Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

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Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by NRacademicteam » Sun Nov 16, 2008 1:22 am

What is the deal with no computational math questions? No offense, but tournaments do not end up showing the true power of well-rounded teams without its fair share of math/sports/culture questions. New Rochelle is very trained (for lack of better word) in all three of these categories, but were unable to shine as they should. Only one or two players were really able to answer these questions, and I feel it would've been best if we were informed of the lack of computational math/sports questions being used before the tournament began. Again, no offense, just constructive criticism for the next tournament.
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament III (11/15/08) -- Cambridge, MA

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Sun Nov 16, 2008 1:26 am

A lack of math computation is standard fare for many high quality quizbowl tournaments in the modern day. The reason it is not there is because it is really impossible to write pyramidal comp.
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament III (11/15/08) -- Cambridge, MA

Post by ihavenoidea » Sun Nov 16, 2008 1:36 am

Andrew said on the initial post wrote: Questions

As in previous years, the questions will be house-written. They are longer than the typical NAQT or state-format tossup, and they are weighted towards academics.

To get a sample round from last fall's tournament, visit our website.
I feel Andrew gave you plenty of warning toward the absence of "math/sports/culture" questions. Certainly the sample round contained no math computation, and little pop culture and sports.
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament III (11/15/08) -- Cambridge, MA

Post by Matt Weiner » Sun Nov 16, 2008 3:00 am

NRacademicteam wrote:What is the deal with no computational math questions?
It's called "good quizbowl."
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament III (11/15/08) -- Cambridge, MA

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun Nov 16, 2008 3:25 am

Matt Weiner wrote:
NRacademicteam wrote:What is the deal with no computational math questions?
It's called "good quizbowl."
Ah, but I did not call it the "Harvard Fall Quizbowl Tournament." He expected chessboxing.

I don't mean to ridicule, Ian. I thought I made the fact that HFT adheres to standards of good quizbowl clear through the sample round; if you came in expecting NAQT or Chip, you would be confused or disappointed. I'll make it clearer next year. For the record:

HFT contained math computation in its first iteration for reasons of which I am not aware, but it did not last year and it never will again. As with a typical mACF distribution, trash/CE is 1/1 per round, and it will never be any higher than that. If the sports and multiplication make that much of a difference to you, then play another tournament--but as I recall you posted suggesting that you were looking for more competition than Chip could provide, and our adherence to academic standards resulted in that.
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament III (11/15/08) -- Cambridge, MA

Post by Kyle » Sun Nov 16, 2008 9:07 am

The distribution was the same as last year with two exceptions: replacing trash bonuses with current events bonuses and making science 4/5 or 5/4 instead of 5/5. The extra science question became fine arts, R/M/P, literature, or history. The distribution was not substantially different from that of the sample packet.

Distribution:
4/5 or 5/4 Science (including math)
4/4 History
4/4 Literature
2/2 Fine Arts
2/2 R/M/P
1/1 Geography
1/1 Social Science
1/0 Pop culture/sports
0/1 Current Events
1/0 or 0/1 Miscellaneous
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament III (11/15/08) -- Cambridge, MA

Post by NRacademicteam » Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:19 am

Unfortunately, eliminating math and that kind of stuff does not make for a more academically challenging tournament. I apologize for assuming that you had not informed us, because apparently you actually had, but that does not mean I agree that adding math makes it not "good quizbowl." Yes, there was much better competition than Chip or even most NAQTs could ever offer, but it in no way proves which team is the best in all-around. I don't see how memorizing symphonies is better than memorizing modern music or how math "history" is any better than knowing math. I wasn't talking about multiplication. I meant that there should be calculus, and even differential equation, problems in this tournament, as they take a great deal of skill to do as well, and are a small price to pay for the tournament to test all-around knowledge. I regret not looking at the sample packet, as we would've brought our teammates who are good at the actual questions and not math or science (and the science was very hard by the way; good job with that), but I don't feel that would've proven which academic team is the best; it would've proven who was more "culturally sophisticated."
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament III (11/15/08) -- Cambridge, MA

Post by Siverus Snape » Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:59 am

As an Illinoisan and a former supporter of computational math in quiz bowl, I'd like to chime in.

