Sunday morning. We stood around, halfway in line, trying to figure out what to do and how to sign up, and it was just a giant mass of people that didn't seem to be going anywhere. R was running around but mostly talking to like the same two people the whole time.

We were there 30 minutes until we realized this might just ruin our day, and then we left. Other teams seemed to do the same. We were there expecting to play these rounds but the totally unorganized matter made us not want to play them, and we didn't come here to play just 10 games plus the completely random scrimmages Friday night (two of which were me against the team in the same room).
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by Cheynem » Mon May 28, 2012 8:32 pm

In my brief experiences with Sunday scrimmages, they seem always sort of ad hoc and disorganized. Part of this is unavoidable, part of it is lack of dedicated staff, part of it is people not knowing what to do. I am not 100% sure if there is a better way--I want more teams to have more matches, but I also don't want to blow a lot of time/staff on it. One thing that I have noted is that Sunday scrimmage staffing is just too ad hoc--the two years I staffed, I just got the assignment "Show up to the scrimmage room when you're done reading your matches on Sunday," which seems less than optimal.
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by jagluski » Mon May 28, 2012 8:42 pm

Down and out in Quintana Roo wrote:Honestly, i really would like someone to address what the heck was going on with scrimmage rounds Sunday morning. We stood around, halfway in line, trying to figure out what to do and how to sign up, and it was just a giant mass of people that didn't seem to be going anywhere. R was running around but mostly talking to like the same two people the whole time.

We were there 30 minutes until we realized this might just ruin our day, and then we left. Other teams seemed to do the same. We were there expecting to play these rounds but the totally unorganized matter made us not want to play them, and we didn't come here to play just 10 games plus the completely random scrimmages Friday night (two of which were me against the team in the same room).
We know there were some problems with the organization of scrimmage matches on Sunday morning. I apologize for that negatively affecting your HSNCT experience.

I don't want to say anything else because I had no involvement with the scrimmage match organization. R was already compiling notes for how to fix things by Sunday afternoon. He returns from Atlanta tomorrow, so I'll let him comment because he's more equipped to address the situation.
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Mon May 28, 2012 8:54 pm

I mean, ideally my team would have just made the playoffs, i know, but we knew that was going to be hard and we just missed out on it going 5-5. I had a couple seniors who anticipated playing more games Sunday morning and they were initially pretty disappointed that it wasn't going to happen (plus, we woke up early to try to ensure we would get there in plenty of time). Even though CR hasn't been to NSC in 3 years, it was the thing i enjoyed the most about that tournament: no matter who you are, you get to play lots and lots of games, both days... and not just games that are haphazard or unofficial, but real games that count where statistics are kept and you play other teams of your ability in general. It's why i was so disappointed that we couldn't get to NSC this year since the field was full from like December to April and we just couldn't fit in. I've never liked the scrimmages at HSNCT (i guess the Friday night stuff is fine, even if that also was disorganized, but at least they did get to play technically 4 games, albeit 2 of them were against me and another staffer), but this year really made me even more negative about them.
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by the return of AHAN » Mon May 28, 2012 10:27 pm

"lack of alternate answer "Little Albert" for the so-called Baby Albert experiment, "
Hmmm... I accepted "Little Albert" when I read this TU on Saturday, despite it not appearing on the answer line. It seemed like common sense to accept it. Should I not be doing that? Just stick to exactly what's on the page and let it get sorted out in protest?
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by the return of AHAN » Mon May 28, 2012 10:42 pm

Down and out in Quintana Roo wrote:... (i guess the Friday night stuff is fine, even if that also was disorganized, but at least they did get to play technically 4 games, albeit 2 of them were against me and another staffer), but this year really made me even more negative about them.
Check my twitter feed and you'll see me being very irked with a goodly number of staffers just standing around Friday night, waiting in a line that wasn't moving... waiting for more rooms to open where buzzer systems had been placed and were ready for them to go read in... Who was responsible for getting said rooms up and running? Oh yeah, THOSE SAME STAFFERS! What needs to happen is that each staffer who gets handed a buzzer system to set up, ALSO gets some sort of card that he/she returns to staffer central, allowing them to staff a scrimmage room. As it was, I know I set up 4 rooms, a few of which saw an assigned reader walk in without ever having done anything to make the set-up actually happen. And when they're walking it at 6 PM, I promise they didn't just get done setting up elsewhere. There are many folks itching to get to read since they won't get such an assignment on Saturday. I get that. But something has to be done to make those folks work for it.
On the other hand, I also saw some people who tested a few systems in the Learning Center Friday night and then just sat around, shooting the bull, even when there were plenty of systems that still needed to be set up and/or tested. Don't know what to do about those folks. :roll:
EDIT: Clarity
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by Sniper, No Sniping! » Mon May 28, 2012 10:42 pm

After getting kicked from the playoffs in round 16, I signed myself up to play one of the mini-tournaments going on. Now, I realized "oh, if I do this, I can't play the first round of this since I just heard 16", so I just forfeited before the first tossup, and I let the other team play against my buzzer DQ bag. That went by, and the next room I had to play in apparently was still in the first round of the mini-tournament, but they propped the door open and I heard about three foreign answerlines with "tossup fourteen" mixed about in there. I then realized, this isn't packet 16. After a bonus cycle had ended, I walked in and asked what round and packet they were on, they said both teams naively heard packet 16 from the playoffs so they went ahead and used packet 17, and that if I wanted to play the next round I should get out, and that was in a rather harsh tone (the harshness is understandable in terms of the question integrity, but that wasn't my fault). I then wrote down what answerlines I heard, gave them the sheet, and they were cooperative and they just scratched them out and I played (and won) the consolation round that featured packet 17 against some school I didn't recognize. That was the only, I guess, "legit" consolation game I got to play, because the third game never came to fruition since that opponent must have said "this sucks, [blank] it" and blew it off. Obviously, since I never got to play a third game, that made playing a fourth game rather difficult. I think it wasn't until the guys who staffed in the original room I was in, and was supposed to be in for game three, came to the conclusion there would probably be no team coming and they realized I sort of got screwed over, so by chance another reader/scorekeeper pair came into our room after they finished, and I got to play either packet 18 or 19 against the reader and scorekeeper who were in my first room for the consolation (they cut the front page questions for obvious reasons), and I had a blast (thanks guys!).

