Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by Stained Diviner »

Matt Weiner wrote:
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."
My own made-up examples were taken from last year's Scobol Solo. I wrote 20 Pyramidal Math Tossups for this year's Solo, so these are real questions used in a real tournament. The argument that most computational math questions used today are bad is not a good argument for eliminating computational math, since such an argument ten years ago could have led to the end of all of quizbowl. If we counted every tournament in the country, the same argument probably could be used to call for the end of quizbowl still today.

I think that math computation questions generally encourage students to learn math, and good computation questions generally encourage students to learn good math. Students may learn Algebra and Geometry in the first half of their high school career or earlier, but they generally don't master those subjects, just like they finish studying US History during junior year but haven't mastered it.

I agree that noncomputational math has its place, and next week I hope to start a thread showing that the noncomputational math canon is large enough to play a significant role in high school quizbowl (as it already does to some extent), but I also think that, if good computational math questions can be written, then they should be used even though there is a real difference between computational math and other quizbowl questions. I believe that computational math questions differentiate understanding and encourage learning.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by Matt Weiner »

Shcool wrote:if good computational math questions can be written
Hey, I found your flawed premise. You can thank me later.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

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

This is one of your examples. It's not pyramidal at all. I can't buzz after the first "clue"--really a partial statement of the problem--because I don't know the question. You could be asking for the area in between, the ratio of the area in between to the area inside, or more or less anything else. After "find the radius of the smaller circle" I write down equations and start to compute, then I finish, then I buzz. This is not pyramidality. This is sorting based on computation speed.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by at your pleasure »

The argument that most computational math questions used today are bad is not a good argument for eliminating computational math, since such an argument ten years ago could have led to the end of all of quizbowl. If we counted every tournament in the country, the same argument probably could be used to call for the end of quizbowl still today.
How so? Quizbowl is hardly dependent on compuational math.
Seriously, what is it about computational math that makes people so protective?
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by Matt Weiner »

Anti-Climacus wrote:Seriously, what is it about computational math that makes people so protective?
It is a complete coincidence that 100% of the people arguing for computational math are players who are good at computational math or representatives of state associations which foist computational math on their teams. Meanwhile, the numerous people who hold BAs or PhDs in mathematics and are arguing against computational math are clearly doing so because they "hate math" or are "bad at" math, and not because they are mathematicians who understand good quizbowl.

The above is what computational math proponents actually believe!
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

Shcool wrote:The argument that most computational math questions used today are bad is not a good argument for eliminating computational math, since such an argument ten years ago could have led to the end of all of quizbowl. If we counted every tournament in the country, the same argument probably could be used to call for the end of quizbowl still today.
Okay, then a different argument. Computational math tossups are a non-unique solution to the problem of testing math ability. They are a demonstrably inferior one in both breadth of coverage and in philosophical continuity with the rest of the canon (i.e. it's useless to go crazy trying to write them pyramidally because that cannot be done unless you use a different definition of pyramidality). Unless you can prove that there is a part of the math canon that cannot be tested conceptually OR that computational math tests it 'better' AND that that part of the math canon is worth testing, I don't see why we even have to consider other issues.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

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Matt Weiner wrote:The above is what computational math proponents actually believe!
This makes me recall the South Park on Scientology.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by Stained Diviner »

Matt Weiner wrote:
Anti-Climacus wrote:Seriously, what is it about computational math that makes people so protective?
It is a complete coincidence that 100% of the people arguing for computational math are players who are good at computational math or representatives of state associations which foist computational math on their teams. Meanwhile, the numerous people who hold BAs or PhDs in mathematics and are arguing against computational math are clearly doing so because they "hate math" or are "bad at" math, and not because they are mathematicians who understand good quizbowl.

The above is what computational math proponents actually believe!
That's not what I believe. I don't think you hate math or are bad at math.

Also, I don't see what the point is in calling us protective. If anybody tries to eliminate any academic part of the quizbowl canon, lots of people will get protective and, probably, rightly so.

