If you have "worked hard to learn math theory," then you should be able to get the math theory questions that populate good quizbowl now, and you should not need to rely on calculation questions that reward robotic number-crunching ability and have nothing to do with "math theory."dschafer wrote:Either one of those can be solvedinstantaneouslyby a good math player. Do you really think this is all "natural math skill?" Or is it maybe that the good math players have worked hard to learn math theory, and in doing so have become better at math?

## Yes, it's another thread about math

- Matt Weiner
- Sin
**Posts:**8414**Joined:**Fri Apr 11, 2003 8:34 pm**Location:**Richmond, VA

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Matt Weiner

Founder of hsquizbowl.org

Founder of hsquizbowl.org

- AndyShootsAndyScores
- Yuna
**Posts:**806**Joined:**Mon Apr 11, 2005 6:33 pm**Location:**Tuscaloosa, AL-
**Contact:**

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

By that same argument, why have pyramidality at all?Ford08 wrote:2. pyramidal math is stupid. Sorry but it is. Ok, what is the point of going through a bunch of crap when a good math player is going to get it off the meat anyway. Seriously having it so pyramidal that everyone has a shot is like handing out clues to future questions about art, ya its stupid. In pyramidal math they will pretty much give you the answer, and that is dumb.

Andy Knowles

Brindlee Mountain, '08

University of Alabama, '12

Brindlee Mountain, '08

University of Alabama, '12

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

How can one write a math theory question that addresses the same necessary theoretical knowledge as the "area of the triangle in a circle" question previously mentioned in this thread? Many math concepts are difficult-to-impossible to write a math theory tossup on, but easy to write a calculation tossup on. A well-written calculation tossup rewards theoretical knowledge and allow concepts that cannot easily be addressed by a theory problem to appear. If "robotic number-crunching ability" is a key element of a calculation question, it probably needs to be re-written.Matt Weiner wrote:If you have "worked hard to learn math theory," then you should be able to get the math theory questions that populate good quizbowl now, and you should not need to rely on calculation questions that reward robotic number-crunching ability and have nothing to do with "math theory."dschafer wrote:Either one of those can be solvedinstantaneouslyby a good math player. Do you really think this is all "natural math skill?" Or is it maybe that the good math players have worked hard to learn math theory, and in doing so have become better at math?

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

1. How is being good at computational math robotic? Isn't memorization of books/authors, paintings/artists, and musical works/composers also quite robotic?

2. Not all teams have good math players. Similarly not all teams have good literature players, art players, music players, religion players, history players, and science players.

3. Pyramidal questions reward those with deep knowledge. If someone knows a shortcut in computational math, they deserve the points. Similarly if someone knows the whole plot of a book or has read it, they deserve the points. If someone has studied paintings in front of their computers or at art galleries for hours looking for small details, they deserve the points. If someone has played the musical piece of a composition, they deserve the points. If someone has read about a topic in history extensively, they deserve the points. If someone knows more about a science topic, they deserve the points. Excuse my poor knowledge of science..

4. Just because you're supposed to know something, doesn't mean someone else shouldn't know it faster.

5. Quiz Bowl is just a game.

Help with computation speed:

http://www.zetamac.com/arithmetic

2. Not all teams have good math players. Similarly not all teams have good literature players, art players, music players, religion players, history players, and science players.

3. Pyramidal questions reward those with deep knowledge. If someone knows a shortcut in computational math, they deserve the points. Similarly if someone knows the whole plot of a book or has read it, they deserve the points. If someone has studied paintings in front of their computers or at art galleries for hours looking for small details, they deserve the points. If someone has played the musical piece of a composition, they deserve the points. If someone has read about a topic in history extensively, they deserve the points. If someone knows more about a science topic, they deserve the points. Excuse my poor knowledge of science..

4. Just because you're supposed to know something, doesn't mean someone else shouldn't know it faster.

5. Quiz Bowl is just a game.

Help with computation speed:

http://www.zetamac.com/arithmetic

- AndyShootsAndyScores
- Yuna
**Posts:**806**Joined:**Mon Apr 11, 2005 6:33 pm**Location:**Tuscaloosa, AL-
**Contact:**

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Unfortunately, it is difficult-to-impossible to write a calculation tossup that will not reward "robotic number-crunching ability."dschafer wrote:If "robotic number-crunching ability" is a key element of a calculation question, it probably needs to be re-written.

Andy Knowles

Brindlee Mountain, '08

University of Alabama, '12

Brindlee Mountain, '08

University of Alabama, '12

- Auks Ran Ova
- Forums Staff: Chief Administrator
**Posts:**4131**Joined:**Sun Apr 30, 2006 10:28 pm**Location:**Minneapolis-
**Contact:**

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Dude, the whole point is that robotic number-crunching ability isdschafer wrote:If "robotic number-crunching ability" is a key element of a calculation question, it probably needs to be re-written.

*the*key element of a calculation question. If I deeply understand the law of sines or Heron's formula or whatever, that doesn't mean that I will get a tossup requiring me to apply it before someone who just knows how and when to plug numbers into it and can calculate faster than me. Mental calculation speed can't really be taught and is not a skill quizbowl should test.

Rob Carson

University of Minnesota '11, MCTC '??

Member, ACF

Member, PACE

Writer and Editor, NAQT

University of Minnesota '11, MCTC '??

Member, ACF

Member, PACE

Writer and Editor, NAQT

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

The example I gave earlier in this thread of such a calculation tossup lead-in is:AndyShootsAndyScores wrote:Unfortunately, it is difficult-to-impossible to write a calculation tossup that will not reward "robotic number-crunching ability."dschafer wrote:If "robotic number-crunching ability" is a key element of a calculation question, it probably needs to be re-written.

"What is the area of an isosceles right triangle inscribed in a circle of area 4pi?"

The number crunching in this question involves finding sqrt(4), then finding 2*2, then finding (4*4)/4, which I would claim is not "robotic".

Here's another calculation tossup lead-in I would claim is non-number-crunching:

"What is the number of non-empty proper subsets of the first six natural numbers?"

The manipulation needed here (if solved properly) is simply 2^6-2, and I would claim 2^6 = 8^2 = 64 is not "robotic" (since it is the square of a one-digit number).

These are not pyramidal as currently stated, but would be once additional information is given in the remainder of the tossup (similar to the expansion I described for the inscribed triangle tossup earlier in the thread).

Not to sound like a broken record, but look at these two examples:Ukonvasara wrote:Mental calculation speed can't really be taught and is not a skill quizbowl should test.

1. What is 996 * 1004?

2. What is cos(arcsin(1/3))?

Either one of those can be solved

**instantaneously**by a good math player. Do you really think this is all untaught mental calculation speed? Or is it maybe that the good math players have worked hard in math, and learned a lot about math, and in doing so have gained mental calculation speed?

See my two examples above; those are calculation questions that do not rely on robotic number-crunching ability.Ukonvasara wrote:Dude, the whole point is that robotic number-crunching ability is the key element of a calculation question.

