comment on my work

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comment on my work

Post by jonah » Sun Apr 10, 2011 3:45 pm

This is my first time writing questions for this level, and I would appreciate copious feedback. Here's what I did for each set.

DIVISION I:
  • Packet 1: tossup on the golden ratio, bonus on continuous statistical distributions
  • Packet 2: tossup on the word "perfect" in math
  • Packet 3: bonus on Chicago sculpture
  • Packet 4: bonus on water phenomena, bonus on Donatello
  • Packet 5: bonus on Bernini
  • Packet 6: bonus on groups, bonus on databases
  • Packet 7: bonus on the letter sigma in math
  • Packet 8: bonus on discrete statistical distributions
  • Packet 10: tossup on Bar at the Folies-Bergere
  • Packet 11: tossup on roots of polynomials, tossup on Fermat's little theorem, bonus on Dijkstra
  • Packet 12: tossup on metric space completeness, tossup on Theodor Herzl, bonus on vocal music terms
  • Packet 13: bonus on rings
  • Packet 14: tossup on the determinant, bonus on types of geometry
  • Packet 15: tossup on Gordimer
  • Packet 16: bonus on In the Penal Colony, bonus on the Apollo Belvedere
  • Packet 17: tossup on arithmetic sequences, tossup on Wedekind, bonus on Crime and Punishment
  • Packet 18: tossup on double reeds, tossup on Jewish weddings, bonus on The Respectful Prostitute
DIVISION II
  • all mathematics editing
  • Packet 1: tossup on the golden ratio
  • Packet 2: tossup on the word "perfect" in math
  • Packet 4: tossup on double reeds, bonus on water phenomena
  • Packet 5: bonus on the number four in physics
  • Packet 6: bonus on databases*
  • Packet 7: bonus on the double-slit experiment, bonus on scattering, bonus on the letter sigma in math
  • Packet 10: tossup on Newton's Principia, tossup on Bar at the Folies-Bergere*, bonus on optics (Snell's law/principle of least time/phase velocity)
  • Packet 11: tossup on roots of polynomials, tossup on Fermat's little theorem, tossup on chlorophyll, tossup on J. J. Thomson
  • Packet 12: tossup on stained glass, tossup on Theodor Herzl*, bonus on vocal music terms*
  • Packet 13: bonus on rings
  • Packet 14: tossup on the determinant, bonus on transistors, bonus on pendulums
  • Packet 15: tossup on Gordimer*, tossup on resistors
  • Packet 16: tossup on the Passover seider, bonus on James Watt
  • Packet 17: bonus on Robert Boyle, tossup on arithmetic sequences
  • Packet 18: bonus on the Venus de Milo
*Converted from the corresponding Div I question, but I didn't have anything to do with the conversion. (If a question appeared in both sets but is unstarred, I did the conversion myself.)
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Re: comment on my work

Post by The Ununtiable Twine » Mon Apr 11, 2011 5:47 pm

jonah wrote:This is my first time writing questions for this level, and I would appreciate copious feedback. Here's what I did for each set.

DIVISION I:
[*]Packet 1: tossup on the golden ratio, bonus on continuous statistical distributions
I thought the tossup was fine, I was silly to sit on this one. We didn't get this particular bonus but the first two answer choices were reasonable, although the one on Cauchy seemed to be a little too tough. I think there are much better clues for Cauchy than your choice for the second clue. I've never heard of Cours d'Analyse, I don't think it's mentioned much if at all in a standard mathematics curriculum.
[*]Packet 2: tossup on the word "perfect" in math
Ah, Mr. Watkins beat me to a buzzer race on this one. This was very well written, there's no reason I shouldn't have powered it. Your clues were well selected. I simply forgot a definition, it happens.
[*]Packet 6: bonus on groups
Groups, clearly the easy part. Dihedral groups and orbits, about the same difficulty. Anyone who has studied group theory should know about dihedral groups, orbits, stabilizers, normalizers, centralizers, etc. This was pretty well written.
[*]Packet 7: bonus on the letter sigma in math
This bonus made me happy.
[*]Packet 10: tossup on Bar at the Folies-Bergere
I thought the power marker might have been misplaced here, the glass bowl of oranges gives it away somewhat. It might have been one of the easier tossups in the packet, but for the most part it was written pretty well.
[*]Packet 11: tossup on roots of polynomials, tossup on Fermat's little theorem
The roots tossup was pretty decent, not much criticism on it, except maybe you shouldn't mention Derrick Lehmer twice in the same packet.

