Arsonists Get All the Girls wrote:About as much as you do in, say, physics, but I don't see you running around asking for exclusively computational physics.

But... we're not discussing physics are we? If you have have a physics question on a topic that isn't a falling ball that takes very little time to calculate without tedious work, then I don't see why you shouldn't have it.

Hey, let me declare that we're not discussing math anymore. Problem solved.

1) Math theory does test knowing it.

2) It seems to me that what you mean by "applying" is essentially "plug-and-chug", which anyone playing Quizbowl can do.

Knowing what a mathematical concept is and actually using it is completely different. Knowing what integration by parts and actually doing it are completely different things. How many people know what trigonometric functions and integrals are? How many people can find the integral by trig substitution? It might be plug and chug for people who know what it is; but for those who don't, it's a concept that needs to be learned.

[/quote]

So what you're saying is that for the people who know about the theory, it's simple plug and chug, while for those who don't know about it, they won't get it? Then why not ask about the theory in the first place?

I probably didn't make it clear. I meant to say that overwhelmingly, whenever math is being tested competitively, questions require calculations. The same problems shouldn't be used for quizbowl, but the idea that computation is a necessary part in math should still be in both competitions.

Except that this is not a math competition. Those competitions are designed to test applications, while Quizbowl is designed to test about knowledge. This is why only

uses questions that begin with "why".

Knowing how to calculate something quickly is something that is not expected except when trying to impress people at a party. Everyone uses calculators nowadays.

*I'm not advocating doing dumb work like fast multiplication and division.* I want simple problems that test a subject ensuring that people who know how to use a theorem or formula will be distinguished from those who don't.

Which is why we have math theory questions. All calculation does is devolve it into "dumb work".

On a somewhat unrelated note, people need to stop using the calculator argument. There's a reason why people spent so much time learning addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division tables. You're not always going to have calculator with you, and society will never evolve out of the need for the knowledge of how to do those operations.

Everyone knows what 7*8 is. No one ever learned the times tables form 13*13 to 100*100. Either you will make arithmetic trivial, tedious, or relying on a simple parlor trick. And knowledge of how to do math is math theory.

You want applied math? Pick up a physics textbook.

I'm not talking about applied math. I'm talking about applying a theorem. It's completely and utterly different.

Look at what I've said earlier, then.

And math is special because?

1) You can actually write a question for math computation

Just because I can write a question doesn't mean I should.

2) Math computation and math theory are learned hand in hand. If you read a book, you don't automatically go to write an essay on the use of spirals as an image system; but in math, once you learn something, you proceed almost immediately to use it in calculation.

Not necessarily. If one learns about something in history class, one usually has to analyze it at some point, be it in an essay or a test or whatnot. Same thing with math: One does not have to perform computations with it immediately after learning about it, but instead one does a couple of applications as homework or as a test problem.

Also, while I'm on the subject, you aren't really doing a good job testing how well you can apply the concept. I can probably count on one hand the number of problems that I was able to solve confidently within one minute. And I consider myself good at math.

I know perfectly well how to compute the maxima of a function, but in the quick-paced nature of Quizbowl, it becomes very easy for someone thinking quickly to make a mistake. I cannot count how many times I've dropped a 2 somewhere.

I'm not advocating computations that should take more than five seconds to finish. The problem should not include large numbers or excessive computation.

And then would be answerable by basically everyone who knows about the theory.

It's not the math problems fault if you drop a 2. It's your own. It's also not the question's problem if someone forgets to add the middle name Quincy to his answer. It's his own.

So despite the fact that I know how to do the problem, I should get penalised by it because I'm trying to get it done within five seconds? I'd hate to have you as a math teacher -- you seem to have no idea of partial credit.

Also, your analogy sucks. I have never seen anyone forget to put in a Quincy or anything of the sort.

I'm not a good question writer, and that problem is pretty flawed I guess. I'm just trying to say that I would like the bonuses to be in the form 1) easy theory 2) harder theory that is still knowable by 50% of people 3) use the harder theory to solve this problem quickly. For example, I'm pretty sure most people who have taken calculus know how to calculate the volume of a shape by using washers but not a lot would really remember the exact formula.

EDIT: Accidentally put italics instead of quotes.

And how would you be able to test that without being completely vague, giving away the answer, or making it such that the only people who get the second part are the ones who would get the third part?