Andrew--
I provided a link in a later post showing pyramidal math. You are correct that that question is not pyramidal in the sense of giving easier clues as it goes, but I still believe that a student with a deep understanding of basic algebra and geometry will get it faster than a student without a deep understanding, even if the latter student is better at multiplication. If you want to see pyramidal computational math, look here.
Unless you can prove that there is a part of the math canon that cannot be tested conceptually OR that computational math tests it 'better' AND that that part of the math canon is worth testing, I don't see why we even have to consider other issues.
This argument will take me more time than I have right now. I'll be back tonight, or at least tomorrow morning. For right now, I'll state that the nonpyramidal geometry tossup quoted above tests a student's understanding of area better than a tossup whose answer is 'Area', and that Area is an important concept.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by Matt Weiner »

I'm not a math major, though I was on a Mathcounts team a long time ago, believe it or not. People such as Matt Chadbourne, Evan Nagler, and Dr. Barnes are among those I had in mind who are academic mathematicians and have argued against math calculation tossups.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by NRacademicteam »

What none of you realize is the actuality that math questions, despite not being able to be answered before the end of the question, are in fact pyramidal. If you have to think about how to do the problem, even for a full second, before you can start computing, then it is conceptual. The fact is that one must know what to do, as they are not told how to do every problem.
And in rebutle to the statements concerning my previous comment about memorization, math brings in a whole new element, not memorization. Conceptual math questions, computational of course, make one actually have to think, as opposed to being able to just spit out facts. Surely, too much computation can ruin a question, but some questions, such as ones on sequences, should certainly be involved in tournaments. Otherwise, it is just a competition of who memorized the most.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by Blackboard Monitor Vimes »

Matt Weiner wrote:I'm not a math major, though I was on a Mathcounts team a long time ago, believe it or not. People such as Matt Chadbourne, Evan Nagler, and Dr. Barnes are among those I had in mind who are academic mathematicians and have argued against math calculation tossups.
Palmer Mebane is the one who insisted on the removal of math calc from GSAC, to add to that list. He was arguably the fastest math player I've ever seen, and even he recognized that it was fundamentally different from the rest of quizbowl.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by pray for elves »

NRacademicteam wrote:What none of you realize is the actuality that math questions, despite not being able to be answered before the end of the question, are in fact pyramidal.
NRacademicteam wrote:pyramidal
I do not think that word means what you think it means.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by AlphaQuizBowler »

NRacademicteam wrote:Otherwise, it is just a competition of who memorized the most.
And we wouldn't want that now, would we?
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by Whiter Hydra »

I would be fine with Math Calc if there was a way to do it 1) pyramidally, 2) avoiding lots of arithmetic, and 3) has a sufficiently sized answer space.

Actually, part 2 brings up another qualm about Math Calc. It is very easy for a person to, say, add 2 and 3 and get 6, or to divide 10 by 2 and get 10. It happens all the time with me while playing on NAQT sets. I still know full well how to do the problem, but because of a simple arithmetic mistake, I get a neg five.
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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.
No, that was actually something I made up at random. I didn't hear any of the hard packets.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by Ike »

If you have to think about how to do the problem, even for a full second, before you can start computing, then it is conceptual.
No, that's false. Because 1.) I don't have to think about the problem, I just listen to a first few words and match up what technique I want to use - which has nothing to do with concepts, and 2.) its not conceptual, if I have to think about what formula to use then its just brute memorization and not conceptual.
The fact is that one must know what to do, as they are not told how to do every problem.
That can be said for any activity quizbowl or not quizbowl, so what?
make one actually have to think
A tossup on Blindness from the Minnesota Open set that I played requires some memorized knowledge to answer, but have you ever looked up what Blindness is about after you don't get the question? Does it entice you to learn what Jose Saramago has to say about society? I know it certainly did for me, as I ordered Blindness shortly after the tournament, and have started to read it and find myself mentally stimulated. Have you ever desired to learn about Henry James or read Thomas Hardy after hearing a tossup on them? What about learning about x-ray crystallography, or Operation Hummingbird? If you are answering no, then why are you forcing it upon the quizbowl community to have us learn your so called math concepts? The actual fact is, your so called new element are integrated into quizbowl already, you just have to put some extra work in.
What none of you realize
Otherwise, it is just a competition of who memorized the most.
Hey, looks like you're overgeneralizing a lot of things. Your first point is that there's already tons of threads about this topic, and a lot of people, from what I sense, aren't very happy to have to rehash arguments when you could easily just look into multiple threads on math discourse. Secondly, your definition of quizbowl to me is offensive, because you make it sound so trivial, when, albeit, your definition, (maybe one way to look at it,) when in actuality there's much more to it, if you put the time into it, and actually learn, as I suggested afterwards, with stuff on Saramago or Hummingbird, then you will get much greater rewards.