I think the second and third sentences should have probably been interchanged here on the Fermat's little theorem tossup, now that I look back on the tossup. We covered Wilson's theorem in my elementary number theory class, and I've never heard of Lehmer's theorem. Apart from that, this was well chosen.

There need to be a few math tossups here and there that are accessible to the field, and I think both of these were converted pretty well by the field.
[*]Packet 13: bonus on rings
I don't know what got into me on the ideals clue, have no idea why that wasn't converted, my bad. Rings/ideals/ascending chain condition made me very happy. Nicely written and appropriate for this level of competition. I thought the third part was very fair as it makes the player differentiate between Noetherian and Artinian rings, so it made for a very good tough clue.
[*]Packet 14: tossup on the determinant, bonus on types of geometry
I don't think it's a good idea to put Wronskian inside of power on a determinant tossup at this level. I thought this tossup was too easy, I was thinking to myself that it couldn't possibly be determinant because no one would actually include a tossup on this in the DI set.

The types of geometry bonus was very nice and convertable for a mathematician, but perhaps it was a little difficult otherwise. The Riemann clue was very convertable, clearly, but I thought hyperbolic and projective geometry were equally tough to convert and I'm thinking a lot of teams in the tournament probably either got 10 or 20 on this bonus, with many more getting 10. It was probably the bonus that you wrote that rewarded people that studied the area in question far more than those who have not. I liked it.
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Re: comment on my work

Post by Sir Thopas » Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:34 pm

DarkMatter wrote:I think there are much better clues for Cauchy than your choice for the second clue. I've never heard of Cours d'Analyse, I don't think it's mentioned much if at all in a standard mathematics curriculum.
That book's super-duper important, I've read it was a standard textbook for like a century and a half.
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Re: comment on my work

Post by Cody » Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:42 pm

jonah wrote:tossup on Fermat's little theorem
Could this be posted?
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Re: comment on my work

Post by jonah » Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:46 pm

SirT wrote:
jonah wrote:tossup on Fermat's little theorem
Could this be posted?
Division I version:
The {Pratt certificate} is based on the converse of this theorem, which is the basis of a method for factorization named for Pollard. Its corollary concerning the congruence of factorials to negative one is named for Wilson. (*) {Lehmer's theorem} fixes the problem that its converse fails for {Carmichael numbers}. It quickly finds remainders for dividing by {primes}, and it is generalized by {Euler's totient [TOH-shent] theorem}. For 10 points--name this theorem that any prime ~p~ divides ~a~ to the ~p~ minus ~a~.

answer: _Fermat's [fair-MAH's] little_ theorem (prompt on "Euler's theorem" before "Lehmer's theorem"; prompt on "Fermat's theorem"; do not accept "Fermat's last theorem")


Division II version:
This theorem's corollary concerning the {congruence} of {factorials} to negative one is named for Wilson. {Lehmer's theorem} fixes the problem that this theorem's converse fails for {Carmichael numbers}. This theorem quickly finds remainders for dividing by (*) {primes}, and is generalized by a theorem using the {totient [TOH-shunt] function}, {Euler's theorem}. For 10 points--name this theorem stating that any prime ~p~ divides ~a~ to the ~p~, minus ~a~.

answer: _Fermat's_ [fair-MAH's] _little_ theorem (prompt on "Euler's theorem" before "Lehmer's theorem"; prompt on "Fermat's theorem"; do not accept "Fermat's last theorem")
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Re: comment on my work

Post by Duncan Idaho » Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:40 pm

jonah wrote:This is my first time writing questions for this level, and I would appreciate copious feedback. Here's what I did for each set.
...
DIVISION II
  • all mathematics editing
  • Packet 1: tossup on the golden ratio
    ...
  • Packet 4: tossup on double reeds
Is there any particular reason "phi" isn't outright acceptable for "the golden ratio"? I was prompted on it and gave the correct answer, but I just wondered.