- AndyShootsAndyScores
- Yuna
**Posts:**806**Joined:**Mon Apr 11, 2005 6:33 pm**Location:**Tuscaloosa, AL-
**Contact:**

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

I'll agree that anybody can have all the natural talent in the world for math, but if they don't try and better themselves, they will not beat someone with less natural talent who has worked much harder to get faster at calculation; however, this is hardly ever the case. No matter how hard I work at getting faster at calculation math, I'm not going to be faster than a mathematical genius who has worked half as hard.

Andy Knowles

Brindlee Mountain, '08

University of Alabama, '12

Brindlee Mountain, '08

University of Alabama, '12

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

You guys act like this is magic. Gosh, I wonder how he got that so fast. I bet he knows alot about the subject area.

Computational ability is directly related to the amount of practice you put into actually doing math. You can know alot about math, but be very slow on the computation because you don't actually do much math. I like to compare it to riding a bike. You can read about riding a bike all you want, but there is a very low probability you will be able to do it right your first time. So you try it, try again, and again. Also, maybe there needs to be some ultimate goal involved too. Something like "I want to be able to finish the test before the period is over" if the teacher gives longer tests, you know. It works best for me when I practice how I want to play.

I hardly consider myself to be someone with robotic number crunching ability, but I consistently beat out players who did mathcounts (raw computational ability, imo) because I have much more experience in actually doing math. Not so coincidentally, if you want to get better at quiz bowl math in its current state, mathcounts is not a bad place to start, if only to improve your computational ability on simple problems.

Computational math has some problems in its current state. Dan has proposed some feasible ideas, that at the very least are an improvement on the current standard for computational math. But like there are so many little tricks to being better at raw computation by just being a little more familiar with numbers in general.

Off the top of my head:

98*65= (100-2)(65) = 6500-130=6370

That took under two seconds. This particular trick is pretty useful in doing raw calculation. Or breaking it into its prime factorization.

18*12 = 9*24=(10-1)24=240-24=216

A good question writer won't give you numbers that don't play well together.

Seriously guys. Number Theory books. They're on my Christmas shopping list for everyone who thinks computation ability is some sort of innate quality. If you guys find an idiot savant who can do rain-man style calculation, that'd be interesting. But like, you can't just have raw computational ability. You have to actually understand some math to do most of those styles of questions.

Computational ability is directly related to the amount of practice you put into actually doing math. You can know alot about math, but be very slow on the computation because you don't actually do much math. I like to compare it to riding a bike. You can read about riding a bike all you want, but there is a very low probability you will be able to do it right your first time. So you try it, try again, and again. Also, maybe there needs to be some ultimate goal involved too. Something like "I want to be able to finish the test before the period is over" if the teacher gives longer tests, you know. It works best for me when I practice how I want to play.

I hardly consider myself to be someone with robotic number crunching ability, but I consistently beat out players who did mathcounts (raw computational ability, imo) because I have much more experience in actually doing math. Not so coincidentally, if you want to get better at quiz bowl math in its current state, mathcounts is not a bad place to start, if only to improve your computational ability on simple problems.

Computational math has some problems in its current state. Dan has proposed some feasible ideas, that at the very least are an improvement on the current standard for computational math. But like there are so many little tricks to being better at raw computation by just being a little more familiar with numbers in general.

Off the top of my head:

98*65= (100-2)(65) = 6500-130=6370

That took under two seconds. This particular trick is pretty useful in doing raw calculation. Or breaking it into its prime factorization.

18*12 = 9*24=(10-1)24=240-24=216

A good question writer won't give you numbers that don't play well together.

Seriously guys. Number Theory books. They're on my Christmas shopping list for everyone who thinks computation ability is some sort of innate quality. If you guys find an idiot savant who can do rain-man style calculation, that'd be interesting. But like, you can't just have raw computational ability. You have to actually understand some math to do most of those styles of questions.

Saiem Gilani

Florida State '12, '1X

Florida State '12, '1X

- Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN)
- Chairman of Anti-Music Mafia Committee
**Posts:**5640**Joined:**Wed Jul 26, 2006 11:46 pm**Location:**Columbia, MO

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

I am 100% never going to be convinced that the ability to solve math problems in quizbowl faster is proportional to how much one studies math based on my personal experience of getting the theory questions in high school with a great deal of regularity, stuff that our math player has never ever done, but consistently losing math calculations, even ones like what you posted, to just about everyone, especially the math player because he can robotically crunch the numbers faster than me, even if we both figure out what the problem wants us to do at the same time (sometimes I even figure it out faster then him). You just keep dancing around the reality of quizbowl math, which is that no matter what, there is an innate ability to do calculations quickly that some people have and that others have no hope of acquiring, and that even with the most "pyramidal" calculation, that still will always be a factor. And this whole "if you do more math you would be better" thing is crap too, I remember when I was a sophomore I was taking 2 math classes at once and had to do twice the amount of math work as normal students yet somehow I consistently found myself unable to do the calculations in time in quizbowl matches.

Charlie Dees, North Kansas City HS '08

"I won't say more because I know some of you parse everything I say." - Jeremy Gibbs

"At one TJ tournament the neg prize was the Hampshire College ultimate frisbee team (nude) calender featuring one Evan Silberman. In retrospect that could have been a disaster." - Harry White

"I won't say more because I know some of you parse everything I say." - Jeremy Gibbs

"At one TJ tournament the neg prize was the Hampshire College ultimate frisbee team (nude) calender featuring one Evan Silberman. In retrospect that could have been a disaster." - Harry White

- AndyShootsAndyScores
- Yuna
**Posts:**806**Joined:**Mon Apr 11, 2005 6:33 pm**Location:**Tuscaloosa, AL-
**Contact:**

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

I am in now way claiming that a computational machine who knows little about theory will be able to beat out someone who does know quite a bit about theory (consistently). I'm not saying you can't learn to get better and faster at calculation. I

I can say I've never seen a thread where people are complaining that there are too many literature questions having to do with plots, so there must be something different about the two.

EDIT:

**am**saying that some individuals have the knack for doing math faster and better than others, just like there are some who can retain the visual memory of a painting better or can remember more of a novel that they read.I can say I've never seen a thread where people are complaining that there are too many literature questions having to do with plots, so there must be something different about the two.

EDIT:

Testify, brotha!Deesy Does It wrote:I am 100% never going to be convinced that the ability to solve math problems in quizbowl faster is proportional to how much one studies math based on my personal experience of getting the theory questions in high school with a great deal of regularity, stuff that our math player has never ever done, but consistently losing math calculations, even ones like what you posted, to just about everyone, especially the math player because he can robotically crunch the numbers faster than me, even if we both figure out what the problem wants us to do at the same time (sometimes I even figure it out faster then him). You just keep dancing around the reality of quizbowl math, which is that no matter what, there is an innate ability to do calculations quickly that some people have and that others have no hope of acquiring, and that even with the most "pyramidal" calculation, that still will always be a factor. And this whole "if you do more math you would be better" thing is crap too, I remember when I was a sophomore I was taking 2 math classes at once and had to do twice the amount of math work as normal students yet somehow I consistently found myself unable to do the calculations in time in quizbowl matches.