So I guess the consolation mini-tournament, while constructed with a great approach, was very vulnerable to demise, so it might have been more efficient for me to just keep signing myself up for individual games.
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by Holla! » Mon May 28, 2012 11:02 pm

I wrote the following questions:

(4) Red River of the North/North Dakota and Minnesota/Assiniboine River
(4) Milwaukee (MI:SP)
(5) torque
(6) Wisconsin (CE)
(8) Second Vatican Council
(9) Zheng He/Sri Lanka/tooth
(9) hazing (CE)
(10) Yellowknife/Great Slave Lake/Mackenzie River
(10) U.S. Postal Service
(11) Belize (G)
(11) Francisco de Coronado
(14) Boris Yeltsin
(15) Bay of Pigs invasion
(15) border between the U.S. and Canada (H)
(16) line-item veto
(16) Continental Divide
(17) Turkey (CE)
(17) Stanford/Kentucky/Northwestern (college basketball--apologies for the homer portion of the bonus)
(17) Hadrian
(17) Warring States Period/Spring and Autumn Period/Three Kingdoms Period
(20) John Cabot
(20) John Edwards (CE about the trial)
(21) Pentagon Papers
(22) Hercule Poirot
(22) Corinth (H)
(22) St. Petersburg (H)
(22) surface tension/surfactants/Young-Laplace
(22) Tuareg/Mali/Toure
(23) Hispaniola (exploration)
(24) South Dakota (G)
(24) polder/Netherlands/Zuiderzee
(24) Ernest Shackleton
(25) Quakers (H:R)
(26) Pancho Villa
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by Edward Elric » Mon May 28, 2012 11:21 pm

As long as were talking about logistics, I was really disappointed in NAQT's unwillingness to accomodate moderators who wanted to read for playoffs. I ran into Caleb Robbins on Saturday evening and found out that he was staffing the SS playoffs while I was stuck in consolation. Caleb informed me that he didn't feel like staffing SS and I did so I asked him if he wanted to switch. He went to talk with Joel and I was informed later on that Joel nixed it for some reason I don't understand. I understand that i'm not the best moderator but I regularly got through 22-24 tossups (including getting 24 in almost half the matches I read!) but don't understand why I was thrown into consolation with other competent moderators, while there were some that only got through 17 in a round (BN/ Christianburg game comes to mind). I just wanted to know how NAQT determined who reads playoffs when there could be adjustments to be made (I talked to a variety of teams that complained about moderators not getting through enough questions).

Besides this and the chaos on Sunday, I thought that the tournament was run very well and actually finished an hour ahead of schedule which was pretty awesome.
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by Deviant Insider » Mon May 28, 2012 11:41 pm

In addition to the CE questions I listed upthread, I wrote tossups on Neruda, Cartier, Vicksburg, Riemann, Zambia, and Budapest. (Budapest was in Round 26, which I don't think was used.) I also wrote bonuses on Fourier/conduction/Biot, fractals/Markov/adjacency matrix, TB/Wolfe/Modigliani, Sinbad/Hughes/Klee, perfect numbers/Mersenne/Lucas, sine/Hero(n)/circumradius, limacon/cardioid/MacLaurin, and cosh/catenary/Laplace. I also wrote the comp math bonuses in rounds 1, 2, 8-17, 20-23, 25, and 26.

The Sunday scrimmages have been problematic many times over the years. At some point, NAQT needs to decide to take them seriously or just cancel them--there's no better way to convince average and below average teams that they are unimportant than having them wait in line for an hour for something disorganized. I don't know as much about the Friday night scrimmages. For the first several years of HSNCT, when it had 50 or fewer teams, it was easy to tell teams to just show up and then figure something out for them. With lots of teams, you have to have some plans and some experienced TDs in charge. I wasn't there, so I don't know to what extent that happened.
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by mtimmons » Tue May 29, 2012 12:02 am

Although there was some waiting for the Friday night scrimmages I thought they went pretty well. We played four rounds in close to two hours which I thought was acceptable. Last year, I think some of the questions used for scrimmages were 10+ years old and were predictably rather bad while this year the questions although still old but not nearly as old as those were much better.
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by Matt Weiner » Tue May 29, 2012 12:06 am

I think the Friday and Sunday events need to be overhauled or done away with as well and I'm going to send in a proposal for, at least, the Friday portion. I'm not sure what Jeff Price is referring to in terms of who is "responsible for getting the rooms up and running"...I think it would have been rather presumptuous of myself or the other Friday night staffers to just start grabbing teams and packets from ??? and reading games ad-hoc after setting up my assigned buzzer. But there is certainly a lot of room for improvement.
Edward Elric wrote:As long as were talking about logistics, I was really disappointed in NAQT's unwillingness to accomodate moderators who wanted to read for playoffs. I ran into Caleb Robbins on Saturday evening and found out that he was staffing the SS playoffs while I was stuck in consolation. Caleb informed me that he didn't feel like staffing SS and I did so I asked him if he wanted to switch. He went to talk with Joel and I was informed later on that Joel nixed it for some reason I don't understand. I understand that i'm not the best moderator but I regularly got through 22-24 tossups (including getting 24 in almost half the matches I read!) but don't understand why I was thrown into consolation with other competent moderators, while there were some that only got through 17 in a round (BN/ Christianburg game comes to mind). I just wanted to know how NAQT determined who reads playoffs when there could be adjustments to be made (I talked to a variety of teams that complained about moderators not getting through enough questions).