If you really are abhorred against memorization, then I think Matt Weiner's advice to go to those websites and find an interest that suits you is correct.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by vcuEvan »

NRacademicteam wrote:Otherwise, it is just a competition of who memorized the most.
Hey Ian, meet quizbowl. Clearly there are quite a few competitions that involve no memorization and only sweet "pyramidal" computation. Do those.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by cvdwightw »

Almost everything I wanted to say has already been said by other people, so this is a shorter post than it would normally be. Put succinctly, your ideas about computational math offend my sense of quizbowl aesthetics.

However, this:
NRacademicteam wrote:If you have to think about how to do the problem, even for a full second, before you can start computing, then it is conceptual. The fact is that one must know what to do, as they are not told how to do every problem.
is patently untrue at all levels. First of all, I do not think "conceptual" means what you think it means, considering that 99% of all computational math questions require me to recognize a formula and then plug-and-chug, whether they are single three-line questions or Reinstein-like series of three one-line mini-questions, and in no way test whether I understand the concept (HAY GUYZ I MEMORIZED THE AREA OF A TRAPEZOID FORMULA I CAN HAS TEN POINTS?). Secondly, have you ever played NAQT? Looked at an NAQT packet? Let me write an oversimplified NAQT computation tossup right now: "John has two blocks. Sally has two more blocks than John does. The number of blocks Sally has can be computed by adding two and two. For 10 points--how many blocks does Sally have?"

If you had bothered to read the other threads, you'd find that I'm in favor of computational math - as the occasional bonus. I still stand by my argument that computational math is not quizbowl, or is at best terrible quizbowl, but I also feel that "Can you do this math?" is important and academic and I am willing to sacrifice 30 points/game (for a single computational bonus) for this poorly shoehorned subject because it is important and academic. I do not feel that "Can you do this math faster than other people?" is at all important or academic. So, then, I pose a second challenge to all you computational math zealots: given that I accept the premise that "Can you do this math?" is academic, prove to me that "Can you do this math faster than other people?" deserves the title of academic, rather than trivia.

Full disclosure: Many years ago, though fewer years ago than Matt, I was on a MathCounts team. I do not have a B.A. or Ph.D. in Math, but I did minor in math, so I guess that makes me only a quasi-academic mathematician.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by Terrible Shorts Depot »

Unless you are playing ISHA format with 4/4 compmath per round, then your time would be best spent learning about literature, science, history, fine arts, social science, and RMP. Is that good enough justification? I'd be more than willing to let you have the 2/2ish that shows up in a NAQT round in exchange for getting a large majority of the questions on literature and history. Winning is better than getting a few math questions per round, right?

Also, Gauss, Euler, Descartes, Fermat, Euclid, Pythagoras, Pascal, a whole ton of others who I can't think of right now, and their discoveries are a whole lot cooler than card probabilities.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by Matt Weiner »

NRacademicteam wrote:What none of you realize is the actuality that math questions, despite not being able to be answered before the end of the question, are in fact pyramidal.
This is an inane statement. Also, stop playing Chip Beall questions so you can start to learn what good quizbowl is.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by NRacademicteam »

I really dislike how you all look upon quizbowl as if it is inherently better than every other competition, just because you guys love it. This was the first real PACE tournament we've ever played (We played at Cornell a couple weeks ago, and finished in second, sans our best player) and had a great time. I don't know where this definition of quizbowl comes in, when you all say that "this is not quizbowl." If someone could please get me a definition of what IS quizbowl, that would be appreciated.