Andy Knowles

Brindlee Mountain, '08

University of Alabama, '12

Brindlee Mountain, '08

University of Alabama, '12

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

by MLWGS-Gir on Mon Mar 24, 2008 11:50 am

I am an atheist. I get several of the religious questions and my captain who is also an atheist gets all of the others. Also, I cannot spell and my grammer is not that great, actually if you could talk to me you would find that I have a strong lisp. Also my best subject is history, and that is what I answer. As for spelling though on a slight side note our captain was only one level away from making it on ESPN and the National spelling bee.I'm not exactly an atheist so much as I am a-religious, but I routinely beat a Hindu teammate on Hinduism questions. Also, please learn to argue coherently (and spell) as that would make it easier to take you seriously and for your points to be understood. I'm confused as to how you're using that point because the two sentences seem to contradict each other. It seems like you're saying that someone who studies something more than others should get the question, which makes theoretical sense but is not actually true in every case. My best subject in school is history but it's really rare for me to get a history question.

Calc is for wusseys

- AndyShootsAndyScores
- Yuna
**Posts:**806**Joined:**Mon Apr 11, 2005 6:33 pm**Location:**Tuscaloosa, AL-
**Contact:**

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

I'm not alone!Ford08 wrote:I am an atheist. I get several of the religious questions and my captain who is also an atheist gets all of the others. Also, I cannot spell and my grammer is not that great, actually if you could talk to me you would find that I have a strong lisp. Also my best subject is history, and that is what I answer. As for spelling though on a slight side note our captain was only one level away from making it on ESPN and the National spelling bee.

Andy Knowles

Brindlee Mountain, '08

University of Alabama, '12

Brindlee Mountain, '08

University of Alabama, '12

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

AndyShootsAndyScores on Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:52 pm

On which part?I'm not alone!

Calc is for wusseys

- AndyShootsAndyScores
- Yuna
**Posts:**806**Joined:**Mon Apr 11, 2005 6:33 pm**Location:**Tuscaloosa, AL-
**Contact:**

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Ford08 wrote:AndyShootsAndyScores on Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:52 pmOn which part?I'm not alone!

Being an atheist and getting most of the religious stuff.

Andy Knowles

Brindlee Mountain, '08

University of Alabama, '12

Brindlee Mountain, '08

University of Alabama, '12

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Yah it a going joke for our team, since our coach is Lutheran and we have a lutheran and Catholic on the team he gets so madd. He is one of the most religous people I know and when get them he throws a fit. My captain and I laugh and our coach is glad we get them but it is a very comical time for us.

Calc is for wusseys

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

1. Please try this website http://www.zetamac.com/arithmetic. If you can get around 30 per minute you're decent. If you can get around 40 per minute that is above average. If you can get 50 per minute you'll know you haveDeesy Does It wrote:You just keep dancing around the reality of quizbowl math, which is that no matter what, there is aninnate abilityto do calculations quickly that some people have and that others have no hope of acquiring, and that even with the most "pyramidal" calculation, that still will always be a factor. And this whole "if you do more math you would be better" thing is crap too, I remember when I was a sophomore I was taking 2 math classes at once and had to do twice the amount of math work as normal students yet somehow I consistently found myself unable to do the calculations in time in quizbowl matches.

**reached**that

**innate ability**. I know there are some kids on the high score board that have reached 132 per minute or w/e. Some of those have used programs and hacked the website. Fastest I know of that is legit is like 100 per minute, but usually kids with that fast of a mental math ability do poor in quiz bowl.

2. People with fast mental ability deserve points for it.

3. Taking two math classes at once doesn't increase your computation speed. I doubt when you did homework, you had a timer next to you to see how fast you were doing each problem. However if you did do that, then there is no reason to say math shouldn't be in Quiz Bowl or shouldn't be used in NAQT or ACF pyramid. Not everyone is born with equal math potential nor is everyone born with equal retention potential/verbal memorization potential/visual memorization potential. You're lucky you have the latter. Most would prefer the latter. Since you really don't need to be super fast at math.

but please

try out this site

http://www.zetamac.com/arithmetic

(and no I didn't create the site

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

A point I haven't seen added yet: computational math questions measure the ability to apply knowledge; all other quiz bowl questions test pure knowledge. This fundamental disconnect between what is tested of players contributes to why computational math is an ill fit in qb.

Fred Morlan

University of Kentucky CoP, 2017

International Quiz Bowl Tournaments, co-owner

PACE

former (?) hsqbrank manager, former NAQT writer & subject editor, former hsqb Administrator/Chief Administrator

University of Kentucky CoP, 2017

International Quiz Bowl Tournaments, co-owner

PACE

former (?) hsqbrank manager, former NAQT writer & subject editor, former hsqb Administrator/Chief Administrator

- Blackboard Monitor Vimes
- Forums Staff: Administrator
**Posts:**2348**Joined:**Sat Aug 18, 2007 5:40 pm**Location:**Richmond, VA

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

I don't see how a lisp would necessarily effect writing, as most people I know don't write the way they speak, but if you have an issue with it then I'm sorry. I didn't mean it personally, but rather as some advice as to getting people to take your arguments more seriously. It's easier to agree/disagree with someone if you understand their point (the spelling bit may have just been more my OCD acting out; sorry).Ford08 wrote:by MLWGS-Gir on Mon Mar 24, 2008 11:50 am

I am an atheist. I get several of the religious questions and my captain who is also an atheist gets all of the others. Also, I cannot spell and my grammer is not that great, actually if you could talk to me you would find that I have a strong lisp. Also my best subject is history, and that is what I answer. As for spelling though on a slight side note our captain was only one level away from making it on ESPN and the National spelling bee.I'm not exactly an atheist so much as I am a-religious, but I routinely beat a Hindu teammate on Hinduism questions. Also, please learn to argue coherently (and spell) as that would make it easier to take you seriously and for your points to be understood. I'm confused as to how you're using that point because the two sentences seem to contradict each other. It seems like you're saying that someone who studies something more than others should get the question, which makes theoretical sense but is not actually true in every case. My best subject in school is history but it's really rare for me to get a history question.

Anyway, actually relating to math and what several other people have said:

I have always been good at school math. I've had a 97 or better in the most advanced class I could be in since 2nd grade. And I suck at quizbowl math because I'm slow. I'll get a math question every once in a blue moon if someone has negged (although I think I legitimately won one...once). I was asked by my teacher to do Math Counts in 8th grade and I turned him down because it was during study hall, and I spent my study hall in the LD classroom helping the massively overwhelmed new teacher there. We have eight or so Math Counts vets on our team, and they're always racing each other at practice for the math questions (when Palmer isn't there to pwn them). Because of this, I think Math Counts and other speed-based math competitions genuinely help. I also think that's where math speed should be tested, rather than in quizbowl.