Besides this and the chaos on Sunday, I thought that the tournament was run very well and actually finished an hour ahead of schedule which was pretty awesome.
On behalf of TDs everywhere, please don't do things like this. There is a LOT going on at large tournaments, and of course you can multiply that by five for the HSNCT. No one in central control has time to remember who you are, figure out if you're a good reader, and note the change so they know who to actually track down if the buzzer or scoresheet doesn't come back from the original asignee's room. To you it seems like a little thing, when there's 200 teams in play the sum of little things will drive any TD insane. When you staff a tournament, do what you're told and stay silent and out of the way otherwise.
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by Black-throated Antshrike » Tue May 29, 2012 2:58 am

I wrote:

Mad King Ludwig (3)
Tiber/Lucretia/Brutus (18)
Bleach/Yu-Gi-Oh/Death Note (22)
Freyja (26)

I would like to here what people thought of these, particularly the Mad King Ludwig, because I think that it might have been to hard after hearing it play.
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by Dominator » Tue May 29, 2012 6:56 am

Black-throated Antshrike wrote:I would like to here what people thought of these, particularly the Mad King Ludwig, because I think that it might have been to hard after hearing it play.
I didn't think that question was too hard when I heard it. I would have powered it off of incidental knowledge I picked up while taking German classes as a high school freshman. (Since then, I have not continued that study, and have forgotten a lot.) So, while I'm more likely than average to have encountered him, the clues chosen seemed to be about as accessible as possible. My history player got the question before the FTP and seemed to be really proud of himself for pulling it out, which then made me think it might actually be kinda hard.
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by the return of AHAN » Tue May 29, 2012 7:54 am

Matt Weiner wrote: ...I'm not sure what Jeff Price is referring to in terms of who is "responsible for getting the rooms up and running"...I think it would have been rather presumptuous of myself or the other Friday night staffers to just start grabbing teams and packets from ??? and reading games ad-hoc after setting up my assigned buzzer. But there is certainly a lot of room for improvement.
Right. What I mean is that there was a static line of staffers waiting for an assignment to read when there was a far more urgent need for incoming buzzers to be actually tested and set-up. I was under the impression that staffers were expected to do what was needed, as opposed to what they wanted. I saw too much of the latter, IMHO. More direction of some sort might make things run more efficiently.
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by hydrocephalitic listlessness » Tue May 29, 2012 8:06 am

The only questions that really bothered me were the two Oscar Wilde tossups - Earnest and Dorian Gray. Both ended up as buzzer races within the first half-line in my rounds. Alan Campbell is a character I've usually seen come up two-thirds of the way through most Dorian Gray tossups, and something more challenging than "eating muffins" could have been conceived for the Earnest tossup. The only other first-clue buzzer race I remember encountering was on the Housman tossup.
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by jagluski » Tue May 29, 2012 8:17 am

Edward Elric wrote:As long as were talking about logistics, I was really disappointed in NAQT's unwillingness to accomodate moderators who wanted to read for playoffs. I ran into Caleb Robbins on Saturday evening and found out that he was staffing the SS playoffs while I was stuck in consolation. Caleb informed me that he didn't feel like staffing SS and I did so I asked him if he wanted to switch. He went to talk with Joel and I was informed later on that Joel nixed it for some reason I don't understand.

This discussion never happened. I had a discussion with Caleb where he was asking about small school playoffs and reminded me that him and I talked previously about him having to leave at noon. I was never told he didn't feel like staffing SS and your name was never part of the discussion.

In the future, I would advise having this conversation with me yourself. Thanks for your help last weekend.
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by cvdwightw » Tue May 29, 2012 1:30 pm

This tournament was extremely well-run and Joel (and others) deserves a whole lot of credit for Saturday going as smoothly as it did. I got to moderate for a lot of awesome teams and players and saw some epic games (High Tech - IMSA B being one of my favorite games I've ever moderated - both I and the scorekeeper in my room were pretty much exhausted after that, and we weren't the ones playing). A few things I wanted to note:

1) While this set was fairly good, it did feel like there were an inordinate amount of easy 30s/tough 20s on bonuses, such that some games were basically dependent on the luck of the bonus draw.
2) I felt horrible that the IMSA-Cistercian game literally came down to the winning team losing a buzzer race. I hope both coaches (and their teams) were okay with the way I handled the two protests.
3) Assuming R. is the head of the protest committee, I don't think it's a good idea for him to be trying to organize consolation games when the playoffs are going on. It seems infinitely preferable, especially on Sunday, for people on the protest committee to be either moderating in game rooms near the control room (and thus easily reached for protests) or in the control room itself.
4) In the future, it is likely going to be much easier if Friday night buzzers only go to rooms that will be used on Saturday. I think there were something like six rooms that we had to pack up after the Friday scrimmage rounds. I'm assuming that there was something going on between NAQT and the hotel that allowed setup in some rooms and disallowed setup in others, but it was kind of a pain to basically take down three game rooms by myself on Friday night when a better setup would have prevented that from being necessary.
5) Having up to 150 teams trying to play consolation games without a clear plan for them doing so is a recipe for disaster. One possible solution is to ask teams to commit on Saturday night to playing Sunday consolation games either starting at a time specified by the team or "after eliminated from playoffs." This could be written on the record verification card and, thus, some of the Sunday consolation planning could be done on Saturday night.
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by nich0103 » Tue May 29, 2012 1:48 pm