If you're interested in learning more about why the vast majority of elite teams and tournaments (except NAQT, which has a number of other flaws not to be mentioned here) in the country do not use computational math, you may find an extremely cogent explanation here: http://hsapq.com/policy.html

The short reason that I would give you: quiz bowl is not meant to recreate the classroom experience in its entirety. There are obvious elements of individual academic strength--lab skills, artistic performance, writing ability--that simply cannot be evaluated in the same activity, and really shouldn't. Consequently, nobody claims that the winner of a quiz bowl match is necessarily the team with the best academic, intellectual, or scholarly qualities. If you're looking for an activity that does incorporate every part of a strong education, I don't think you'll ever be satisfied.

Have you considered the bias of your perspective? You assert that mathematical calculation is important enough and worthy of inclusion in quiz bowl. Is math necessarily important than literary analysis? If not, then why not include critical application questions similar to those for math, such as reading a stanza of poetry and asking players to identify two interacting metaphors?

People dislike computational math in quiz bowl not because they dislike computational math; it simply doesn't fit in with the flow of a round and the constraints of the format.
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament III (11/15/08) -- Cambridge, MA

Post by Sacapuntas » Sun Nov 16, 2008 12:03 pm

Not to interrupt the discussion, but I want to thank everyone from Harvard for making the tournament happen. It was a great experience for our team, especially with the higher-difficulty questions then we are used to. The lack of math/trash did knock out one of our best players, but I'm not going to complain about it. We had a great time, and (hopefully) we'll be back next year.

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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament III (11/15/08) -- Cambridge, MA

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun Nov 16, 2008 12:06 pm

NRacademicteam wrote:Yes, there was much better competition than Chip or even most NAQTs could ever offer, but it in no way proves which team is the best in all-around.
While an interesting argument, in that case, I will state for now and for forever that I have no interest in discovering which team is the best "all-around" if it would require me to mix quizbowl with other things.

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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament III (11/15/08) -- Cambridge, MA

Post by BGSO » Sun Nov 16, 2008 12:33 pm

Well, I never realized this before, but we consider math to be bad quizbowl b/c it involves doing something, right? Well gym is part of the curriculum that involves doing something, no? By some peoples claim of why math should be in quizbowl, doesn't the same hold true for gym? Should the next tournament Harvard runs involve whoever can do 50 push-ups the fastest?
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament III (11/15/08) -- Cambridge, MA

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun Nov 16, 2008 12:43 pm

BGSO wrote:Well, I never realized this before, but we consider math to be bad quizbowl b/c it involves doing something, right? Well gym is part of the curriculum that involves doing something, no? By some peoples claim of why math should be in quizbowl, doesn't the same hold true for gym? Should the next tournament Harvard runs involve whoever can do 50 push-ups the fastest?
Sure.

All of these arguments have been made before in a thousand computational math threads.
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament III (11/15/08) -- Cambridge, MA

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Sun Nov 16, 2008 12:57 pm

everyday847 wrote:
BGSO wrote:Well, I never realized this before, but we consider math to be bad quizbowl b/c it involves doing something, right? Well gym is part of the curriculum that involves doing something, no? By some peoples claim of why math should be in quizbowl, doesn't the same hold true for gym? Should the next tournament Harvard runs involve whoever can do 50 push-ups the fastest?
Sure.

All of these arguments have been made before in a thousand computational math threads.
This is probably the best one.