Sam (Angelo) Luongo,

Maggie L. Walker Governor's School 2010 / UVA 2014 / VCU School of Education 2016

PACE

Maggie L. Walker Governor's School 2010 / UVA 2014 / VCU School of Education 2016

PACE

- theattachment
- Rikku
**Posts:**281**Joined:**Fri Aug 03, 2007 10:57 pm**Location:**Eden Prairie, MN

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

As someone who left the math train a long time ago, I tend to disagree. QB is a test of someone's mental capacity, be it in English, Fine Arts, Science, stuff that doesn't deserve capitalization (aka trash), and even Math. It's not necessarily robotic to be able to crunch numbers, but even so there's a point where knowing the link between something being a bunch of numbers and it actually being a worthwhile answer is very impressive and, in my mind, a good test of math knowledge. I'd agree that I'd rather hear a tossup about a math theory or equation than one that just involves computation, but mental calculation is still a mental skill.Ukonvasara wrote:Mental calculation speed can't really be taught and is not a skill quizbowl should test.

As for atheists getting religion, I get too much crap from my coach for getting outbuzzed on anything in the same region as Christianity because he went to my church. It's so annoying...

Colin O'Donnell -- ex-Eden Prairie High School (man, that feels nice to say), eventually University of Minnesota

- AndyShootsAndyScores
- Yuna
**Posts:**806**Joined:**Mon Apr 11, 2005 6:33 pm**Location:**Tuscaloosa, AL-
**Contact:**

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

I've never stated that math should not be in quiz bowl. In fact, in my first post, I stated that it was a necessary part of it. I'm one of the few here that doesn't like it, but believe it is necessary (much like war). I do disagree that computational ability can be learned.

And that's all I have to say about that.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Andy Knowles

Brindlee Mountain, '08

University of Alabama, '12

Brindlee Mountain, '08

University of Alabama, '12

- NotjustoldWASPs
- Wakka
**Posts:**151**Joined:**Sat May 07, 2005 5:12 pm**Location:**St. Louis, MO

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Thank you Fred..this is the first concise and reasonable argument I have read against Math in QB in this entire thread. But I think this brings up an interesting observation that I think was brought up post-sectionals this year.leftsaidfred wrote:A point I haven't seen added yet: computational math questions measure the ability to apply knowledge; all other quiz bowl questions test pure knowledge. This fundamental disconnect between what is tested of players contributes to why computational math is an ill fit in qb.

Not quite true...I remember reading much grumbling about NAQT questions where one could "figure it out" from incomplete knowledge due to "NA-cutie" clues and whatnot. This may explain NAQTs propensity towards including more math than other formats...the "figuring it out" seems to be an important aspect of quizbowl from that point of view.all other quiz bowl questions test pure knowledge.

On the other hand, what seems to be the predominating view on this board, and that of those in charge of ACF is that pure knowledge and cold, hard facts should be rewarded over a combination of inferior knowledge and reasoning ability (with a bit of luck mixed in).

I personally am more of a fan of the former, but I'd be interested to see whether that kind of mental usage falls under what people would define as quizbowl or something else entirely...

Neel Kotra

WUSTL '10

WUSTL '10

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

On a slight tangent: Do people prefer "computational" tossups or bonuses?

I think I would like having a few more math bonuses. I'd be okay with 1 math tossup (whether it be computational or theory) per round, if there were some math bonuses.

I think I would like having a few more math bonuses. I'd be okay with 1 math tossup (whether it be computational or theory) per round, if there were some math bonuses.

Saiem Gilani

Florida State '12, '1X

Florida State '12, '1X

- First Chairman
- Auron
**Posts:**3875**Joined:**Sat Apr 19, 2003 8:21 pm**Location:**Fairfax VA-
**Contact:**

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

PACE Nationals: we always have one computational bonus (usually it's your choice on a one-part category quiz bonus) and rarely maybe one extra computational bonus. We have never (as far as I can remember) favored calculation tossups since I/we have always held the opinion math questions in quiz bowl should be in bonus/team format, not tossup format. As was mentioned earlier, most ways we write computational math bonus does not necessarily reward the person that does well in a math class. There are also a limited number of "mental tricks" that we can test when it comes to good math questions (if you watch a season of It's Ac, you'll see just about all of them). At least based on a few years of anecdotal data, practically no one chooses the math CQ bonus question, so I am thinking of ways to incentivize getting the math question without upsetting the point distribution too much.

The hardest part with any math question is difficulty: it's too easy to make the question much harder than it has to be.

I will admit when I did more of the writing/editing for hs events, I would have computational bonuses focusing on chemistry or physics rather than straight-up mathematics. Nothing I thought that was terribly complicated, and in retrospect, I'd limit to one part of a multipart bonus if possible. The only exception would be Ohio format, but that's a different beast from conventional tossup/bonus where you could do computational bonuses with handouts (geometry questions! ack!).

Calc Math questions on handout rounds, ok. Calc Math questions as bonuses, ok.

The hardest part with any math question is difficulty: it's too easy to make the question much harder than it has to be.

I will admit when I did more of the writing/editing for hs events, I would have computational bonuses focusing on chemistry or physics rather than straight-up mathematics. Nothing I thought that was terribly complicated, and in retrospect, I'd limit to one part of a multipart bonus if possible. The only exception would be Ohio format, but that's a different beast from conventional tossup/bonus where you could do computational bonuses with handouts (geometry questions! ack!).

Calc Math questions on handout rounds, ok. Calc Math questions as bonuses, ok.

Emil Thomas Chuck, Ph.D.

Founder, PACE

Facebook junkie and unofficial advisor to aspiring health professionals in quiz bowl

---

Pimping Green Tea Ginger Ale (Canada Dry)

Founder, PACE

Facebook junkie and unofficial advisor to aspiring health professionals in quiz bowl

---

Pimping Green Tea Ginger Ale (Canada Dry)

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

"all other good quiz bowl questions test pure knowledge"?NotjustoldWASPs wrote:Not quite true...I remember reading much grumbling about NAQT questions where one could "figure it out" from incomplete knowledge due to "NA-cutie" clues and whatnot.all other quiz bowl questions test pure knowledge.

Edit: Would love to contribute more, but have more immediate things to take care of. Will try to add more later...

Fred Morlan

University of Kentucky CoP, 2017

International Quiz Bowl Tournaments, co-owner

PACE

former (?) hsqbrank manager, former NAQT writer & subject editor, former hsqb Administrator/Chief Administrator

University of Kentucky CoP, 2017

International Quiz Bowl Tournaments, co-owner

PACE

former (?) hsqbrank manager, former NAQT writer & subject editor, former hsqb Administrator/Chief Administrator

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

This is an interesting point, but I think that while calculation questions certainly require "in-between steps" that a "name the title from plot/characters" question doesn't, there is certainly precedent for tossups that require this type of mental process. For example, in this year's MCMNT, there was a tossup on "Chile" whose contents were descriptions of various works by authors from that country. Here's that tossup in full:leftsaidfred wrote:A point I haven't seen added yet: computational math questions measure the ability to apply knowledge; all other quiz bowl questions test pure knowledge. This fundamental disconnect between what is tested of players contributes to why computational math is an ill fit in qb.