On the double reed tossup- are single-reed instruments generally referred to as "single-reed" instruments or just "reed instruments"? If the latter is the case, then allowing a prompt for "reed" on this tossup seemed to make the question open to gamesmanship, i.e. someone could buzz in and say "reed," leaving him either correct if single-reed instruments are the answer, or with "double-reed" being the most likely answer if "reed" is prompted. (I'm not a music person, so if single-reed instruments are generally called single-reed instruments and not just reed instruments, then I can see that my argument is wrong.)

Lastly, this might be a more appropriate question for Jeff, but since you edited all the Div II math I thought I'd ask. How long is a team supposed to have to answer a bonus part in a computation bonus? In one of our playoff rounds, we had the physics computation bonus about gravity and angular momentum. Given, we could have worked faster to answer each part, but I was under the impression that teams are supposed to have longer to answer computational bonus parts than ordinary bonus parts, and we were given just five seconds.
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Re: comment on my work

Post by The Ununtiable Twine » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:03 pm

Sir Thopas wrote:
DarkMatter wrote:I think there are much better clues for Cauchy than your choice for the second clue. I've never heard of Cours d'Analyse, I don't think it's mentioned much if at all in a standard mathematics curriculum.
That book's super-duper important, I've read it was a standard textbook for like a century and a half.
Hmmm, looks neat. I've just never heard it mentioned, guess it's just something I just so happened not to be familiar with. A standard precalculus text of the 19th century, neat indeed.
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Re: comment on my work

Post by Important Bird Area » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:25 pm

Computational bonuses have the same amount of time as other bonuses; we are considering adjusting this for the 2011 HSNCT.
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Re: comment on my work

Post by jonah » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:30 pm

Ben Cole wrote:Is there any particular reason "phi" isn't outright acceptable for "the golden ratio"? I was prompted on it and gave the correct answer, but I just wondered.
Sometimes capital phi is used for 1/phi, but I don't think that usage is all that common; also, I tend to dislike accepting symbols for things that have a better name. I don't see this as a big issue, since I can't imagine someone saying "phi" but not knowing what to give on a prompt. Hopefully I'm right.
Ben Cole wrote:On the double reed tossup- are single-reed instruments generally referred to as "single-reed" instruments or just "reed instruments"? If the latter is the case, then allowing a prompt for "reed" on this tossup seemed to make the question open to gamesmanship, i.e. someone could buzz in and say "reed," leaving him either correct if single-reed instruments are the answer, or with "double-reed" being the most likely answer if "reed" is prompted. (I'm not a music person, so if single-reed instruments are generally called single-reed instruments and not just reed instruments, then I can see that my argument is wrong.)
Generally I've seen "reeds" to refer to both single- and double-reed instruments collectively, but I may be wrong on this one.
Ben Cole wrote:Lastly, this might be a more appropriate question for Jeff, but since you edited all the Div II math I thought I'd ask. How long is a team supposed to have to answer a bonus part in a computation bonus? In one of our playoff rounds, we had the physics computation bonus about gravity and angular momentum. Given, we could have worked faster to answer each part, but I was under the impression that teams are supposed to have longer to answer computational bonus parts than ordinary bonus parts, and we were given just five seconds.
As far as I can tell, the NAQT rules don't provide for any extra time on computational bonus parts unless the question text specifies so. Two other things, though: (1) that question was categorized as physics, not math, so I didn't have anything to do with it; and (2) for that bonus, if you were doing any kind of computation that took longer than five seconds, you were probably doing it wrong anyway.
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Re: comment on my work