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=6059&st=0&sk=t&sd=a ... omputation
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament III (11/15/08) -- Cambridge, MA

Post by Deviant Insider » Sun Nov 16, 2008 1:01 pm

Ian--
If you want to continue this discussion, I suggest starting a new thread with your arguments for math once you have read some of the links that have already been provided. I agree with you, but I may be the only regular on this board who does. If I have time to get organized, I may start a new math thread or two or three in a week, once Scobol Solo is over.
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament III (11/15/08) -- Cambridge, MA

Post by NRacademicteam » Sun Nov 16, 2008 1:07 pm

BGSO-
That's a completely irrational argument, seeing as strength and fitness has to do with your body, not really your mind. Any by the way, I would LOVE to have a benchpressing contest in the next quizbowl tournament..
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament III (11/15/08) -- Cambridge, MA

Post by Mike Bentley » Sun Nov 16, 2008 1:09 pm

NRacademicteam wrote:BGSO-
That's a completely irrational argument, seeing as strength and fitness has to do with your body, not really your mind. Any by the way, I would LOVE to have a benchpressing contest in the next quizbowl tournament..
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament III (11/15/08) -- Cambridge, MA

Post by AlphaQuizBowler » Sun Nov 16, 2008 1:30 pm

BGSO wrote:Well, I never realized this before, but we consider math to be bad quizbowl b/c it involves doing something, right? Well gym is part of the curriculum that involves doing something, no? By some peoples claim of why math should be in quizbowl, doesn't the same hold true for gym? Should the next tournament Harvard runs involve whoever can do 50 push-ups the fastest?
Well at the Georgia mirror, we did play Walton in a football game before our quizbowl match. Final scores: Football-Alpharetta wins 14-0, Quizbowl-Walton wins 230-130. If only there was a 4/4 Football playing distribution we would have had them.
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament III (11/15/08) -- Cambridge, MA

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun Nov 16, 2008 1:39 pm

NRacademicteam wrote:BGSO-
That's a completely irrational argument, seeing as strength and fitness has to do with your body, not really your mind. Any by the way, I would LOVE to have a benchpressing contest in the next quizbowl tournament..
Right, but your memory and your analytical skills may both be controlled by your brain, but the similarity stops there.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by at your pleasure » Sun Nov 16, 2008 2:16 pm

I would like to add that if your team is knoledgable about math, they should probably try to get the math theory questions. Yes, it may not correspond to what you've learned about in math class. but out-of-classroom knowledge is standard fare in all categories.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by pray for elves » Sun Nov 16, 2008 3:36 pm

Actually, the theory is what you should be learning in class. All those problems you do are merely to reinforce the theory.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by leapfrog314 » Sun Nov 16, 2008 3:43 pm

Hilarius Bookbinder wrote:Actually, the theory is what you should be learning in class. All those problems you do are merely to reinforce the theory.
I could not agree more. In my algebra and analysis classes, the most computation I have performed is multiplication and taking a modulus every once in a while.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by at your pleasure » Sun Nov 16, 2008 4:36 pm

Actually, the theory is what you should be learning in class. All those problems you do are merely to reinforce the theory.
Good point, but if someone complains that "nobody learns about these theoretical concepts in their high school classes", it might be useful to note that "learing about it in high school" is not really the preferred standard for askability. That's not to say that tossups on, say, pi, would not be gettable for even an average high schooler.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by Matt Weiner » Sun Nov 16, 2008 4:51 pm

If you're a senior (who populates 90% of roster spots on quizbowl A teams) and you're doing speed multiplication or "one train leaves from Denver" problems in your math class, then there is something wrong with either you or your school.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by Deviant Insider » Sun Nov 16, 2008 5:13 pm

What if your math class is trying to figure out the train's speed relative to Dallas as it passes through Omaha?
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun Nov 16, 2008 6:02 pm

Too trivial. Either you nail it (you need like an angle--and it has to be one where trig functions are trivial--and a distance and a speed and the ability to multiply) or you just don't know how to do it.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by Terrible Shorts Depot » Sun Nov 16, 2008 7:55 pm

The way I see it, you can either use problems with higher barriers to entry (calculus), or problems that will merely test the fastest calculator (Kyle is painting a room...). Neither of these are desirable, because the first option does not allow anyone who hasn't taken the course to answer the question, and the second merely tests a talent, as opposed to actual knowledge. Doing the second would be similar to giving ten points to the team that could play musical instruments better.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by Haaaaaaaarry Whiiiiiiiiiite » Sun Nov 16, 2008 8:52 pm

Also, consider it this way: People use calculators to do math comp. People have to use their brains to figure out the applications of the Quantum Hall Effect. Guess which one is preferred in Quizbowl.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by NRacademicteam » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:39 pm

hwhite wrote:Also, consider it this way: People use calculators to do math comp. People have to use their brains to figure out the applications of the Quantum Hall Effect. Guess which one is preferred in Quizbowl.