Now, consider what is going through the mind of someone who buzzes on "Humberto Peñaloza". That person needs to do the following mental progression: "Humberto Peñaloza" -> "The Obscene Bird of Night" -> "Jose Donoso" -> "Chile". Additionally, as the tossup progresses, more and more of that required mental progression is given to the player by the tossup. This is reminiscent of the standard math calculation tossup style, where again, some sort of mental progression of information is needed, and the tossup fills in the hard parts of that progression for the player as the question continues.MCMNT 2008, Indiana Packet, Tossup 10 wrote: One author from this country wrote about Humberto Peñaloza, who is successively transformed into a mute, a nun, and an infant, in a novel about the monstrous offspring of Ines and Jeronimo Azcoita, The Obscene Bird of Night. Another author from this country wrote the poetry collection Desolación, as well as three sonnets mourning the death of Romelio Ureta. Besides Jose Donoso and Gabriela Mistral, a poet from this country wrote The Elemental Odes and Canto General. For ten points, identify this South American country home to Pablo Neruda.

ANSWER: Chile

- Blackboard Monitor Vimes
- Forums Staff: Administrator
**Posts:**2348**Joined:**Sat Aug 18, 2007 5:40 pm**Location:**Richmond, VA

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

This is an interesting point, but I think that while calculation questions certainly require "in-between steps" that a "name the title from plot/characters" question doesn't, there is certainly precedent for tossups that require this type of mental process. For example, in this year's MCMNT, there was a tossup on "Chile" whose contents were descriptions of various works by authors from that country. Here's that tossup in full:dschafer wrote:leftsaidfred wrote:A point I haven't seen added yet: computational math questions measure the ability to apply knowledge; all other quiz bowl questions test pure knowledge. This fundamental disconnect between what is tested of players contributes to why computational math is an ill fit in qb.

Toss-ups like those are a waste of the lit distribution, although I can see how the thought process would be somewhat similar to a math question. Personally I think that if you want an answer to be a country, it should be in history/geo. Applied knowledge should stay in math/science (e.g. chemical formulas bonuses/physics calc).MCMNT 2008, Indiana Packet, Tossup 10 wrote: One author from this country wrote about Humberto Peñaloza, who is successively transformed into a mute, a nun, and an infant, in a novel about the monstrous offspring of Ines and Jeronimo Azcoita, The Obscene Bird of Night. Another author from this country wrote the poetry collection Desolación, as well as three sonnets mourning the death of Romelio Ureta. Besides Jose Donoso and Gabriela Mistral, a poet from this country wrote The Elemental Odes and Canto General. For ten points, identify this South American country home to Pablo Neruda.

ANSWER: Chile

Sam (Angelo) Luongo,

Maggie L. Walker Governor's School 2010 / UVA 2014 / VCU School of Education 2016

PACE

Maggie L. Walker Governor's School 2010 / UVA 2014 / VCU School of Education 2016

PACE

- Matt Weiner
- Sin
**Posts:**8414**Joined:**Fri Apr 11, 2003 8:34 pm**Location:**Richmond, VA

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Making multiple connections and getting a lit answer by being familiar with plots and context instead of robotic association of "hear title X, buzz with author Y" is exactly the sort of good quizbowl that "QUICK MULTIPLY TWO NUMBERS YOU'RE NOT MULTIPLYING FAST ENOUGH EAT MORE ROBOT OIL AAAAAAAAARGH" is not.dschafer wrote:Now, consider what is going through the mind of someone who buzzes on "Humberto Peñaloza". That person needs to do the following mental progression: "Humberto Peñaloza" -> "The Obscene Bird of Night" -> "Jose Donoso" -> "Chile". Additionally, as the tossup progresses, more and more of that required mental progression is given to the player by the tossup. This is reminiscent of the standard math calculation tossup style, where again, some sort of mental progression of information is needed, and the tossup fills in the hard parts of that progression for the player as the question continues.

Matt Weiner

Founder of hsquizbowl.org

Founder of hsquizbowl.org

- The Time Keeper
- Auron
**Posts:**1542**Joined:**Sat Apr 19, 2003 9:26 pm**Location:**Michigan

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

How is this anything but a good tossup? It features multiple clues in the correct order and breaks away from the monotony of the answer either being either the name of a work or the name of an author.MLWGS-Gir wrote:Toss-ups like those are a waste of the lit distribution, although I can see how the thought process would be somewhat similar to a math question. Personally I think that if you want an answer to be a country, it should be in history/geo. Applied knowledge should stay in math/science (e.g. chemical formulas bonuses/physics calc).MCMNT 2008, Indiana Packet, Tossup 10 wrote: One author from this country wrote about Humberto Peñaloza, who is successively transformed into a mute, a nun, and an infant, in a novel about the monstrous offspring of Ines and Jeronimo Azcoita, The Obscene Bird of Night. Another author from this country wrote the poetry collection Desolación, as well as three sonnets mourning the death of Romelio Ureta. Besides Jose Donoso and Gabriela Mistral, a poet from this country wrote The Elemental Odes and Canto General. For ten points, identify this South American country home to Pablo Neruda.

ANSWER: Chile

Pat Freeburn - No particular affiliation.

- Blackboard Monitor Vimes
- Forums Staff: Administrator
**Posts:**2348**Joined:**Sat Aug 18, 2007 5:40 pm**Location:**Richmond, VA

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

I don't know. I just hate country TUs. I like plot stuff better. I guess it's just because they usually start off ridiculously obscure and only require name recognition. I can do Desolacion->Mistral->Chile, but I just think a common country is better suited to a bonus lead-in or something. Somewhere in the past 3 tournaments I've been to, I no longer remember which, there were 2 like that in one round. It gets frustrating.Dolemite wrote:How is this anything but a good tossup? It features multiple clues in the correct order and breaks away from the monotony of the answer either being either the name of a work or the name of an author.MLWGS-Gir wrote:Toss-ups like those are a waste of the lit distribution, although I can see how the thought process would be somewhat similar to a math question. Personally I think that if you want an answer to be a country, it should be in history/geo. Applied knowledge should stay in math/science (e.g. chemical formulas bonuses/physics calc).

ANSWER: Chile

Sam (Angelo) Luongo,

Maggie L. Walker Governor's School 2010 / UVA 2014 / VCU School of Education 2016

PACE

Maggie L. Walker Governor's School 2010 / UVA 2014 / VCU School of Education 2016

PACE

- Matt Weiner
- Sin
**Posts:**8414**Joined:**Fri Apr 11, 2003 8:34 pm**Location:**Richmond, VA

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Well, that's the idea. You can't write a tossup on Jose Donoso or The Obscene Bird of Night at an undergraduate tournament; it's too hard an answer. By writing on "Chile" and using more well known clues later, you can work that knowledge into the question without compromising the conversion percentage.MLWGS-Gir wrote:I don't know. I just hate country TUs. I like plot stuff better. I guess it's just because they usually start off ridiculously obscure and only require name recognition.

Matt Weiner

Founder of hsquizbowl.org

Founder of hsquizbowl.org

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

As of my limited experience in quiz bowl lit, many of my literature teammates that are also inexperienced just memorize titles and authors.Matt Weiner wrote: Making multiple connections and getting a lit answer by being familiar with plots and context instead of robotic association of "hear title X, buzz with author Y" is exactly the sort of good quizbowl that "QUICK MULTIPLY TWO NUMBERS YOU'RE NOT MULTIPLYING FAST ENOUGH EAT MORE ROBOT OIL AAAAAAAAARGH" is not.