Post by Dan-Don » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:49 pm

jonah wrote:
Ben Cole wrote:Is there any particular reason "phi" isn't outright acceptable for "the golden ratio"? I was prompted on it and gave the correct answer, but I just wondered.
Sometimes capital phi is used for 1/phi, but I don't think that usage is all that common; also, I tend to dislike accepting symbols for things that have a better name. I don't see this as a big issue, since I can't imagine someone saying "phi" but not knowing what to give on a prompt. Hopefully I'm right.
I did the exact same thing as Ben and said "golden mean" upon being prompted. I was negged until the opposing team persuaded teh moderation to give me points. Unless that bonus was written with the assumption that every reader at ICT would be competent in math, it really should explicitly say "accept _golden mean_" instead of the very general "accept other words in place of ratio." That seems like lazy answer-line editing to me.
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Re: comment on my work

Post by Duncan Idaho » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:56 pm

Thanks.
jonah wrote:Two other things, though: (1) that question was categorized as physics, not math, so I didn't have anything to do with it; and (2) for that bonus, if you were doing any kind of computation that took longer than five seconds, you were probably doing it wrong anyway.
Yeah, I don't know why I overlooked (1). As for (2), we knew the relevant formulas but were just being ridiculously slow due to fatigue.
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Re: comment on my work

Post by jonah » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:56 pm

Dan-Don wrote:
jonah wrote:
Ben Cole wrote:Is there any particular reason "phi" isn't outright acceptable for "the golden ratio"? I was prompted on it and gave the correct answer, but I just wondered.
Sometimes capital phi is used for 1/phi, but I don't think that usage is all that common; also, I tend to dislike accepting symbols for things that have a better name. I don't see this as a big issue, since I can't imagine someone saying "phi" but not knowing what to give on a prompt. Hopefully I'm right.
I did the exact same thing as Ben and said "golden mean" upon being prompted. I was negged until the opposing team persuaded teh moderation to give me points. Unless that bonus was written with the assumption that every reader at ICT would be competent in math, it really should explicitly say "accept _golden mean_" instead of the very general "accept other words in place of ratio." That seems like lazy answer-line editing to me.
Seems more like a moderator failing to follow instructions to me. In any case, there are like half a dozen other words that would be fine instead of "ratio", and listing them all would produce a cumbersome answer line that would obscure the "prompt on phi" instruction. I asked Seth (the Div I math editor—the question was originally submitted for Div I) to give some thought to alternative answers (for example, accepting answers like "root five plus one, over two") and he decided on the answer line that was there.

For the record, that answer line was _golden_ ratio (accept other words in place of "ratio"; accept mean of _Phidias_; prompt on "phi").

edit: missing pronoun
Last edited by jonah on Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: comment on my work

Post by Cody » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:58 pm

Dan-Don wrote:Unless that bonus was written with the assumption that every reader at ICT would be competent in math, it really should explicitly say "accept _golden mean_" instead of the very general "accept other words in place of ratio." That seems like lazy answer-line editing to me.
If the answer line says "accept other words in place of ratio," how can you possibly blame that on Jonah! Your answer was clearly acceptable, and the moderator was at fault; this doesn't require a degree in math, it requires you to be able to hear the word golden followed by one other word.
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Re: comment on my work

Post by Dan-Don » Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:01 pm

SirT wrote:
Dan-Don wrote:Unless that bonus was written with the assumption that every reader at ICT would be competent in math, it really should explicitly say "accept _golden mean_" instead of the very general "accept other words in place of ratio." That seems like lazy answer-line editing to me.
If the answer line says "accept other words in place of ratio," how can you possibly blame that on Jonah! Your answer was clearly acceptable, and the moderator was at fault; this doesn't require a degree in math, it requires you to be able to hear the word golden followed by one other word.
I stand by my statement that it reflects poorly on editors (whether this was Seth or Jonah) not to have more comprehensive, explicit answer lines.
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Re: comment on my work