No one has to use their brains for this. Knowing the Effect is solely an application of pure memorization. On the other hand, a mathematical problem can be solved multiple ways, and one who knows the quickest way to solve a problem deserves to get the points for a question.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:43 pm

NRacademicteam wrote:
hwhite wrote:Also, consider it this way: People use calculators to do math comp. People have to use their brains to figure out the applications of the Quantum Hall Effect. Guess which one is preferred in Quizbowl.


No one has to use their brains for this. Knowing the Effect is solely an application of pure memorization. On the other hand, a mathematical problem can be solved multiple ways, and one who knows the quickest way to solve a problem deserves to get the points for a question.
Actually, memorizing every permutation of words that could end up as a clue for the quantum Hall effect is maybe the worst way to play quizbowl because you can't do it. Understanding the effect and therefore what a tossup about it should sound like is much better, and that does "use your brain."

But you're not challenging the fact that there is a fundamental difference between the skills necessary for computational math and those necessary for every other quizbowl question? Good, so you see why they don't fit in with the rest of the competition and should be a separate competition.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by Deviant Insider » Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:24 pm

The fact that the skills are different does not necessarily lead to the conclusion that the two types of questions cannot coexist.

Comparisons between computational math and either physical challenges or essays are extremely flawed. Physical challenges are not a part of quizbowl because quizbowl is an academic competition. Essays are not a part of quizbowl because nobody is interested in bringing subjective grading or half hour activities into quizbowl. We all agree that quizbowl should be academic and that quizbowl competitions should involve a lot of questions, so it is very easy to eliminate playing football for reasons that do not eliminate computational math.

Computational math involves combining numbers together, and most quizbowl questions don't, so there clearly is a difference between the two types of questions. Computational math questions that involve multiplying lots of messy numbers together are bad questions, but we all know that there are also plenty of bad noncomputational questions to go around too.

Here are some examples of questions that involve very little actual computation but are still computational math as we define it.

Two integers are chosen at random so that each is greater than or equal to negative one
and less than or equal to positive two. It is possible for them to be equal. Find the
probability that they add up to zero.
ANSWER: 3/16 (accept .1875)

Ignore units. One circle lies inside a larger circle with a radius that is twice as big. Find
the radius of the smaller circle if the area of the space in between them is twelve pi.
ANSWER: 2

Find the 20th term of the sequence that begins 4, 7, 6, 9, 8, 11, 10, 13, 12, 15
ANSWER: 25

Students that have a good fundamental grasp of concepts can get these problems in a few seconds. The computation in the first one consists of counting to three and multiplying four times four. The computation in the second one consists of squaring two, subtracting four minus one, dividing twelve by three, and taking the square root of four. The computation in the third one consists of multiplying two times nine and adding it to seven. Students are much more likely to be slowed down by figuring out how to approach the problems than by those computations.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by vcuEvan » Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:36 pm

I feel stupid for falling into this discussion again. But the difference is that in pyramidal questions there are myriad points to distinguish teams while on the examples you provide there is a single distinction between whether you know the trick or whether you don't. After that, it's robotic number crunching ability. Essentially computation questions are speedchecks with computation speed insteead of buzzer speed.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by grashid » Mon Nov 17, 2008 12:31 am

everyday847 wrote:
NRacademicteam wrote:
hwhite wrote:Also, consider it this way: People use calculators to do math comp. People have to use their brains to figure out the applications of the Quantum Hall Effect. Guess which one is preferred in Quizbowl.