Also, Chip Beall may plagiarize, and steal from other people, but at least he tests the well-roundedness of a team. A lot of your teams could enter into his competitions, and fail miserably, as everyone member of your team knows the same thing. I'm not trying to be offensive towards everyone who doesn't like math, but I don't feel that just because it's "different" than all the other questions asked in these tournaments (which do require pure memorization, by the way), that it should be excluded. Essay-writing is obviously too time-consuming, and there is no blatant solution for that, but math questions are not, and I don't feel that recognizing a symphony or identifying a book is any more academically recognizable than being able to solve a definite integral problem faster than those whom you are competing against.

I apologize to those whom I have offended, and I apologize for assuming that quizbowl was just a type of activity, as I now realize that all of you who enjoy this competition for it's academia wholeheartedly frown upon whatever cannot be solely memorized, and do not embrace any other way in which to prove scholarly achievement.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by AlphaQuizBowler »

NRacademicteam wrote:(which do require pure memorization, by the way)
I'm not sure what you mean by your disparagement of memorizing. Of course the competition tests things that people know without outside sources. While knowledge may be picked up by other ways than active memorizing, it does have to be memorized to be used in quizbowl, and nobody disagrees with that.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by Blackboard Monitor Vimes »

I frequently try to stay out of these math threads, but I feel like you're missing the point, Ian. Many of us here enjoy quizbowl not just to regurgitate knowledge but as a chance to learn something new. Someone above mentioned hearing about a book and deciding to go off and read it. Maybe you hear a clue about something, find it interesting, and decide to go learn more about it. Math calculation does not provide such opportunities, while math theory/history does. There was a toss-up on polynomials at HFT. I'm willing to bet that it is possible to learn much more based on hearing some of the clues in there than it is to multiply two binomials together or anything like that.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed »

NRacademicteam wrote:I really dislike how you all look upon quizbowl as if it is inherently better than every other competition, just because you guys love it.
Nobody's doing this. They're just saying that different types of competitions should be kept separate from each other.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by Sir Thopas »

NRacademicteam wrote:Also, Chip Beall may plagiarize, and steal from other people, but at least he tests the well-roundedness of a team. A lot of your teams could enter into his competitions, and fail miserably, as everyone member of your team knows the same thing.
Man, I'm so glad now I know that being able to identify a blender from its sounds makes me more well-rounded than reading Amos Tutuola while listening to Einstein on the Beach.

Really, you think the good teams are where each player sticks to their guns of 19th century Kazakh law? This is preposterous. Stop assuming all of us sit around all day reading out of the almanac and that we don't have an extremely well-rounded knowledge base and skill set. I'm excellent at computational math, but I know that getting tossups on integration is a much better test of my overall mathematical ability than chugging out an integral. Furthermore, all the teams that excel consistently (1) have a very rounded team, with different players specializing in different topics, and (2) have knowledge that derives from legitimate sources. If I write a master's thesis on the Hall effect, or have worked with it in a laboratory environment, I get rewarded for that in quizbowl. Similarly, hearing about how awesome the Hall effect is could inspire me to explore it hands-on.

I'm sorry that your team seems to think that you can get really good and have fun by memorizing lists. Most of us don't do that.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by pray for elves »

I played Chip questions in high school, and it is patently ridiculous to suggest that a top team from the PACE NSC or NAQT HSNCT would do poorly on his questions. They might lose a game due to Chip being Chip (as my team did at NAC in 2004, losing to a Westchester team in a round with several New-York-City-related questions), but on the whole they would be highly successful, although they might hate themselves for it.

