Interest in All-Engineering Mini Side Event?

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Interest in All-Engineering Mini Side Event?

Post by Quantum Mushroom Billiard Hat » Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:37 pm

I've been thinking about writing some sort of all-engineering side event for a few months. It would consist of somewhere around 40 or 50 mostly short tossups, with no bonuses. There will probably be a bias towards chemical engineering and materials science, but I'll try to include topics relevant to other disciplines and would be happy to add in questions written by other people. This is your chance to finally write or hear the tossup you've always dreamed of on plug-flow reactors, components of concrete, or something in the process of doping a semiconductor!

Would anyone actually be interested in playing this? I could have it written in time for CO if people are interested in hearing it there, and it should be short enough not to affect planning of other side events.
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Re: Interest in All-Engineering Mini Side Event?

Post by grapesmoker » Fri Apr 22, 2011 2:40 pm

I don't want to put a damper on your ambition, but there are like 3 or 4 engineers in quizbowl almost none of whom do the kind of stuff you do. I mean, I have some ok engineering knowledge, but I would not play this event; it's way, way too niche for me.
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Re: Interest in All-Engineering Mini Side Event?

Post by Quantum Mushroom Billiard Hat » Fri Apr 22, 2011 2:51 pm

I was afraid of that. If this actually happens, I would try to keep answer lines as accessible to non-engineers as possible. If it doesn't, I may end up writing some of the questions anyway and just posting the questions.
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Re: Interest in All-Engineering Mini Side Event?

Post by Crimson Rosella » Fri Apr 22, 2011 4:15 pm

I would very much enjoy playing such an event.
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Re: Interest in All-Engineering Mini Side Event?

Post by Charbroil » Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:27 pm

I'm not much of an engineer, but sure, I'd play this if it was at CO. Would it be possible for you to make the answer lines fairly accessible for non-engineers?
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Re: Interest in All-Engineering Mini Side Event?

Post by marnold » Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:49 pm

Charbroil wrote:Would it be possible for you to make the answer lines fairly accessible for non-engineers?
Has this been addressed? I really have to know if you're going to try to make this accessible to non-engineers and I have no idea whether you're planning on doing that or not.

EDIT to mitigate my jackassery by saying I'll write you a question about the only engineering topic I know anything about - septic tank engineering.
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Re: Interest in All-Engineering Mini Side Event?

Post by grapesmoker » Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:54 pm

marnold wrote:Has this been addressed? I really have to know if you're going to try to make this accessible to non-engineers and I have no idea whether you're planning on doing that or not.
I really think the best thing to do would be to write something for people in the physical sciences in general. That would guarantee a much broader interest base for your event.
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Re: Interest in All-Engineering Mini Side Event?

Post by Quantum Mushroom Billiard Hat » Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:54 pm

If this happens, I would try to make the majority of answer lines reasonably accessible to non-engineers. There will certainly be overlap with things in chemistry and physics (and maybe bio if I can figure out how) in what I had initially been thinking of, but if there isn't much interest I could add in some questions based more in pure physics, bio, and chem.
Last edited by Quantum Mushroom Billiard Hat on Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Interest in All-Engineering Mini Side Event?

Post by marnold » Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:55 pm

I was actually just being an ass, making fun of the fact Charles Hang was voicing a concern very explicitly addressed by 2 of the 4 posts in this thread.
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Re: Interest in All-Engineering Mini Side Event?

Post by Quantum Mushroom Billiard Hat » Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:02 pm

marnold wrote:I was actually just being an ass, making fun of the fact Charles Hang was voicing a concern very explicitly addressed by 2 of the 4 posts in this thread.
I was pretty sure I had answered it already. Maybe the third post will clear that up.
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Re: Interest in All-Engineering Mini Side Event?

Post by cvdwightw » Fri Apr 22, 2011 7:05 pm

grapesmoker wrote:I really think the best thing to do would be to write something for people in the physical sciences in general. That would guarantee a much broader interest base for your event.
Do this. Because engineering is such an unexplored field, 70-90% of your answers will be inaccessible to non-engineers no matter how much you try to make it accessible. However, this also means that 100% of your questions can be on science-ish things with novel lead-ins that will be cool for engineers to hear. I mean, no one wants to hear an entire question on LPCVD, but a tossup on "diffusion" with silicon-device-manufacturing-related early clues would be cool. This approach also allows you to integrate some new ideas into the science canon; for instance, noted biomedical engineer Matt Keller introduced (or at least popularized) some stuff in the upper-level bio canon that's absolutely essential to understand in tissue engineering, but is still accessible to people in, e.g., cell biology or cancer biology.

Addendum: another reason to do this. I have tried and failed about three times to write upper-level tossups on mass balance, which I understand is a basic concept in chemical engineering but never comes up in quizbowl. I suspect that many of your ideas will fall in the same "this is a cool idea, but darn near impossible to write a quality tossup about" category, which will just frustrate the one or two people in the room that have heard of the answer.
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Re: Interest in All-Engineering Mini Side Event?

Post by MicroEStudent » Sun Apr 24, 2011 9:42 pm

I think I've found my calling as a side-event question contributor.

Let me know if you want some help on the semiconductor/electrical side. I'm sure I could make the answer lines gettable to non-engineers.
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Re: Interest in All-Engineering Mini Side Event?

Post by Lagotto Romagnolo » Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:14 pm

grapesmoker wrote:I don't want to put a damper on your ambition, but there are like 3 or 4 engineers in quizbowl almost none of whom do the kind of stuff you do.
Since I'm one of those 3 or 4, I'd love to play this event, though I can't guarantee I'll be at CO this year.
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Re: Interest in All-Engineering Mini Side Event?

Post by Broad-tailed Grassbird » Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:22 pm

there's a 10% chance my mom would play this if it was in Ann Arbor. Otherwise, she'll just hold out until Library Science Doubles gets written.
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