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:17 pm

Dan-Don wrote:
SirT wrote:
Dan-Don wrote:Unless that bonus was written with the assumption that every reader at ICT would be competent in math, it really should explicitly say "accept _golden mean_" instead of the very general "accept other words in place of ratio." That seems like lazy answer-line editing to me.
If the answer line says "accept other words in place of ratio," how can you possibly blame that on Jonah! Your answer was clearly acceptable, and the moderator was at fault; this doesn't require a degree in math, it requires you to be able to hear the word golden followed by one other word.
I stand by my statement that it reflects poorly on editors (whether this was Seth or Jonah) not to have more comprehensive, explicit answer lines.
That means the moderator could not ascertain that "mean" qualifies as an "other word." You can list a dozen "_golden_ [x] or _golden_ [y]" or you can hope that moderators are not completely illiterate.
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Re: comment on my work

Post by Dan-Don » Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:19 pm

Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:
Dan-Don wrote:
SirT wrote:
Dan-Don wrote:Unless that bonus was written with the assumption that every reader at ICT would be competent in math, it really should explicitly say "accept _golden mean_" instead of the very general "accept other words in place of ratio." That seems like lazy answer-line editing to me.
If the answer line says "accept other words in place of ratio," how can you possibly blame that on Jonah! Your answer was clearly acceptable, and the moderator was at fault; this doesn't require a degree in math, it requires you to be able to hear the word golden followed by one other word.
I stand by my statement that it reflects poorly on editors (whether this was Seth or Jonah) not to have more comprehensive, explicit answer lines.
That means the moderator could not ascertain that "mean" qualifies as an "other word." You can list a dozen "_golden_ [x] or _golden_ [y]" or you can hope that moderators are not completely illiterate.
Yes, you could do the former.
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Re: comment on my work

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:24 pm

Dan-Don wrote:
Crazy Andy Watkins wrote: That means the moderator could not ascertain that "mean" qualifies as an "other word." You can list a dozen "_golden_ [x] or _golden_ [y]" or you can hope that moderators are not completely illiterate.
Yes, you could do the former.
There is a point at which we are okay with not writing down everything, where we assume that writers don't have to be infinitely imaginative and moderators can read the answer line that is there instead of refusing to do so and just saying something. The question is not "shut up, always write everything" but "where do we set that point?" I'm at least willing to concede that it's reasonable to write golden mean out because that's a pretty common response. But there is a point where you are allowed to stop and say "anything else of the form 'golden' then another word."
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Re: comment on my work

Post by TheHumanPaperweight » Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:58 pm

Ben Cole wrote:Thanks.
jonah wrote:Two other things, though: (1) that question was categorized as physics, not math, so I didn't have anything to do with it; and (2) for that bonus, if you were doing any kind of computation that took longer than five seconds, you were probably doing it wrong anyway.
Yeah, I don't know why I overlooked (1). As for (2), we knew the relevant formulas but were just being ridiculously slow due to fatigue.
Fatigue and the guy on our team who does the most computation on a regular basis not having a paper or pencil; if we had bothered to write things down that probably wouldn't have been a problem bonus at all
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Re: comment on my work

Post by TheHumanPaperweight » Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:01 am

Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:
Dan-Don wrote:
Crazy Andy Watkins wrote: That means the moderator could not ascertain that "mean" qualifies as an "other word." You can list a dozen "_golden_ [x] or _golden_ [y]" or you can hope that moderators are not completely illiterate.
Yes, you could do the former.
There is a point at which we are okay with not writing down everything, where we assume that writers don't have to be infinitely imaginative and moderators can read the answer line that is there instead of refusing to do so and just saying something. The question is not "shut up, always write everything" but "where do we set that point?" I'm at least willing to concede that it's reasonable to write golden mean out because that's a pretty common response. But there is a point where you are allowed to stop and say "anything else of the form 'golden' then another word."
Shouldn't it at least be "another vaguely mathematical word" or are we willing to accept that someone could get away with "golden fleece"?
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Re: comment on my work