Those are what bad literature players do.

From my experience in doing MATHCOUNTS and AMC's, taking real life problems, aka word problems, and turning those problems into mathematical equations is real math skill, not pure computational speed. I would like to see more NAQT and ACF tossups focus on word problems rather than geometry problems with pure numbers and algebraic/calculus problems with pure numbers.

If any of you have done MATHCOUNTS, I think Sprint Round problems would be best suited as NAQT tossups.

Good math players can recognize what is needed to solve a word problem rather than just taking pure numbers and doing quick computations.

Of course questions on math theory are welcomed. So very few people know much about the history of math, that it is essential to expand this part of the canon.

And about the applying knowledge vs. "pure" knowledge

Why should quiz bowl just be about retention of what you read about in school and out of school?

Math knowledge is used for solving problems in engineering

Science knowledge is used for solving problems in medicine

Literature knowledge is used for solving problems in...(well I really don't know. How do you apply Literature knowledge?)

History knowledge is used for solving problems in not repeating past mistakes (then again not all of us will be politicians)

Humanities knowledge is used for solving problems in...(well I also really don't know. How do you apply Humanities knowledge?)

I can see your point in that math doesn't quite fit in with the other four major subjects in quiz bowl

but I see quiz bowl as an activity that enhances the pursuit of knowledge (also as a game).

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Matt Weiner wrote:Making multiple connections and getting a lit answer by being familiar with plots and context instead of robotic association of "hear title X, buzz with author Y" is exactly the sort of good quizbowl that "QUICK MULTIPLY TWO NUMBERS YOU'RE NOT MULTIPLYING FAST ENOUGH EAT MORE ROBOT OIL AAAAAAAAARGH" is not.dschafer wrote:Now, consider what is going through the mind of someone who buzzes on "Humberto Peñaloza". That person needs to do the following mental progression: "Humberto Peñaloza" -> "The Obscene Bird of Night" -> "Jose Donoso" -> "Chile". Additionally, as the tossup progresses, more and more of that required mental progression is given to the player by the tossup. This is reminiscent of the standard math calculation tossup style, where again, some sort of mental progression of information is needed, and the tossup fills in the hard parts of that progression for the player as the question continues.

I completely and absolutely oppose any tossup that can be reduced to "QUICK MULTIPLY TWO NUMBERS YOU'RE NOT MULTIPLYING FAST ENOUGH EAT MORE ROBOT OIL AAAAAAAAARGH." As the above quote shows, my original example of aEarlier in this thread, dschafer wrote:I'll throw out, off the top of my head, two math calculation tossups, one of which I think is quite good, and one of which I think is not. Both were from old NAQT sets.

...

2. Effectively, find the age in years of a person 10000 days old.

...

Tossup 2 is (in my opinion) poor. It is a test of who can do long division the fastest. I suspect this tossup went at about the same spot in every single room it was played in, since I doubt long division speed differs that much from player to player.

**poor**calculation question was such a tossup. Those tossups are not pyramidal, and they test only sheer computation speed. As I have said multiple times in this thread, a good calculation question does not involve any robotic computations.

If multiple connections required to get the answer is not an issue, then why (for example) is this tossup bad:

Pencil and paper ready. A student wants to find the area of an isosceles right triangle inscribed in a circle of area 4pi. To do so, it helps to realize that the diagonal of a right triangle inscribed in the circle must be the diameter of the circle. Since the circle has area 4pi, it must have radius two, and thus diameter four. Hence, the diagonal of the triangle must have length four, allowing the length legs of the triangle to be found. FTP, find the area of this right triangle, whose legs both have length \sqrt{8}, given that the area of a triangle is base times height over two.

answer: four

Someone buzzing at the start has the thought process "diagonal is diameter" -> "radius is 2" -> "diagonal is 4" -> "area is 4". This is equivalent to the "Humberto Peñaloza" -> "The Obscene Bird of Night" -> "Jose Donoso" -> "Chile" thought process. Someone at the end needs only "area is \sqrt(8)*\sqrt(8)/2" -> "area 4", which is about as simple as "Neruda" -> "Chile". Both questions begin with clues that require a longer thought process, then slowly give clues that shorten the needed thought process, adding pyramidality. Additionally, the math tossup requires no complex number manipulation; if there are five seconds after the buzz to answer, all of the calculations (which involve no numbers larger than 10) can be done

**easily**after buzzing, just like the entire four-step-Chilean thought process can be done after buzzing.

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Quiz bowl is a test of knowledge, not a test of the application of said knowledge. If we're going to force application of mathematics knowledge, then it only follows that this must apply across all subjects - leading to "FTP, play the following notes on a trombone", "FTP, compare and contrast the Douglass-Lincoln & Kennedy-Nixon debates", "FTP, dissect this feral pig", "FTP, analyze the symbolism of Don Quixote" and, for a pop culture question, "FTP, do the N*Sync dance from their music video for "Bye Bye Bye"".asdf wrote:Why should quiz bowl just be about retention of what you read about in school and out of school?

Fred Morlan

University of Kentucky CoP, 2017

International Quiz Bowl Tournaments, co-owner

PACE

former (?) hsqbrank manager, former NAQT writer & subject editor, former hsqb Administrator/Chief Administrator

University of Kentucky CoP, 2017

International Quiz Bowl Tournaments, co-owner

PACE

former (?) hsqbrank manager, former NAQT writer & subject editor, former hsqb Administrator/Chief Administrator

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

leftsaidfred wrote:feral pig

Adam Marshall,

Walt Whitman '08

Colby '12

Walt Whitman '08

Colby '12

- Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN)
- Chairman of Anti-Music Mafia Committee
**Posts:**5640**Joined:**Wed Jul 26, 2006 11:46 pm**Location:**Columbia, MO

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

I'm sorry, but if you think that connecting those numbers with knowing that neruda is handily the most famous writer from Chile, you either are lacking in standard literature knowledge or are assuming way too much about how good people are at calculations.Someone at the end needs only "area is \sqrt(8)*\sqrt(8)/2" -> "area 4", which is about as simple as "Neruda" -> "Chile".

Charlie Dees, North Kansas City HS '08

"I won't say more because I know some of you parse everything I say." - Jeremy Gibbs

"At one TJ tournament the neg prize was the Hampshire College ultimate frisbee team (nude) calender featuring one Evan Silberman. In retrospect that could have been a disaster." - Harry White

"I won't say more because I know some of you parse everything I say." - Jeremy Gibbs

"At one TJ tournament the neg prize was the Hampshire College ultimate frisbee team (nude) calender featuring one Evan Silberman. In retrospect that could have been a disaster." - Harry White

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

I'm not lacking in standard literature knowledge, and I don't see how any aspect of of that calculation is even mildly difficult. The following are theDeesy Does It wrote:I'm sorry, but if you think that connecting those numbers with knowing that neruda is handily the most famous writer from Chile, you either are lacking in standard literature knowledge or are assuming way too much about how good people are at calculations.Someone at the end needs only "area is \sqrt(8)*\sqrt(8)/2" -> "area 4", which is about as simple as "Neruda" -> "Chile".

