## Discuss: GSAC XV: December 8

Dormant threads from the high school sections are preserved here.
MLWMathStar
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If you hadn't noticed from the web page before the tournament, you probably realized now that this tournament had math questions, but no computation questions. How did people like this change? It's one I hope will be mimicked in other tournaments.

There is one thing I would like to apologize for: the "regular" (as in regular polygon) bonus answer in Round 2, 3 or 4 (I don't remember):
This question had two "oops"es. As it was in the tournament, it was "Two polygons of this type with the same number of sides are always similar to each other. They are similar, equilateral, and equiangular." It was supposed to say "Two polygons of this type with the same number of sides are always similar to each other. A polygon of this type is simple, equilateral, and equiangular." As it was, similar or congruent are almost correct answers, but the definition of equilateral/equiangular doesn't quite allow that. I think the question does have a unique answer, barely, but I apologize for the confusion it caused.

EDIT: Sorry to the below poster, I forgot a part of the first sentence.
Last edited by MLWMathStar on Sat Dec 08, 2007 7:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Palmer Mebane
Maggie Walker A Team

Captain Sinico
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MLWMathStar wrote:"Two polygons of this type are always similar to each other."
Mike Gundy wrote:THAT AIN'T TRUE!
An equilateral triangle, for example, is not similar to a square, though both are regular polygons.

MaS
Mike Sorice
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fzhang
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### Re: Consolation Playoffs

Tower Monarch wrote: "Yeah-Yeah-Yeah" from TJ won the amazing MC PM neg prize CD
Wow. Second time in two tournaments.

When will stats be up?

gonzagaeagleahy
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MLWMathStar wrote:If you hadn't noticed from the web page before the tournament, you probably realized now that this tournament had math questions, but no computation questions. How did people like this change? It's one I hope will be mimicked in other tournaments.
I liked the change. Except for some of the math that came up in some of the later bonuses...after 5'ing calculus bc last year i was confuzzled by the bonuses.
Kevin Leahy, the Bringer of Sin
Gonzaga College H.S. '08
Georgetown '12

Philip Marschall
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lololololol

Gonzagapuma1
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Philip Marschall wrote:lololololol
wat?

jbarnes112358
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### Re: Consolation Playoffs

fzhang wrote:
When will stats be up?
That's a good question. I think Anant was too tired last night to deal with it. I don't know if he can do it from home; the files might only be on school computers. Maybe he will read this and respond.

As to the math questions, and speaking as a math person myself, I thought they were excellent - pyramidal, accessible, and non-computational. There was a bit of trivial mental computation necessary to determine whether even and odd functions preserve these properties under various arithmetic operations. But, I especially liked that bonus. I believe computations of that nature are fine if they are central to the mathematical concept in question.

I hope more tournaments go this route in regards to math questions. The usual pencil-and-paper-ready speed computation questions might be fine in a Mathcounts style competition; but, they are out of character for quizbowl questions, which is why so many players are seen staring into space when the dreaded four-word phrase is spoken. There are many interesting concepts and ideas in mathematics that can be tested with little or minimal computation. In some cases a question might be answerable by using computations, while knowing some mathematical fact or concept would render the computation trivial or even unnecessary altogether.

gsacdirector
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All the stats are on the school computer, and will hopefully be up Monday. Our stats guy did a fantastic job compiling everything, usually working by himself, so you guys will have to wait for those.

How was everyone's experience?

jbarnes112358
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I was wondering what the attendees thought of the questions. Too easy? Too hard? Distribution? Answer choices? Bonus difficulty? Question length? Clue Placement? Whatever. I'm sure our young writers and editors (and others reading the board) could benefit from constructive feedback. Feel free to be specific, as the questions are not going to be used in any other tournament.

Diet Chuck
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I thought the questions were on the whole well-written, although a few of them suffered from non-specific filler sentences and misplaced clues. Our team (TJ "A") as a whole noticed that there was a lack of social science and philosophy questions. Also, there were quite a few repeats in the set (Faust, Mussorgsky to name some)

We did enjoy the absence of math calc and prefer non-computational math questions, but that may just be because we are bad at math calc. We will probably be using only math theory questions at our housh-written tournament.

The tournament was well-organized and we got home at around 7, which was good. I had a chance to listen to "TRACK 01" on Josh's neg prize cd, and I lol'd

rchschem
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Diet Chuck wrote:housh-written
The first couple of rounds were chestnut-rich, as is fitting for the holiday season. That Gray poem title bonus was mean, but other than that I had no complaints.

Except that oxygen's first ionization energy is actually lower than nitrogen's. It's a classic exception to the trend. If that's not the answer in the packet, then it was scored incorrectly in the match I saw.