the return of AHAN wrote:
Matt Weiner wrote: ...I'm not sure what Jeff Price is referring to in terms of who is "responsible for getting the rooms up and running"...I think it would have been rather presumptuous of myself or the other Friday night staffers to just start grabbing teams and packets from ??? and reading games ad-hoc after setting up my assigned buzzer. But there is certainly a lot of room for improvement.
Right. What I mean is that there was a static line of staffers waiting for an assignment to read when there was a far more urgent need for incoming buzzers to be actually tested and set-up. I was under the impression that staffers were expected to do what was needed, as opposed to what they wanted. I saw too much of the latter, IMHO. More direction of some sort might make things run more efficiently.
I was one of the staffers in this line. Our instruction was as follows:

Get in line near the Centennial Ballroom and wait for a school to check in and provide a buzzer set. Once you're given a buzzer set, take it to the Learning Center and test it. Once you've tested it and it works, go to a room (assigned to you in the Learning Center) and set it up. Once you've set it up completely, report back to Matt Bruce (I think) who will give you a reading or scorekeeping assignment. No one showed up to the reading line without having first set up at least one buzzer system. If they had, then they broke the rules. I and everyone I was with set up at least one buzzer system before we stepped foot in a scrimmage match.

So basically, the line of people you saw had already set up a buzzer system (if the line you're referring to was on the lower level) or were waiting to receive a buzzer system to set up (if the line was near the Centennial Ballroom).
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by jagluski » Tue May 29, 2012 1:51 pm

cvdwightw wrote:This tournament was extremely well-run and Joel (and others) deserves a whole lot of credit for Saturday going as smoothly as it did. I got to moderate for a lot of awesome teams and players and saw some epic games (High Tech - IMSA B being one of my favorite games I've ever moderated - both I and the scorekeeper in my room were pretty much exhausted after that, and we weren't the ones playing). A few things I wanted to note:

3) Assuming R. is the head of the protest committee, I don't think it's a good idea for him to be trying to organize consolation games when the playoffs are going on. It seems infinitely preferable, especially on Sunday, for people on the protest committee to be either moderating in game rooms near the control room (and thus easily reached for protests) or in the control room itself.
4) In the future, it is likely going to be much easier if Friday night buzzers only go to rooms that will be used on Saturday. I think there were something like six rooms that we had to pack up after the Friday scrimmage rounds. I'm assuming that there was something going on between NAQT and the hotel that allowed setup in some rooms and disallowed setup in others, but it was kind of a pain to basically take down three game rooms by myself on Friday night when a better setup would have prevented that from being necessary.
5) Having up to 150 teams trying to play consolation games without a clear plan for them doing so is a recipe for disaster. One possible solution is to ask teams to commit on Saturday night to playing Sunday consolation games either starting at a time specified by the team or "after eliminated from playoffs." This could be written on the record verification card and, thus, some of the Sunday consolation planning could be done on Saturday night.
Comments on the logistical aspects:

3) You're right. Either R needs to be in the control room or I do think it's okay if R runs consolation rounds, but he needs to have 2 deputies with him that can take over things if he needs to leave to handle a protest. There were no deputies this year. The other people on the protest committee were, as you said, reading very close by.
4) I apologize that you had to take down three rooms by yourself. This should not have happened (and staff in those rooms should have taken them down). That being said, there was a very good reason that this was done. There are 5 Chicago rooms (for example) with airwalls between them. We didn't think the airwalls were necessarily soundproof enough for Saturday gameplay, so we only had games in Chicago A, C, E. However, we did have Chicago B and D, so we made use of them for scrimmage rounds because it allowed us the chance to put scrimmages in two additional rooms to meet the demand. All of the Saturday rooms were set up on Friday night as well (and used for scrimmages).
5) You're right about needing a better plan for Sunday. That being said, we have previously asked teams if they were going to play consolation rounds and many said yes and didn't show up. This caused even more of a problem than the approach we had last weekend.
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by the return of AHAN » Tue May 29, 2012 2:08 pm

nich0103 wrote:
the return of AHAN wrote:
Matt Weiner wrote: ...I'm not sure what Jeff Price is referring to in terms of who is "responsible for getting the rooms up and running"...I think it would have been rather presumptuous of myself or the other Friday night staffers to just start grabbing teams and packets from ??? and reading games ad-hoc after setting up my assigned buzzer. But there is certainly a lot of room for improvement.
Right. What I mean is that there was a static line of staffers waiting for an assignment to read when there was a far more urgent need for incoming buzzers to be actually tested and set-up. I was under the impression that staffers were expected to do what was needed, as opposed to what they wanted. I saw too much of the latter, IMHO. More direction of some sort might make things run more efficiently.
I was one of the staffers in this line. Our instruction was as follows:

Get in line near the Centennial Ballroom and wait for a school to check in and provide a buzzer set. Once you're given a buzzer set, take it to the Learning Center and test it. Once you've tested it and it works, go to a room (assigned to you in the Learning Center) and set it up. Once you've set it up completely, report back to Matt Bruce (I think) who will give you a reading or scorekeeping assignment. No one showed up to the reading line without having first set up at least one buzzer system. If they had, then they broke the rules. I and everyone I was with set up at least one buzzer system before we stepped foot in a scrimmage match.

So basically, the line of people you saw had already set up a buzzer system (if the line you're referring to was on the lower level) or were waiting to receive a buzzer system to set up (if the line was near the Centennial Ballroom).
Then more thought needs to be given towards coordination and communication to allow a room to get used immediately when a buzzer is up and running. In my numerous trips to set up multiple rooms, I'd walk right by empty rooms with buzzer systems.