No one has to use their brains for this. Knowing the Effect is solely an application of pure memorization. On the other hand, a mathematical problem can be solved multiple ways, and one who knows the quickest way to solve a problem deserves to get the points for a question.
Actually, memorizing every permutation of words that could end up as a clue for the quantum Hall effect is maybe the worst way to play quizbowl because you can't do it.
I think he means making a list of some of the applications of quantum Hall effect and memorizing it (as opposed to memorizing list of permutations).
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Mon Nov 17, 2008 12:35 am

grashid wrote:I think he means making a list of some of the applications of quantum Hall effect and memorizing it (as opposed to memorizing list of permutations).
In which case he'd be just wrong, because "knowing the effect" (i.e. being able to answer a question on it) requires one to understand it at least to the level where you can understand clues about it that (as is inevitably the case) are not exactly the same as those you memorized. Especially with physics, it's not like you can buzz on "magnetic" and triumphantly should "I've beaten the question! this is the quantum Hall effect;" there are buzzwords on lots of stuff, to be sure, but clues that do require understanding exist and are used.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by Deviant Insider » Mon Nov 17, 2008 9:47 am

Adamantium Claws wrote:I feel stupid for falling into this discussion again. But the difference is that in pyramidal questions there are myriad points to distinguish teams while on the examples you provide there is a single distinction between whether you know the trick or whether you don't. After that, it's robotic number crunching ability. Essentially computation questions are speedchecks with computation speed insteead of buzzer speed.
If that's the biggest problem with computational math, then it can be fixed by having questions such as these.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by vcuEvan » Mon Nov 17, 2008 11:33 am

Shcool wrote:
Adamantium Claws wrote:I feel stupid for falling into this discussion again. But the difference is that in pyramidal questions there are myriad points to distinguish teams while on the examples you provide there is a single distinction between whether you know the trick or whether you don't. After that, it's robotic number crunching ability. Essentially computation questions are speedchecks with computation speed insteead of buzzer speed.
If that's the biggest problem with computational math, then it can be fixed by having questions such as these.
The biggest problem with math questions in quizbowl is that they aren't quizbowl. That was simply the problem with your point.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Mon Nov 17, 2008 11:41 am

Adamantium Claws wrote:The biggest problem with math questions in quizbowl is that they aren't quizbowl. That was simply the problem with your point.
I agree. In order, to include math questions, he's had to loosen an inclusion criterion to "things that are fast (not essay) and objective (not essays)." There are tons of things that are both and still manage not to be quizbowl, so he's going to have to find another way that they are like quizbowl.

Argh, why am I letting this thread not die
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by mithokie » Mon Nov 17, 2008 12:41 pm

While this is not the popular opinion of the majority (or vocal minority/vocal majority???) on the board, I have to agree with David that there is a place for computational math toss-ups in quizbowl. To me it seems like a gaping hole in the distribution when they are completely left out. I also know that when I take my team to an ACF, mACF, or PACE style tournament that we're not going to see them. I know that going in, and I arrange the line-ups of my team to account for that as much as I possibly can. The questions that David linked to are similar to "common link" toss-ups and are definitely pyramidal in nature. I feel that this style of math computation toss-ups do have a place, even in "good quizbowl".

Many have commented that the askable math TU canon is small, and to a point I agree with you. From the questions I have seen, I do not feel like the possible cannon has been completely explored. Just as an example, I rarely (if ever) see questions asked relating to conic sections, and there is a lot of askable material related to conic sections. I also feel that the distribution for math calculation should be kept small, probably no more than 2/1 or 1/2, but I do not think that it should be absent from good quizbowl.

Edit: For stupidity (canon replaces cannon)! Thanks to Douglas for enlarging my cannon
Last edited by mithokie on Mon Nov 17, 2008 5:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by Terrible Shorts Depot » Mon Nov 17, 2008 1:37 pm

One problem that I had with Mr. Reinstein's questions was that they still seemed to reward the quicker calculator over the more knowledgable mathematician. The stronger mathematician could take the first clue and slog through the math required to answer it, while a weaker mathematician could wait a little bit for a much easier clue and do the easier math quicker than the other person could do harder stuff. Don't we always want to reward the most knowledgable?
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by at your pleasure » Mon Nov 17, 2008 4:00 pm