**only**facts anyone needs to solve that:

1. The square of a square root is the number itself

2. 8 / 2 = 4

These are both mathematical concepts that are covered by the time a student takes pre-Algebra.

- Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN)
- Chairman of Anti-Music Mafia Committee
**Posts:**5640**Joined:**Wed Jul 26, 2006 11:46 pm**Location:**Columbia, MO

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

I can confirm that by the time I was in 7th grade taking prealgebra (and probably later) I never learned that a square of a square root is the number itself, as simple as it may be.

Charlie Dees, North Kansas City HS '08

"I won't say more because I know some of you parse everything I say." - Jeremy Gibbs

"At one TJ tournament the neg prize was the Hampshire College ultimate frisbee team (nude) calender featuring one Evan Silberman. In retrospect that could have been a disaster." - Harry White

"I won't say more because I know some of you parse everything I say." - Jeremy Gibbs

"At one TJ tournament the neg prize was the Hampshire College ultimate frisbee team (nude) calender featuring one Evan Silberman. In retrospect that could have been a disaster." - Harry White

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Well you can only do so much with a buzzer, pencil, and paperleftsaidfred wrote:Quiz bowl is a test of knowledge, not a test of the application of said knowledge. If we're going to force application of mathematics knowledge, then it only follows that this must apply across all subjects - leading to "FTP, play the following notes on a trombone", "FTP, compare and contrast the Douglass-Lincoln & Kennedy-Nixon debates", "FTP, dissect this feral pig", "FTP, analyze the symbolism of Don Quixote" and, for a pop culture question, "FTP, do the N*Sync dance from their music video for "Bye Bye Bye"".asdf wrote:Why should quiz bowl just be about retention of what you read about in school and out of school?

Making a trombone isn't one of them

Dissecting isn't one of them

Performing a music video isn't one of them

Actually comparing and contrasting a debate could be possible, but so many answers could be accepted it wouldn't work well.

Analyzing a character or book could also be possible, but again there would be so many answers that it wouldn't work well.

In math there is

**one answer**and

**one answer only**. That is why math works in quiz bowl, although I do agree it doesn't fit well with your idea of "knowledge".

I mean isn't "real knowledge" (quotations indicating my definition of real knowledge), knowledge that can be applied.

And isn't "fraudulent knowledge" (quotations indicating my definition of fraudulent knowledge), knowledge that cannot be applied because of lack of "real knowledge"

- Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN)
- Chairman of Anti-Music Mafia Committee
**Posts:**5640**Joined:**Wed Jul 26, 2006 11:46 pm**Location:**Columbia, MO

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Find one post where we called something "fraudulent knowledge" here. As far as I remember nobody said that, and it seems to me to be a strawman.

"I won't say more because I know some of you parse everything I say." - Jeremy Gibbs

"At one TJ tournament the neg prize was the Hampshire College ultimate frisbee team (nude) calender featuring one Evan Silberman. In retrospect that could have been a disaster." - Harry White

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

I'm just dividing up my two categories of knowledgeDeesy Does It wrote:Find one post where we called something "fraudulent knowledge" here. As far as I remember nobody said that, and it seems to me to be a strawman.

Not saying anyone said math was fraudulent knowledge

but trying to argue that math should be considered knowledge even if it requires application

Because the application of math only requires pencil and paper

My explanation of my definitions of knowledge:

If someone had just memorized the squares of lets say 1-100, but didn't even know how to multiply two numbers (I know highly unlikely situation but stay with me)

I would consider that fraudulent knowledge

but I would still argue that he/she deserved the points because it is still knowledge, just knowledge that can't really be applied or be of any use other than quiz bowl.

If someone had found a trick into squaring the numbers of 1-100, by studying number theory

I would consider that "real" knowledge because he applied his knowledge of math to find out the tricks

If someone had memorized binary lists of authors-titles, but didn't know the plots at all or very little

I would also consider that fraudulent knowledge

but I would also argue that he/she deserved the points because it is still knowledge, just knowledge that can't really be applied or be of any use other than quiz bowl.

If someone had read or at least knew the themes/motifs and extensive knowledge of a plot in a book, by analyzing the book

I would consider that "real" knowledge because he applied his knowledge of literature by analyzing the book to identify the themes/motifs and therefore having a better chance at recognizing a book or author one or two lines into a tossup.

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Just to clarify a few things:

I wrote the Chile tossup. I agree that, to some extent, players have to apply the knowledge of clues (not simply "oh, that novel is by Jose Donoso" but "oh, that novel is by Jose Donoso and he's from Chile"). However, tossups like these are written because, in many tournaments, the answer space for world literature is limited; instead of writing about the same old authors and works over and over, you can use new clues but still write a tossup many people will convert. In my opinion, requiring players to apply knowledge during tossups is problematic and at odds with mainstream quizbowl; however, since connecting authors with countries is fairly easy to do, and since introducing new clues to players is a very important part of quizbowl (since tournaments would quickly become uninteresting without people including new clues to questions), I think that the Chile tossup overcomes the problem that it doesn't simply test primary knowledge.

On the other hand, let's take that proposed pyramidal math tossup. I don't think that it introduces new or interesting clues to the canon (since it just states a simple math problem). Additionally, although some people are very adept at such problems, I would contend that for the majority of players, connecting authors to one country is much simpler than performing the mental calculations to solve that problem. Therefore, I don't think that those sorts of tossups overcome the problem of acquiring players to apply knowledge, while the Chile tossup does. However, pyramidal math tossups about the number four or the cosine function which consist of a series of uniquely identifying, interesting clues about those answers would be acceptable.

I wrote the Chile tossup. I agree that, to some extent, players have to apply the knowledge of clues (not simply "oh, that novel is by Jose Donoso" but "oh, that novel is by Jose Donoso and he's from Chile"). However, tossups like these are written because, in many tournaments, the answer space for world literature is limited; instead of writing about the same old authors and works over and over, you can use new clues but still write a tossup many people will convert. In my opinion, requiring players to apply knowledge during tossups is problematic and at odds with mainstream quizbowl; however, since connecting authors with countries is fairly easy to do, and since introducing new clues to players is a very important part of quizbowl (since tournaments would quickly become uninteresting without people including new clues to questions), I think that the Chile tossup overcomes the problem that it doesn't simply test primary knowledge.

On the other hand, let's take that proposed pyramidal math tossup. I don't think that it introduces new or interesting clues to the canon (since it just states a simple math problem). Additionally, although some people are very adept at such problems, I would contend that for the majority of players, connecting authors to one country is much simpler than performing the mental calculations to solve that problem. Therefore, I don't think that those sorts of tossups overcome the problem of acquiring players to apply knowledge, while the Chile tossup does. However, pyramidal math tossups about the number four or the cosine function which consist of a series of uniquely identifying, interesting clues about those answers would be acceptable.