EDIT: Upon further reflection, if I'm going to be reading 15 rounds on Saturday, I don't need to read the night before and would be happy to be a guy with a walkie-talkie to radio room availability to the desk.
Jeff Price
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant » Tue May 29, 2012 2:33 pm

nich0103 wrote:I was one of the staffers in this line. Our instruction was as follows:

Get in line near the Centennial Ballroom and wait for a school to check in and provide a buzzer set. Once you're given a buzzer set, take it to the Learning Center and test it. Once you've tested it and it works, go to a room (assigned to you in the Learning Center) and set it up. Once you've set it up completely, report back to Matt Bruce (I think) who will give you a reading or scorekeeping assignment. No one showed up to the reading line without having first set up at least one buzzer system. If they had, then they broke the rules. I and everyone I was with set up at least one buzzer system before we stepped foot in a scrimmage match.

So basically, the line of people you saw had already set up a buzzer system (if the line you're referring to was on the lower level) or were waiting to receive a buzzer system to set up (if the line was near the Centennial Ballroom).
We were also told we could wait in the Learning Center for buzzer sets to come in, which is what I did.

Also regarding room setup, the tables in at least the Grand East rooms were very difficult for one person to move since they were really two tables held together by the pinned tablecloth (pulling the table forward resulted in the opposite one falling down). I'd like to thank the Riverdale team for helping me set up my scrimmage room when I passed by them and mentioned why the room wasn't ready.
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by firebat03 » Tue May 29, 2012 3:06 pm

Leucippe and Clitophon wrote:
This theorem shows the existence of a child in proving {K\"onig's lemma} and is iterated to prove {Schur's theorem}. It implies that no fixed-size {hash table} can avoid {collisions} forever, and that any five-card {poker hand} must have (*) two cards of the same suit. Johann Dirichlet [DEER-ik-let] formulated--for 10 points--what principle that when there are more birds than boxes, at least one box must contain multiple birds?

answer: _pigeonhole_ principle (accept equivalents in place of "principle"; accept _box_ principle before "boxes"; accept _Dirichlet_'s drawer principle before "Dirichlet")
There are several problems I have with this one. Konig's Lemma is about paths, not children. If you want to use that language, you really should say that you're working with rooted trees. Furthermore, one can prove Konig's Lemma without Pigeonhole Principle by using instead the same axioms that prove PP. At this point in the question, I thought it was going for something related to mathematical induction (not induction itself, since that is an axiom). For the next two clues, I thought it was going for Ramsey's Theorem*. I only figured out what the question wanted on the poker hand clue. Thirdly, and less importantly, Dirichlet did not formulate the principle, he just got it named after him in a historical accident. Finally, Ramsey's Theorem probably should have been prompted (before Dirichlet at least), not only because of the confusion in clues 2 and 3, but because PP is a special case of Ramsey's Theorem, and so all of the consequences of PP are also consequences of RT.

*Upon rereading the question, this is partly due to my mishearing it in the game it appeared, which made it sound more like a "Should Tables be Sorted?" clue. This doesn't eliminate the problem, but it lessens it.
I think the first line was quite hard, but the clues were not that bad otherwise. Konig's lemma is very often stated as the special case of the general Konig's lemma applied to infinite trees (try searching for "Konig's lemma" on google) in which case the child phrasing makes sense. Even in general infinite graphs, I think it's clear what the word child should mean here. This is the same as the use of the word child when talking about BFSs, for instance. It's true that you could re-derive the pigeonhole principle and use it to prove Konig's lemma without ever explicitly citing the pigeonhole principle, but the same could be said of any lemma being used to prove any theorem; I don't think this is a problem with the clue.

I agree that Ramsey's theorem should have at least been prompted, since it's a generalization. However, I think Shur's theorem and the hash table thing are both classic applications of the pigeonhole principle. Finally, though I don't know much about the history of the pigeonhole principle, and you may be right, a quick search reveals a lot of sources that say Dirichlet did actually formulate it.

For full disclosure, I actually wrote this tossup, though at some point editors removed the first sentence I wrote and replaced it with the one here.
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by jagluski » Tue May 29, 2012 3:19 pm

the return of AHAN wrote:
nich0103 wrote:
the return of AHAN wrote:
Matt Weiner wrote: ...I'm not sure what Jeff Price is referring to in terms of who is "responsible for getting the rooms up and running"...I think it would have been rather presumptuous of myself or the other Friday night staffers to just start grabbing teams and packets from ??? and reading games ad-hoc after setting up my assigned buzzer. But there is certainly a lot of room for improvement.
Right. What I mean is that there was a static line of staffers waiting for an assignment to read when there was a far more urgent need for incoming buzzers to be actually tested and set-up. I was under the impression that staffers were expected to do what was needed, as opposed to what they wanted. I saw too much of the latter, IMHO. More direction of some sort might make things run more efficiently.
I was one of the staffers in this line. Our instruction was as follows:

Get in line near the Centennial Ballroom and wait for a school to check in and provide a buzzer set. Once you're given a buzzer set, take it to the Learning Center and test it. Once you've tested it and it works, go to a room (assigned to you in the Learning Center) and set it up. Once you've set it up completely, report back to Matt Bruce (I think) who will give you a reading or scorekeeping assignment. No one showed up to the reading line without having first set up at least one buzzer system. If they had, then they broke the rules. I and everyone I was with set up at least one buzzer system before we stepped foot in a scrimmage match.