Also, I don't think you understand what PACE is. PACE had no involvement in the writing or running of this tournament; we run just a single tournament each year, the NSC. This tournament was entirely written and run by Harvard, who requested to make their tournament a qualifier for the NSC.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by Self-incompatibility in plants »

Ian, your comments might not appear as inflammatory if not for defense of Chip Beall, and your making of statements about quiz bowl and its players that are simply ridiculous. When you defend Chip, which is unquestionably horrible, and the epitome of bad quiz bowl (if you can even call it quiz bowl), you utterly annihilate any credibility you could of otherwise had, and make any argument you are making seem... well just wrong, just like your defense of Chip. I personally agree with you that math should be in quiz bowl (sorry Matt), because after all, a team that can answer math questions is a more well balanced team and can show knowledge in a wider range of academic knowledge, but honestly, after you defense of Chip Beall, I was debating whether or not I should bother to take your side. Your ideas on math are legitimate, but the other comments you have made show an innate misunderstanding about what quiz bowl and its players are, which make any other argument you try appear less legitimate, and make nearly impossible to get people in quiz bowl to agree with because, in agreeing with the argument, they are therefore agreeing with a person who simply does not get quiz bowl. So Ian, please stick to talking about math in this thread, you might find that you experience more success that way.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by at your pleasure »

HFT is not PACE format. Also, nobody becomes a top player by memorizing lists-people become top players by learing as much as they can about different subjects. Moreover, good questions can introduce people to books, artworks, historical epoches, et cetera that they had not yet learned about.
member of your team knows the same thing
That's a recipe for disaster in any format. Most good teams that are not one-man superpowers have each player focusing on specific areas that he or she is strong in. Put another way, a team of four strong lit players will lose to a team of one strong lit player, one strong scince player, and one strong history player.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by NRacademicteam »

Man, I'm so glad now I know that being able to identify a blender from its sounds makes me more well-rounded than reading Amos Tutuola while listening to Einstein on the Beach.

I'm sorry that your team seems to think that you can get really good and have fun by memorizing lists. Most of us don't do that.[/quote]

First of all, who said anything about a blender?? Secondly, I don't speak on behalf of my team. I don't know where that came from, but I am speaking solely on my own behalf, Guy. I know you and I know you know Rebecca loves all of that stuff, but I, myself, don't agree that quizbowl should be all literature/history/culture. Given that this all meshes together and seems to be the same to me, I think that all of the participants are missing out on a whole side of academia, and should be exposed to competition in mathematics.
In addition to math, I am curious about pop culture. Why are operas more sophisticated than modern pop music? Why should we know Beethoven's 9th symphony and not Lupe Fiasco's single "Hip-hop has saved my life?" Explain to me, someone please, why we ignore these categories?

IMapc-
I don't understand why defense of Chip Beall is so horrible, but I digress. I admitted I do not understand the full concept of this quizbowl, and why it should be any different. So if you could take the liberty to explain it to me, I would appreciate it.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by NRacademicteam »

sorry for not refering to you by name by the way, Trey. Your name did nor originally show up under your post, and I was thus forced to refer to you as IMapc
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by pray for elves »

NRacademicteam wrote:First of all, who said anything about a blender??
I suggest you consult the QBwiki.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by NRacademicteam »

That's actually kind of humorous, but I still don't think you can judge a whole style from one question, or even one thousand questions. It's a good tournament set-up; it provides variety and more ways of getting points.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by The Atom Strikes! »

NRacademicteam wrote:That's actually kind of humorous, but I still don't think you can judge a whole style from one question, or even one thousand questions. It's a good tournament set-up; it provides variety and more ways of getting points.
So you really believe that a tournament that asks lots of one-line tossups and has category rounds on rhyming words really tests knowledge better than 20/20 pyramidal academic competition? You sicken me.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by Aziridine »

bah what's wrong with you guys

obviously quizbowl is more humanities/classical inclined, it's for people who are still living in the past (which PC people call "examining our history as a people"), and otherwise there would be no use for science bowl. A few byram hills noobs once beat me on some of a tournament's "hardest" science questions because chip's idea of a hard science question is "this quantity is equal to 1/2 mv^2" or "what's another name for what you swallow your food with"