Jonathan Magin

Montgomery Blair HS '04, University of Maryland '08

Editor: ACF

"noted difficulty controller"

Montgomery Blair HS '04, University of Maryland '08

Editor: ACF

"noted difficulty controller"

- First Chairman
- Auron
**Posts:**3875**Joined:**Sat Apr 19, 2003 8:21 pm**Location:**Fairfax VA-
**Contact:**

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

This statement really puts everything into light. You cannot expand the canon of calculation math very easily at all, compared to most pyramidal fact-based questions. Sure you can switch up numbers in a math calc problem, but you still test the same concept... not a new way to do the calculation per se. We ask questionsmagin wrote:On the other hand, let's take that proposed pyramidal math tossup.I don't think that it introduces new or interesting clues to the canon (since it just states a simple math problem)....

*about*the Chain Rule, not necessarily the multiple different ways to apply it ... but if you did, you'd still be rewarding points on the Chain Rule without necessarily expanding the knowledge base about it if all you did was calculate.

Now whether we should expand the canon by asking more

*history of*math or science, you start to cross the line many people here don't like: biographical questions on mathematicians and scientists, which borders on biscuitry (let's revive these terms again!).

Emil Thomas Chuck, Ph.D.

Founder, PACE

Facebook junkie and unofficial advisor to aspiring health professionals in quiz bowl

---

Pimping Green Tea Ginger Ale (Canada Dry)

Founder, PACE

Facebook junkie and unofficial advisor to aspiring health professionals in quiz bowl

---

Pimping Green Tea Ginger Ale (Canada Dry)

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

You gotta earn your A in biology here in West Virginia.Stat Boy wrote:leftsaidfred wrote:feral pig

University of Kentucky CoP, 2017

International Quiz Bowl Tournaments, co-owner

PACE

former (?) hsqbrank manager, former NAQT writer & subject editor, former hsqb Administrator/Chief Administrator

- Matt Weiner
- Sin
**Posts:**8414**Joined:**Fri Apr 11, 2003 8:34 pm**Location:**Richmond, VA

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

That is sort of the fundamental thing that there is no answer to--where will we get enough math tricks to ask these allegedly pyramidal, allegedly non-robotic questions in a year's worth of tournaments without going to the same 20 topics over and over again?

Matt Weiner

Founder of hsquizbowl.org

Founder of hsquizbowl.org

- Blackboard Monitor Vimes
- Forums Staff: Administrator
**Posts:**2348**Joined:**Sat Aug 18, 2007 5:40 pm**Location:**Richmond, VA

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

What is biscuitry?ILoveReeses wrote:

which borders on biscuitry (let's revive these terms again!).

Maggie L. Walker Governor's School 2010 / UVA 2014 / VCU School of Education 2016

PACE

- AndyShootsAndyScores
- Yuna
**Posts:**806**Joined:**Mon Apr 11, 2005 6:33 pm**Location:**Tuscaloosa, AL-
**Contact:**

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

You obviously are not a fan of MacGyver.asdf wrote:Well you can only do so much with a buzzer, pencil, and paper

Making a trombone isn't one of them

Dissecting isn't one of them

Performing a music video isn't one of them

Andy Knowles

Brindlee Mountain, '08

University of Alabama, '12

Brindlee Mountain, '08

University of Alabama, '12

- the return of AHAN
- Auron
**Posts:**1958**Joined:**Thu Feb 01, 2007 10:40 pm

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Since we're looking for pyramidal math, I'll throw in my 2 cents.... Here are a few middle school pyramidal toss-ups that I created for my most recent tournament:

Middle school Math computation pyramidal toss-up:

Evaluate 11 to the 4th power. This is easy to do if you understand that powers of 11 perfectly mimic Pascal’s Triangle, with 11 to the first power matching the digits of the 2nd line, 11 to the 2nd power matching the digits of the 3rd line, and so on.

Answer: 14,641

Middle school Geometry computational pyramidal toss-up:

What is the area of a right triangle if one leg is 10 inches and the hypotenuse is 26 inches? It may be useful to recall the Pythagorean Theorem to find the length of the other leg. Of course, it’s even faster if you recognize how to use the 5,12,13 triple that applies to this triangle.

Answer: 120 sq. in.

The topics of these are appropriate for middle school, so don't debate the ease of the actual answer space. The question is asked, then tips for getting the computation done are included. I think the 2nd one triggered bad negs on the reading of "26" in better than 50% of the matches. But given that each measurement is clearly labeled as leg and hypotenuse, I don't feel it's a hose.

Middle school Math computation pyramidal toss-up:

Evaluate 11 to the 4th power. This is easy to do if you understand that powers of 11 perfectly mimic Pascal’s Triangle, with 11 to the first power matching the digits of the 2nd line, 11 to the 2nd power matching the digits of the 3rd line, and so on.

Answer: 14,641

Middle school Geometry computational pyramidal toss-up:

What is the area of a right triangle if one leg is 10 inches and the hypotenuse is 26 inches? It may be useful to recall the Pythagorean Theorem to find the length of the other leg. Of course, it’s even faster if you recognize how to use the 5,12,13 triple that applies to this triangle.

Answer: 120 sq. in.

The topics of these are appropriate for middle school, so don't debate the ease of the actual answer space. The question is asked, then tips for getting the computation done are included. I think the 2nd one triggered bad negs on the reading of "26" in better than 50% of the matches. But given that each measurement is clearly labeled as leg and hypotenuse, I don't feel it's a hose.

Jeff Price

Barrington High School Coach

Barrington Station Middle School Coach (2013 MSNCT Champions, 2013 & 2017 Illinois Class AA State Champions)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Barrington High School Coach

Barrington Station Middle School Coach (2013 MSNCT Champions, 2013 & 2017 Illinois Class AA State Champions)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

I don't think our definitions of pyramidal match up.... Just saying.BarringtonJP wrote:

Middle school Math computation pyramidal toss-up:

Evaluate 11 to the 4th power. This is easy to do if you understand that powers of 11 perfectly mimic Pascal’s Triangle, with 11 to the first power matching the digits of the 2nd line, 11 to the 2nd power matching the digits of the 3rd line, and so on.

Answer: 14,641

Middle school Geometry computational pyramidal toss-up:

What is the area of a right triangle if one leg is 10 inches and the hypotenuse is 26 inches? It may be useful to recall the Pythagorean Theorem to find the length of the other leg. Of course, it’s even faster if you recognize how to use the 5,12,13 triple that applies to this triangle.

Answer: 120 sq. in.

Gautam - ACF

Currently tending to the 'quizbowl hobo' persuasion.

Currently tending to the 'quizbowl hobo' persuasion.

- AlphaQuizBowler
- Tidus
**Posts:**695**Joined:**Mon Dec 03, 2007 6:31 pm**Location:**Alpharetta, GA

### Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

If the question is asking:asdf wrote:If someone had memorized binary lists of authors-titles, but didn't know the plots at all or very little

I would also consider that fraudulent knowledge

Blah Blah Characters Blah Blah Plot Blah Blah FTP, name the author of [insert book here],

then when the player who memorized the list buzzes in after the title is read, wouldn't he be demonstrating

*real*knowledge of the author's works? Knowing author-book pairs is not something I consider fraudulent knowledge; I think it's to be a good starting point for a lit player.

William

Alpharetta High School '11

Harvard '15

Alpharetta High School '11

Harvard '15