So basically, the line of people you saw had already set up a buzzer system (if the line you're referring to was on the lower level) or were waiting to receive a buzzer system to set up (if the line was near the Centennial Ballroom).
Then more thought needs to be given towards coordination and communication to allow a room to get used immediately when a buzzer is up and running. In my numerous trips to set up multiple rooms, I'd walk right by empty rooms with buzzer systems.

EDIT: Upon further reflection, if I'm going to be reading 15 rounds on Saturday, I don't need to read the night before and would be happy to be a guy with a walkie-talkie to radio room availability to the desk.


This is also under discussion. We are looking at ways to still provide the scrimmage matches that customers want while allowing people who will be reading all day Saturday to not read as many rounds on Friday night. Thanks for the feedback.
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by fryede » Tue May 29, 2012 4:19 pm

jagluski wrote:
Christ, I Know wrote:Seriously, this thing wasn't caught earlier?
What thing? DeWitt playing under fake names starting in Round 10? The stat room figured it out immediately, but there isn't much of a way to fix it...there's no way to go back and figure out who played under which alias except for asking the team itself.
I read DeWitt's match against Mediapolis in round 15. I had no indication that they were making up names. Had I known I certainly would have said something. I can tell you that "Elaine" should be "Elaina Earl". (Bad handwriting. Long day. Minimal sleep. Apologies.)

Since they're already schlepping around a bunch of cards between each round, it might behoove NAQT to develop some kind of "Squad Card" that each team has to carry around. This way moderators can know who exactly is registered for each team and how to spell their names without the constant "That was S-H-A-what?" foolishness.
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by fryede » Tue May 29, 2012 4:25 pm

Dominator wrote:(1) We found very few moderators on day one capable of finishing a packet, even with IMSA (and sometimes our opponent also) putting up a lot of powers and playing fast. I can only guess that, with slower-playing teams, a lot of rounds did not hear enough tossups. We never had a bad moderator, but about half of the ones we saw needed work with pacing.
I don't speak for NAQT, or for any other moderators, but having read all day Saturday I can tell you it was difficult to get through more than 20 questions in a round. I can tell you that words won't come out of my mouth any faster than they did on Saturday, but I was getting constant feedback through the day to read faster.

I think I averaged only 19 tossups per match. However, I probably only awarded 15 (maybe 20) powers all day Saturday, and I read out "for ten points" in at least 80% of my tossups. That makes it really difficult to get through 22-24 tossups in 18 minutes. It's also really tough read "faster" when (in the aggregate) multiple minutes of each round go by in silence waiting for teams to give the wrong answer (or no answer) for the bonus parts.

So question difficulty was definitely a factor.
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Tue May 29, 2012 4:41 pm

fryede wrote:
Dominator wrote:(1) We found very few moderators on day one capable of finishing a packet, even with IMSA (and sometimes our opponent also) putting up a lot of powers and playing fast. I can only guess that, with slower-playing teams, a lot of rounds did not hear enough tossups. We never had a bad moderator, but about half of the ones we saw needed work with pacing.
I don't speak for NAQT, or for any other moderators, but having read all day Saturday I can tell you it was difficult to get through more than 20 questions in a round. I can tell you that words won't come out of my mouth any faster than they did on Saturday, but I was getting constant feedback through the day to read faster.

I think I averaged only 19 tossups per match. However, I probably only awarded 15 (maybe 20) powers all day Saturday, and I read out "for ten points" in at least 80% of my tossups. That makes it really difficult to get through 22-24 tossups in 18 minutes. It's also really tough read "faster" when (in the aggregate) multiple minutes of each round go by in silence waiting for teams to give the wrong answer (or no answer) for the bonus parts.

So question difficulty was definitely a factor.
I tend to agree, here; though I'm not the fastest or best moderator by any means, it was harder to finish a packet on this year's HSNCT set than any previous. I think there are three more factors in addition to average buzzpoints and time milked on bonus parts.

1) I think it's very possible that this year the average number of tossups answered per round is somewhat up from previous years. If so, more bonuses are read. EDIT: I just did the math, it's 84.09% vs 82.12%, so yes, but that's an additional bonus every two or three games, so it's a minor factor.
2) We made very sure in set editing to make every tossup as close to the full 425 characters as possible.
3) We may have placed inadequate emphasis on bonus part brevity in favor of including more clues (for more LEARNING) which is a stylistic issue.

Overall, I doubt that moderators were as a whole slower this year. The packets were just, functionally, longer.
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by Dominator » Tue May 29, 2012 4:57 pm

firebat03 wrote:
Leucippe and Clitophon wrote:
This theorem shows the existence of a child in proving {K\"onig's lemma} and is iterated to prove {Schur's theorem}. It implies that no fixed-size {hash table} can avoid {collisions} forever, and that any five-card {poker hand} must have (*) two cards of the same suit. Johann Dirichlet [DEER-ik-let] formulated--for 10 points--what principle that when there are more birds than boxes, at least one box must contain multiple birds?

answer: _pigeonhole_ principle (accept equivalents in place of "principle"; accept _box_ principle before "boxes"; accept _Dirichlet_'s drawer principle before "Dirichlet")
There are several problems I have with this one. Konig's Lemma is about paths, not children. If you want to use that language, you really should say that you're working with rooted trees. Furthermore, one can prove Konig's Lemma without Pigeonhole Principle by using instead the same axioms that prove PP. At this point in the question, I thought it was going for something related to mathematical induction (not induction itself, since that is an axiom). For the next two clues, I thought it was going for Ramsey's Theorem*. I only figured out what the question wanted on the poker hand clue. Thirdly, and less importantly, Dirichlet did not formulate the principle, he just got it named after him in a historical accident. Finally, Ramsey's Theorem probably should have been prompted (before Dirichlet at least), not only because of the confusion in clues 2 and 3, but because PP is a special case of Ramsey's Theorem, and so all of the consequences of PP are also consequences of RT.