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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by NRacademicteam »

A.B.C.D E.F. Godthaab wrote:So you really believe that a tournament that asks lots of one-line tossups and has category rounds on rhyming words really tests knowledge better than 20/20 pyramidal academic competition? You sicken me.
Alright that's a little ridiculous. I don't think that comment was called for at all, because I prefer to enjoy my competitions and have a good laugh once in a while. It's an activity I do, not a lifestyle
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by dtaylor4 »

NRacademicteam wrote:
A.B.C.D E.F. Godthaab wrote:So you really believe that a tournament that asks lots of one-line tossups and has category rounds on rhyming words really tests knowledge better than 20/20 pyramidal academic competition? You sicken me.
Alright that's a little ridiculous. I don't think that comment was called for at all, because I prefer to enjoy my competitions and have a good laugh once in a while. It's an activity I do, not a lifestyle
1) Don't generalize/launch veiled attacks at at the people who are trying to show you that you are wrong.
2) Comp math should not be in good quizbowl. I will let the reasoning of others (Matt Weiner et al) speak for itself.

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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by The Atom Strikes! »

NRacademicteam wrote:
A.B.C.D E.F. Godthaab wrote:So you really believe that a tournament that asks lots of one-line tossups and has category rounds on rhyming words really tests knowledge better than 20/20 pyramidal academic competition? You sicken me.
Alright that's a little ridiculous. I don't think that comment was called for at all, because I prefer to enjoy my competitions and have a good laugh once in a while. It's an activity I do, not a lifestyle
I don't have a problem with you enjoying the NAC. I do have a problem with you claiming that it is a serious and superior academic competition.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by cvdwightw »

NRacademicteam wrote: I know you and I know you know Rebecca loves all of that stuff, but I, myself, don't agree that quizbowl should be all literature/history/culture. Given that this all meshes together and seems to be the same to me, I think that all of the participants are missing out on a whole side of academia, and should be exposed to competition in mathematics.
Look, there exist math questions. They're on things like "polynomials" and "triangles" and stuff that might be of interest to the (conservative estimate) 60% of quizbowlers that don't necessarily care about mathematics, whereas I can pretty much guarantee that finding out the chance that Hank draws two blue socks out of a dresser is not going to make anyone want to go learn about probability.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by cvdwightw »

NRacademicteam wrote:In addition to math, I am curious about pop culture. Why are operas more sophisticated than modern pop music? Why should we know Beethoven's 9th symphony and not Lupe Fiasco's single "Hip-hop has saved my life?" Explain to me, someone please, why we ignore these categories?
ITT THE NEW ACADEMIC DISTRIBUTION

4/4 literature: 1/1 Harry Potter, 1/1 Comic Books/Graphic Novels, 1/1 Sci-fi/Fantasy/Horror/Romance, 1/1 Clancy/Grisham/etc.
4/4 history: 1/1 food, 1/1 names, 1/1 Asian History Gleaned from Videogames, 1/1 pre-expansion World Series
4/4 science: 2/2 video games, 1/1 teh internets, 1/1 "technology"
3/3 RMP: 1/1 Scientology, 1/1 Tolkien, 1/1 Philosophy of Random People as Exhibited by Their Blogs (max 1 question in this distribution can be substituted for The Tao of Pooh)
3/3 Fine Arts: 1/1 Movies/Television, 1/1 Popular Music, 1/1 Other (choose from: musicals, paparazzi photos, acrobatic sports plays, fan art, sounds of household appliances, or more movies/tv/music)
1/1 Geography: One question on sports stadia, one question on a fictional locale from movies/tv/video games/popular literature
1/1 Social Science: One question should be on economics as it relates to today's world (e.g. business, the stock market, TV shows about your money). The other can be taken from pop psychology, law (as in, rappers in trouble with the), linguistics (e.g. ebonics, rhyming), etc.
1/1 Computational Math
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by Matt Weiner »

NRacademicteam wrote:That's actually kind of humorous, but I still don't think you can judge a whole style from one question, or even one thousand questions. It's a good tournament set-up; it provides variety and more ways of getting points.
I think that examining a vast number of questions from a tournament is a great way to judge whether the tournament has good questions, actually.