I am going to retiterate my point that if your team is really that mathematically strong, they should probably get the theory tossups.
I also feel that the distribution for math calculation should be kept small, probably no more than 2/1 or 1/2, but I do not think that it should be absent from good quizbowl.
How's this for a compromise? 0/1 calculation and 1/1 or 1/0 reasonable math theory.
To me it seems like a gaping hole in the distribution when they are completely left out.
Why do you find the lack of MATHCOMP a gaping hole in the distribution? It's possible to write about math without resorting to computation.
Many have commented that the askable math TU cannon is small
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by Matt Weiner » Mon Nov 17, 2008 4:10 pm

NRacademicteam wrote:No one has to use their brains for this. Knowing the Effect is solely an application of pure memorization. On the other hand, a mathematical problem can be solved multiple ways, and one who knows the quickest way to solve a problem deserves to get the points for a question.
You seem to dislike quizbowl and prefer math contests. May I suggest this, this, or this as activities more suited to your interests? Your switching to those activities may also suit an interest of mine; specifically, my great disinterest in having people post to the quizbowl board about how quizbowl sucks and should be replaced with math contests.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by cvdwightw » Mon Nov 17, 2008 4:53 pm

hwhite wrote:Quantum Hall Effect
Was this another Andy Watkins Science Surprise?

I have yet to see any argument why "Can you perform computational math?" has a place in quizbowl that I cannot refute with the following line of reasoning:

"Suppose that either I am the only one buzzing on a question, I am the player that wins the buzzer race, or the question is a bonus question directed at my team. If I recall the concept in question incorrectly, I will always get either -5 or 0 points whether or not the question requires an additional computational step. If I recall that concept correctly on a non-terrible quizbowl question, I will always get 10 points, provided that I give a reasonable pronunciation. If I recall it correctly on a computational math question, I am not guaranteed 10 points even if I give a reasonable pronunciation. Since I will always get 10 points on a non-terrible quizbowl question if I recall the concept correctly, it stands to reason that computational math questions are either terrible quizbowl questions or not quizbowl questions."

In quasi-logical notation, let p be the event "I am answering the question, I have recalled the concept in question correctly, and my pronunciation is not terrible" and q be the event "I get 10 points".

For a question to be a non-terrible quizbowl question, the following two conditions must be met:
~p -> ~q (If I am not answering the question, or I have not recalled the concept correctly, or my pronunciation is terrible, then I do not get 10 points)
p -> q

For a computational math question
~p -> ~q
However, p does not necessarily imply q.

Since I have defined a non-terrible quizbowl question as a question for which ~p -> ~q and its inverse hold, and its inverse does not hold for computational math, then computational math cannot be a non-terrible quizbowl question.

If anyone can conclusively demonstrate to me that either (1) given that I have buzzed on a non-terrible question (or it's a bonus question for my team), I have indeed recalled the concept in question correctly, and I am not screwing up the pronunciation, I will not always get 10 points; (2) given that I have buzzed on a computational math question (or it's a bonus question for my team), have indeed recalled the concept in question correctly, and have not screwed up the pronunciation of my answer, I will always get 10 points; or (3) my conclusion does not follow from my premises, then I will reconsider the place of computational math in good quizbowl. Until then, I see no reason why this discussion should continue.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Mon Nov 17, 2008 5:01 pm

cvdwightw wrote:
hwhite wrote:Quantum Hall Effect
Was this another Andy Watkins Science Surprise?
For the record, John wrote Hall effect, I kept it and edited it a little; there was a "lol quantum variety" middle clue. It wasn't converted in the room that I read (I traded with Kyle for a round so that he could proofread the finals packets one last time since I had just written a pair of bonuses), but one kid exclaimed that that was what he was doing last summer and he couldn't pull the name. Interpret that as you will.
Until then, I see no reason why this discussion should continue.
Because people always think they discover solutions that eliminate actual computation from computational math and make them purely conceptual, and therefore good quizbowl, but also somehow distinct from our conceptual math tossups because look it's just 2x2. Futile, wrong arguments will never end until people all agree.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by Matt Weiner » Mon Nov 17, 2008 5:03 pm