*Upon rereading the question, this is partly due to my mishearing it in the game it appeared, which made it sound more like a "Should Tables be Sorted?" clue. This doesn't eliminate the problem, but it lessens it.
I think the first line was quite hard, but the clues were not that bad otherwise. Konig's lemma is very often stated as the special case of the general Konig's lemma applied to infinite trees (try searching for "Konig's lemma" on google) in which case the child phrasing makes sense. Even in general infinite graphs, I think it's clear what the word child should mean here. This is the same as the use of the word child when talking about BFSs, for instance. It's true that you could re-derive the pigeonhole principle and use it to prove Konig's lemma without ever explicitly citing the pigeonhole principle, but the same could be said of any lemma being used to prove any theorem; I don't think this is a problem with the clue.

I agree that Ramsey's theorem should have at least been prompted, since it's a generalization. However, I think Shur's theorem and the hash table thing are both classic applications of the pigeonhole principle. Finally, though I don't know much about the history of the pigeonhole principle, and you may be right, a quick search reveals a lot of sources that say Dirichlet did actually formulate it.

For full disclosure, I actually wrote this tossup, though at some point editors removed the first sentence I wrote and replaced it with the one here.
For full disclosure, my Ph.D. dissertation was "Delta-System Methods in Contemporary Graph Theory" and I teach history of mathematics at Aurora University in my spare time. My criticisms about the graph theory terminology and mathematical historiography stand.

EDIT (addition): As for the part about proving Konig's Lemma, the most obvious proof of Konig's Lemma to me does not use the Pigeonhole Principle at all, but rather uses induction and the definition of infinity. Therefore, a leadin looking for Pigeonhole Principle there saying I am using a theorem is really confusing. I don't think clues like that work well in quizbowl, but they are especially dangerous as leadins because leadins need to establish a single answer.

EDIT (second addition): In order to make this post constructive, the best way to handle that Dirichlet thing is to say "often attributed to Dirichlet" instead of "formulated by Dirichlet".
Last edited by Dominator on Tue May 29, 2012 5:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by fryede » Tue May 29, 2012 5:18 pm

Mechanical Beasts wrote:1) I think it's very possible that this year the average number of tossups answered per round is somewhat up from previous years. If so, more bonuses are read.
Agreed. It was rare for me to have two tossups in a round that went unanswered. I think I maxed at 4 and that was for a 2XX v 2XX match-up late in the day.
Mechanical Beasts wrote:2) We made very sure in set editing to make every tossup as close to the full 425 characters as possible.
Full disclosure - I've been almost completely out the game since late in the Clinton Administration, so I might be completely out of line here. But one of my pet peeves as a player was questions that were wordy for wordiness sake. While I never felt like I was reading excessive words, there were a lot of tossups that came across as "Hard clue 1. Hard clue 2. Hard clue 3. Giveaway.", where 1, 2, and 3 could have been interchangeable. So while almost every tossup was answerable, it was a long slog getting to that point.
Mechanical Beasts wrote:3) We may have placed inadequate emphasis on bonus part brevity in favor of including more clues (for more LEARNING) which is a stylistic issue.
I definitely felt like I was ready unnecessary words during the bonuses. And it's interesting that you called it a style issue, because that's exactly what I was thinking on Saturday. (Actually it was "It's like the style guide says they have to be X characters long, and by gum their gonna get there if it kills us all.") :) Since every bonus is (for lack of a better description) "three interrelated 'for a quick 10 points' tossups", then giving anything more than the one or two facts needed for the answer is just gilding the lily - IMHO.
Mechanical Beasts wrote:Overall, I doubt that moderators were as a whole slower this year.
Good to know. It's a good thing that my best friend/scorekeeper was the one interacting with the control room all day. I would have inflicted bodily harm on the staff over the constant nagging. I'm always willing to incorporate specific valid feedback into any of my processes, but the constant refrain "be faster" was neither. :)
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by the return of AHAN » Tue May 29, 2012 6:23 pm

In Saturday's matches, I had a couple of rounds where I only got to 19, but most saw 20 or 21 TU, with 23 being the high water mark (round 6). Not coincidentally, that was the match between Auburn and DuPont Manual.
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by firebat03 » Tue May 29, 2012 6:27 pm

Dominator wrote:
firebat03 wrote: I think the first line was quite hard, but the clues were not that bad otherwise. Konig's lemma is very often stated as the special case of the general Konig's lemma applied to infinite trees (try searching for "Konig's lemma" on google) in which case the child phrasing makes sense. Even in general infinite graphs, I think it's clear what the word child should mean here. This is the same as the use of the word child when talking about BFSs, for instance. It's true that you could re-derive the pigeonhole principle and use it to prove Konig's lemma without ever explicitly citing the pigeonhole principle, but the same could be said of any lemma being used to prove any theorem; I don't think this is a problem with the clue.

I agree that Ramsey's theorem should have at least been prompted, since it's a generalization. However, I think Shur's theorem and the hash table thing are both classic applications of the pigeonhole principle. Finally, though I don't know much about the history of the pigeonhole principle, and you may be right, a quick search reveals a lot of sources that say Dirichlet did actually formulate it.

For full disclosure, I actually wrote this tossup, though at some point editors removed the first sentence I wrote and replaced it with the one here.
For full disclosure, my Ph.D. dissertation was "Delta-System Methods in Contemporary Graph Theory" and I teach history of mathematics at Aurora University in my spare time. My criticisms about the graph theory terminology and mathematical historiography stand.