I don't care about whether something uses the four-quarter format vs. the exclusively tossup/bonus format. I care about the quality of the questions within the format that is used, and the Chip questions are about as bad as it gets. His tournament format (six prelim games spread over two days, single-elim playoffs) is also laughably terrible. Chip is both bad quizbowl and an unethical enterprise, and there's no way to disagree with that if you know anything at all about what makes good quizbowl good and bad quizbowl bad.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by Auks Ran Ova »

cvdwightw wrote:1/1 Asian History Gleaned from Videogames
You've done your research!
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by AKKOLADE »

NRacademicteam wrote:In addition to math, I am curious about pop culture. Why are operas more sophisticated than modern pop music? Why should we know Beethoven's 9th symphony and not Lupe Fiasco's single "Hip-hop has saved my life?" Explain to me, someone please, why we ignore these categories?
Because quiz bowl is an academic game. While pop culture is sometimes given a small portion of the distribution, it's not an academic subject and should not be treated as equivalent to fine arts, science, history, literature, etc.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by Terrible Shorts Depot »

cvdwightw wrote:NEW DISTRIBUTION
I heartily endorse this event or product.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by NRacademicteam »

Fred Morlan wrote:
NRacademicteam wrote:In addition to math, I am curious about pop culture. Why are operas more sophisticated than modern pop music? Why should we know Beethoven's 9th symphony and not Lupe Fiasco's single "Hip-hop has saved my life?" Explain to me, someone please, why we ignore these categories?
Because quiz bowl is an academic game. While pop culture is sometimes given a small portion of the distribution, it's not an academic subject and should not be treated as equivalent to fine arts, science, history, literature, etc.

But I don't understand what makes the operas "fine art" and academia and intelligence relating to modern culture unnecessary and frowned upon.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by Matt Weiner »

NRacademicteam wrote:But I don't understand what makes the operas "fine art" and academia and intelligence relating to modern culture unnecessary and frowned upon.
A debate on the validity and content of high/low culture distinctions is probably beyond the scope of this board; for now, can I ask you where you live where you don't have ample opportunities to discuss and demonstrate your knowledge of rap, but are instead bombarded with opportunities to learn about opera?
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

Also, I would just like to point out that in fact, there is a small bit of pop culture in every tournament I think I've ever been to (at the HFT, for example, my understanding is there was about 1 per game). To say that something like Lupe Fiasco has no chance of coming up is kind of crazy and shows some real unfamiliarity with what most good quizbowl looks like.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by NRacademicteam »

Matt Weiner wrote:
NRacademicteam wrote:But I don't understand what makes the operas "fine art" and academia and intelligence relating to modern culture unnecessary and frowned upon.
A debate on the validity and content of high/low culture distinctions is probably beyond the scope of this board; for now, can I ask you where you live where you don't have ample opportunities to discuss and demonstrate your knowledge of rap, but are instead bombarded with opportunities to learn about opera?
Wait what? I don't understand what you are trying to say here.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by Terrible Shorts Depot »

This is simple: Matt doesn't want to bother with having a 300 post argument about high and low culture. Also, the last time I talked about opera with a non quiz bowler was in July. The last time I talked about rap was 5 minutes ago when I compared the relative merits of Black Thought and Chali 2na. Do you understand?
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by NRacademicteam »

kind of. But I don't see what that has to do with the validity of pop culture as an academic subject
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

...It's not an academic subject.
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Re: Yet another math thread (split from HFT)

Post by naturalistic phallacy »

NRacademicteam wrote:What none of you realize is the actuality that math questions, despite not being able to be answered before the end of the question, are in fact pyramidal.
This is possibly the most incorrect thing I have ever seen on this board.
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