Also, for the benefit of anyone who still does not know, pyramidal, concept-based tossups with numbers as the answer or other things that do not, in fact, involve number-crunching have always been perfectly acceptable as math in all levels of good quizbowl and will continue to be so. However, "this is a speed arithmetic question BUT IT'S REALLY EASY ARITHMETIC SO THAT MAKES IT OK" is still calculation and still bad, so you can stop arguing for such questions.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by at your pleasure » Mon Nov 17, 2008 5:12 pm

Can someone kill this thread? I think everyone involved probably has better things to do than rehash the same arguments over computational math for the nth time.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by Matt Weiner » Mon Nov 17, 2008 5:14 pm

Anti-Climacus wrote:Can someone kill this thread? I think everyone involved probably has better things to do than rehash the same arguments over computational math for the nth time.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by cvdwightw » Mon Nov 17, 2008 5:18 pm

Matt Weiner wrote:Listening to teams who play Chip Beall telling me what quizbowl should look like
This. Is the first reality show on Jason Mueller's 24/7 Quizbowl Channel.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by mujason » Mon Nov 17, 2008 5:30 pm

That's an uncalled-for cheap shot, Dwight. I never even played Chip's plagarized blender-sounding crap questions. Heck, I only played CBI (even though I was very good at those buzzer-racing junk questions) because it wasn't out of my pocket and Mizzou trailed our hated arch-rivals kansas jayhawks one-zip in Regional titles until we finally won Regionals in 2007.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by Deviant Insider » Mon Nov 17, 2008 5:31 pm

To reply to Dwight and people who make similar arguments, I agree that computational questions are distinct from other quizbowl questions, and that therefore some rules which apply to other quizbowl questions do not apply to computational questions.

However, well written computational questions test for the understanding of high school mathematics better than noncomputational questions do. Furthermore, they fit in to the flow of a match considerably better than the red herrings they are compared to in threads like these. One of the qualities that makes quizbowl great is the breadth of knowledge it covers, and including computational math broadens that breadth.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by Matt Weiner » Mon Nov 17, 2008 5:37 pm

Shcool wrote:However, well written computational questions test for the understanding of high school mathematics better than noncomputational questions do. Furthermore, they fit in to the flow of a match considerably better than the red herrings they are compared to in threads like these. One of the qualities that makes quizbowl great is the breadth of knowledge it covers, and including computational math broadens that breadth.
No, they're not red herrings. They are what the computation questions actually look like in everything from Chip sets to IHSA to NAQT HSNCT. Your own made-up examples are the fake ones, because they not only are they not what the real questions look like, they are also so nongeneralizable to different types of math that they are impossible to implement (even if they were good ideas) in sets that require anywhere from 30 to 100 math calculation questions.

Furthermore, "breadth of knowledge" just as easily includes the math theory questions that most high school sets exclude in favor of calculation, as it does exclude calculation in good sets. In fact, it better applies to what is excluded from IHSA sets, because math theory can be asked about almost any topic in the vast world of mathematics, whereas the canon of things that you can expect high school quizbowl players to calculate in 10 seconds has about thirty items in it. This is not even getting into the entirely valid "if 'breadth of knowledge' is worth writing non-quizbowl questions for, why not have physical challenges and driver's ed" argument.

What makes quizbowl great is encouraging people to learn new things about the liberal arts canon that our schools, at all levels, are failing to teach people. Replacing any portion of quizbowl with a fourteenth competitive opportunity for people with the innate ability to do multiplication fast, on top of all the redundant competitions for that which already exist, would serve no purpose, encourage more insularity, and work against the spread of a "breadth of knowledge."
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by cvdwightw » Mon Nov 17, 2008 5:50 pm

mujason wrote:That's an uncalled-for cheap shot, Dwight.
I was not referring to any real or perceived patronization of terrible questions; rather, to your onetime desire for a 24/7 quizbowl channel complete with scouting reports. Watching Chip partisans yell at Matt Weiner that Matt doesn't know what good quizbowl is like would clearly be the #1 rated show on this hypothetical network. Season 2 would see Jerry go ballistic on Chip partisans and, due to the promise of gratuitous violence, receive even higher ratings.
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