EDIT (addition): As for the part about proving Konig's Lemma, the most obvious proof of Konig's Lemma to me does not use the Pigeonhole Principle at all, but rather uses induction and the definition of infinity. Therefore, a leadin looking for Pigeonhole Principle there saying I am using a theorem is really confusing. I don't think clues like that work well in quizbowl, but they are especially dangerous as leadins because leadins need to establish a single answer.
Er, I somehow misread that "iteratively" was in the first clue... I guess I agree that some variant on induction might be the answer from the lead-in. I also agree that the use of "child" is not technically correct, but I think it's clear what it means. The use of the definition of infinity to prove Konig's lemma is very pigeonhole-ey, at least :) My guess is that nobody buzzed here, though.

Out of curiosity, who did formulate the pigeonhole principle? I've found a couple blogs that give answers other than Dirichlet, but they all say different things.
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Tue May 29, 2012 7:22 pm

fryede wrote:Full disclosure - I've been almost completely out the game since late in the Clinton Administration, so I might be completely out of line here. But one of my pet peeves as a player was questions that were wordy for wordiness sake. While I never felt like I was reading excessive words, there were a lot of tossups that came across as "Hard clue 1. Hard clue 2. Hard clue 3. Giveaway.", where 1, 2, and 3 could have been interchangeable. So while almost every tossup was answerable, it was a long slog getting to that point.
These questions are the minimum standard length of regular high school quizbowl across the entire circuit. I can find you many tournaments in your homestate each year that use even longer questions. If you really didn't see the utility of the early clues in this set, then you must have been put in a HORRIBLE room and not watched any of the playoff games, because I saw tons of teams who weren't even making the playoffs getting multiple powers per game, and of course there were individual players who got 10 powers in some games. I suspect you don't have any idea just how good the circuit is at this game now.
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Tue May 29, 2012 8:57 pm

Horned Screamer wrote:
fryede wrote:Full disclosure - I've been almost completely out the game since late in the Clinton Administration, so I might be completely out of line here. But one of my pet peeves as a player was questions that were wordy for wordiness sake. While I never felt like I was reading excessive words, there were a lot of tossups that came across as "Hard clue 1. Hard clue 2. Hard clue 3. Giveaway.", where 1, 2, and 3 could have been interchangeable. So while almost every tossup was answerable, it was a long slog getting to that point.
These questions are the minimum standard length of regular high school quizbowl across the entire circuit. I can find you many tournaments in your homestate each year that use even longer questions. If you really didn't see the utility of the early clues in this set, then you must have been put in a HORRIBLE room and not watched any of the playoff games, because I saw tons of teams who weren't even making the playoffs getting multiple powers per game, and of course there were individual players who got 10 powers in some games. I suspect you don't have any idea just how good the circuit is at this game now.
And I'll say that the clues were definitely not included for wordiness's sake; if a tossup has ten clues, we'd hope that they make up ten points on a nice bell curve as to who's buzzing when. I don't pretend we were 100% successful 100% of the time--and I'm sure I'll hear of a few times when we missed the mark badly--but no tossups were constructed so as to provide multiple equivalently-difficult clues.
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by Dominator » Tue May 29, 2012 10:27 pm

firebat03 wrote:
Dominator wrote:
firebat03 wrote: ....
....
Er, I somehow misread that "iteratively" was in the first clue... I guess I agree that some variant on induction might be the answer from the lead-in. I also agree that the use of "child" is not technically correct, but I think it's clear what it means. The use of the definition of infinity to prove Konig's lemma is very pigeonhole-ey, at least :) My guess is that nobody buzzed here, though.

Out of curiosity, who did formulate the pigeonhole principle? I've found a couple blogs that give answers other than Dirichlet, but they all say different things.
I mean, the leadin was not as buzzable as leadins should be. The "child" thing would be completely obvious to a computer scientist but would tend to give mathematicians pause. I agree about the "pigeonhole-ey-ness" of my argument, but that is because my argument and the pigeonhole are both ultimately derived (like all nontrivial statements about natural numbers) from the axiom of induction. While I would guess that this leadin was not a game-changer in any rooms, and thus not something worth losing sleep over, I still just think that that clue could not perform the duties of a leadin. (My team did not convert that question, but that was because they missed all of the other clues, even the really obvious ones, and the other team took it for 10.)

As for who formulated the Pigeonhole Principle, it's hard to say exactly. The PP was most certainly used by Archimedes. Records of its use are spotty throughout history because discrete math didn't really develop until the last century. Compounding that fact is that it didn't have a name for so long because it was so obvious. There were definitely uses of PP in the development of group theory and Galois theory, which slightly predated Dirichlet. The name Pigeonhole Principle could only really have caught on after Hilbert (and more likely with the Hungarian school of discrete math). So, while we cannot say with certainty who did formulate it, Dirichlet definitively had nothing to do with it. However, some people still insist on attributing it to him.
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by PRStoetzer » Wed May 30, 2012 8:03 pm

the return of AHAN wrote:
"lack of alternate answer "Little Albert" for the so-called Baby Albert experiment, "
Hmmm... I accepted "Little Albert" when I read this TU on Saturday, despite it not appearing on the answer line. It seemed like common sense to accept it. Should I not be doing that? Just stick to exactly what's on the page and let it get sorted out in protest?
I did not accept it. It was protested, but the protest was moot.
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Re: 2012 HSNCT discussion

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Wed May 30, 2012 8:10 pm

Well, it should have been accepted on the answer line in the first place. I would go so far as to say the Little Albert is THE name of the experiment in all common usage. I've never once seen Baby Albert used to refer to it, and googling baby Albert basically yields the same result (there are a couple non-legit sites that refer to him that way but also call him Little Albert, and I think some of them are just using "baby" as a descriptor). The answer should be Little Albert.
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