Thanks for a great tournament. Maybe the playoff pairings can be announced over the PA instead of everyone trying to shoehorn into the war room antechamber?

Eric

vcuEvan
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rchschem wrote: The first couple of rounds were chestnut-rich, as is fitting for the holiday season. That Gray poem title bonus was mean, but other than that I had no complaints.
Eric
The Gray bonus seemed fine to me. Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard is easy enough. I heard Ode on the Death of a Favorite Cat questions a lot through high school, including a TU in an NAQT IS and Ode on a Distant Prospect to Eton College has some repute for coining the phrase "Ignorance is Bliss"

However the Prisoner of Zenda bonus really was mean, and there were problems with useless biographical information and easy clues early in questions. However I thought the set turned out pretty well considering the youth and inexperience of many of the writers and editors. Other than some minor confusion about where teams were to go next in the playoffs, organizationally the tournament was nearly perfect, so hats off to that Anant.

ieppler
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I felt that the Gray bonus was fine in terms of difficulty. However, those works have long titles, and the exact titles were required. In the five seconds given to answer the bonus, it was easy to miss a word or two, making the answer incorrect. It did seem sort of mean. I know that I misspoke and said "Elegy on a Country Churchyard," leaving out the "Written" and "Ode to a Cat, Drowned in a Tub of Goldfishes," leaving out the "on the death of a favorite." I'm sure similar things occurred in other rooms. Perhaps clear knowledge answers should have been accepted?
Ian Eppler from Brown University

aestheteboy
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Hopper wrote:In the five seconds given to answer the bonus, it was easy to miss a word or two, making the answer incorrect.
You have five seconds to begin your answer; once you begin the answer, you can take as much as time as needed without taking a pause so time limit shouldn't really be a problem.
I don't think inexact titles for literary works should be considered "clear knowledge answers."
Daichi - Walter Johnson; Vanderbilt; U of Chicago.
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theMoMA
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Haha, yeah, inexact titles are in no way a "clear knowledge answer." The bonus maybe should have been phrased something like "Gray wrote an Ode on the distant prospect of this location" or something like that, but as it was written, there is no answer that should be counted correct besides the exact title, as per quizbowl.

ieppler
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Yeah, that's kinda what I thought.
Ian Eppler from Brown University

gonzagaeagleahy
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Well i'd say that in most cases the whole title would definitely be needed, such as for elegy written in a country churchyard and ode on a distant prospect of eton college cuz they're significant. I have heard ode on the death of a favorite cat, drowned in a tub of goldfishes simply as ode on the death of a favorite cat tho, so in cases like that when they're significantly longer titles i think it may not be always necessary.
Kevin Leahy, the Bringer of Sin
Gonzaga College H.S. '08
Georgetown '12

First Chairman
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Agreeing, all three of those Thomas Gray poems are standard canon for AP English Lit, even though either Eton College or Favourite Cat may not necessarily be covered in a given class. Beyond those Gray poems, then we may get into being a bit obscure for high school.
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rchschem
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I wasn't objecting to Gray as acceptable material, just noting that asking for the specific titles is rough (but not out of line). "Churchyard" isn't bad, but the length of the "Cat" title does really separate the men from the boys. It's a perfectly legitimate question over a perfectly legitimate topic.

The software we use for the Right Triangle Open tracks "solos", or questions that only one person answers correctly in the entire field. I wonder how this one would have gone?

The questions this year seemed more accessible than some in years past. This is what I like about house-written high school packets. The character of the questions changes with rotation among the students, and this helps keep the tournaments interesting.

Eric

jbarnes112358
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Playoff results are now posted on the other GSAC thread. I suppose the present thread is where any discussion of the results should go. Mod, correct me if I'm wrong.

Congratulations to Dorman A for an excellent tournament performance. This tournament certainly should solidify their number 1 ranking.

And Dorman B should be among the best teams in the country also. I know this was not the usual TJ A team, but they were impressive nonetheless. State College is well on its way back to greatness as well. So is Charlottesville for that matter. And Raleigh Charter seems to be rebuilding nicely, too. Gonzaga had another impressive outing. RM also played well, even if some of its players were not feeling so well. Congratulations to St. Christopher's as the highest finishing Richmond Area team. Congratulations to Princess Anne for winning the hard-fought consolation bracket over a feisty Douglas Freeman team.

Thanks to everyone who came to make this one of our most successful GSAC tournaments ever. Hopefully all teams enjoyed themselves and learned from the experience. Thanks to all the parents, students, alums, and especially the quizbowl icons who came to help us run the show.