Post by jonah » Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:03 am

TheHumanPaperweight wrote:
Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:
Dan-Don wrote:
Crazy Andy Watkins wrote: That means the moderator could not ascertain that "mean" qualifies as an "other word." You can list a dozen "_golden_ [x] or _golden_ [y]" or you can hope that moderators are not completely illiterate.
Yes, you could do the former.
There is a point at which we are okay with not writing down everything, where we assume that writers don't have to be infinitely imaginative and moderators can read the answer line that is there instead of refusing to do so and just saying something. The question is not "shut up, always write everything" but "where do we set that point?" I'm at least willing to concede that it's reasonable to write golden mean out because that's a pretty common response. But there is a point where you are allowed to stop and say "anything else of the form 'golden' then another word."
Shouldn't it at least be "another vaguely mathematical word" or are we willing to accept that someone could get away with "golden fleece"?
My opinion on this is that it's simpler, more professional, and rather more reasonable to just say "other words" (especially since some possible answers, like "section", aren't really "mathematical words"). If someone actually says "golden fleece", the other team can (and should) protest it, and they will obviously win. At some point, when writing answer lines, I think it's fair to assume that players aren't going to try to troll the packet.
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Re: comment on my work

Post by TheHumanPaperweight » Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:25 am

jonah wrote:
TheHumanPaperweight wrote:
Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:
Dan-Don wrote:
Crazy Andy Watkins wrote: That means the moderator could not ascertain that "mean" qualifies as an "other word." You can list a dozen "_golden_ [x] or _golden_ [y]" or you can hope that moderators are not completely illiterate.
Yes, you could do the former.
There is a point at which we are okay with not writing down everything, where we assume that writers don't have to be infinitely imaginative and moderators can read the answer line that is there instead of refusing to do so and just saying something. The question is not "shut up, always write everything" but "where do we set that point?" I'm at least willing to concede that it's reasonable to write golden mean out because that's a pretty common response. But there is a point where you are allowed to stop and say "anything else of the form 'golden' then another word."
Shouldn't it at least be "another vaguely mathematical word" or are we willing to accept that someone could get away with "golden fleece"?
My opinion on this is that it's simpler, more professional, and rather more reasonable to just say "other words" (especially since some possible answers, like "section", aren't really "mathematical words"). If someone actually says "golden fleece", the other team can (and should) protest it, and they will obviously win. At some point, when writing answer lines, I think it's fair to assume that players aren't going to try to troll the packet.
Okay, I wasn't aware that it was possible to call something wrong on a protest that was stated to be correct by the answer line. I approve of this solution.
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Re: comment on my work

Post by grapesmoker » Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:42 am

People do not give "golden fleece" as an answer to math questions, any more than they give "charm bracelet" as an answer to a tossup on the charm quark.
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Re: comment on my work

Post by setht » Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:57 am

DarkMatter wrote:
[*]Packet 6: bonus on groups
Groups, clearly the easy part. Dihedral groups and orbits, about the same difficulty. Anyone who has studied group theory should know about dihedral groups, orbits, stabilizers, normalizers, centralizers, etc. This was pretty well written.
Actually, the hope was that dihedral groups would be more widely accessible than orbits since that part had a clue referencing Ramachandran plots. I don't know if that actually helped any bio people convert that part.
DarkMatter wrote:
[*]Packet 11: tossup on roots of polynomials, tossup on Fermat's little theorem
The roots tossup was pretty decent, not much criticism on it, except maybe you shouldn't mention Derrick Lehmer twice in the same packet.

I think the second and third sentences should have probably been interchanged here on the Fermat's little theorem tossup, now that I look back on the tossup. We covered Wilson's theorem in my elementary number theory class, and I've never heard of Lehmer's theorem. Apart from that, this was well chosen.

There need to be a few math tossups here and there that are accessible to the field, and I think both of these were converted pretty well by the field.
Jonah wasn't responsible for the ordering of questions between packets. I agree that ideally these two math tossups would have been separated.

I think the ordering of the second and third sentences makes sense given the context clues supplied with Wilson and Lehmer, but perhaps that's not the case.

I think there need to be more than a few math tossups that are accessible to the field; this ties in to my belief that quizbowl in general could stand to have slightly less advanced pure math, but that's a topic for another discussion.
DarkMatter wrote:
[*]Packet 14: tossup on the determinant, bonus on types of geometry
I don't think it's a good idea to put Wronskian inside of power on a determinant tossup at this level. I thought this tossup was too easy, I was thinking to myself that it couldn't possibly be determinant because no one would actually include a tossup on this in the DI set.

The types of geometry bonus was very nice and convertable for a mathematician, but perhaps it was a little difficult otherwise. The Riemann clue was very convertable, clearly, but I thought hyperbolic and projective geometry were equally tough to convert and I'm thinking a lot of teams in the tournament probably either got 10 or 20 on this bonus, with many more getting 10. It was probably the bonus that you wrote that rewarded people that studied the area in question far more than those who have not. I liked it.
I was responsible for power marking questions. Wronskian may well have been too generous, but I thought that moving the power mark before Wronskian would be too stingy and I decided to err on the side of giving more powers. Also, I like having a population of tossups on easy answers at national events--that way we don't have players thinking "this is a tossup on the four-color theorem or on the Heawood Conjecture; all the tossups are on hard answers, so this is a tossup on the Heawood Conjecture." It keeps the buzzes more honest.

I thought the hyperbolic part was the easy part, actually: it said "non-Euclidean, negative curvature, not spherical geometry," which I would have thought made a true easy part.

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Re: comment on my work

Post by cornfused » Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:36 pm

setht wrote: I thought the hyperbolic part was the easy part, actually: it said "non-Euclidean, negative curvature, not spherical geometry," which I would have thought made a true easy part.
It was - two of the players on my team were humanities majors who haven't had any math since mid-high school, and they both guessed this one correctly.
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Re: comment on my work

Post by theMoMA » Tue Apr 12, 2011 2:38 pm

The Ramachandran plot clue was helpful.
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Re: comment on my work

Post by Crimson Rosella » Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:26 pm

setht wrote:
DarkMatter wrote:
[*]Packet 6: bonus on groups
Groups, clearly the easy part. Dihedral groups and orbits, about the same difficulty. Anyone who has studied group theory should know about dihedral groups, orbits, stabilizers, normalizers, centralizers, etc. This was pretty well written.
Actually, the hope was that dihedral groups would be more widely accessible than orbits since that part had a clue referencing Ramachandran plots. I don't know if that actually helped any bio people convert that part.
I wasn't particularly helped by that clue, but I think dihedral groups is clearly more accessible than orbits. I've seen dihedral groups outside of my math classes and they were much more heavily emphasized in the class I took on group theory.

The math in this set was great, I thought. Kudos to Jonah.
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Re: comment on my work

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:00 am

theMoMA wrote:The Ramachandran plot clue was helpful.
It wouldn't have helped me...unless it was like a worldplay on "dihedral angles" or something.
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Re: comment on my work

Post by setht » Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:54 am

The Quest for the Historical Mukherjesus wrote:
theMoMA wrote:The Ramachandran plot clue was helpful.
It wouldn't have helped me...unless it was like a worldplay on "dihedral angles" or something.
Here's the question:
Packet 6 wrote:They consist of a set that is closed under an associative binary operation and possesses {inverses} and an {identity}. For 10 points each--

A. Name these mathematical structures that are said to be {abelian} when the associated operation is {commutative}.

answer: _group_s

B. This adjective denotes a group of symmetries of a regular polygon. A {Ramachandran plot} shows this type of angle, also known as a {torsion angle}.

answer: _dihedral_ group (or _dihedral_ angles)

C. This term is given to the collection of all elements of a set to which a given element can be moved by group actions. Its size is the size of the group over the size of the {stabilizer}.

answer: _orbit_
I wouldn't call the clue in part B wordplay (or worldplay): I believe the use of the word dihedral in both contexts is not accidental or entirely unrelated.

-Seth
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