Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by Cheynem » Thu Apr 24, 2014 12:50 am

I'm sure people who played this tournament will have more to say...but laffaux at that stat line.
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by sephirothrr » Thu Apr 24, 2014 12:50 am

Congrats to to Team Sam, who won the online tournament in a complete landslide!

I would be remiss if I did not mention the Herculean efforts of a one Mr. Steven Hines, who went from a modest 16.29 PPG on a Division at SCT to follow his team to sixth place, to today, a mere two and a half months later, with a staggering 104.44 points per game on a nationals level tournament with an open field.

In fact, he earned as many powers, saying nothing of tossups total, in the first 4 rounds of a collegiate post-nationals level tournament, as he scored entire tossups in 13 whole rounds, of something easier than what highschoolers will play at the end of May.

In fact, if we compare this event to the stats from the original iteration of this tournament, which notably occurred before packets were posted publicly on the internet, we can see that it's a fact without a doubt - Stephen Hines is not only the best science player in the game, he's in a league of his own.

To that, I say:
Image
Last edited by sephirothrr on Thu Apr 24, 2014 1:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by shrey96 » Thu Apr 24, 2014 1:14 am

Not that it matters a whole lot, but I should have 8 games played - I left because I had spectated Round 9 at ICT. That aside, this was a fun way to spend an otherwise boring Wednesday night and I got to meet some cool people from across the country and the Atlantic. Thanks to Eric for the set and to Ramapriya for being a great moderator. The astronomy was particularly enjoyable and probably my favorite part of the set.
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by touchpack » Thu Apr 24, 2014 1:16 am

sephirothrr wrote:Congrats to to Team Sam, who won the online tournament in a complete landslide!

I would be remiss if I did not mention the Herculean efforts of a one Mr. Steven Hines, who went from a modest 16.29 PPG on a Division at SCT to follow his team to sixth place, to today, a mere two and a half months later, with a staggering 104.44 points per game on a nationals level tournament with an open field.

In fact, he earned as many powers, saying nothing of tossups total, in the first 4 rounds of a collegiate post-nationals level tournament, as he scored entire tossups in 13 whole rounds, of something easier than what highschoolers will play at the end of May.

In fact, if we compare this event to the stats from the original iteration of this tournament, which notably occurred before packets were posted publicly on the internet, we can see that it's a fact without a doubt - Stephen Hines is not only the best science player in the game, he's in a league of his own.

To that, I say:
Image
Wow, I look forward to playing this guy at Chicago Open! Just like I was relishing the chance to face off against Joshua Alman! Let us all bow to the new science overlord of quizbowl, Steven Hines!
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by The Bold Ideas of Bernie Sanders (I-VT) » Thu Apr 24, 2014 1:55 am

HMS Audacious wrote:
Hidehiro Anto wrote:Are we relying on the honor system and assuming that no one will look at the quizbowl packet archive?
no, this is actually intended on being played under the assumption that people had seen the packets
See, you say that...
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by Victor Prieto » Thu Apr 24, 2014 2:13 am

A big thanks to Eric et al for writing this excellent tournament, and thanks to Eric and Ramapriya for reading.

I'm not a big fan of sarcasm, especially in situations like these, so I'll clarify for everyone what happened. If the stat line does not speak for itself, this Stephen Hines character had some of the most suspect buzzes I have ever seen. Virtually everyone who I was playing with shared my suspicions. This guy buzzed on every single category when I played against him, with the exception of biology.

Here are some things that I considered strange. First, some ridiculous one-liners:

"This programming language includes a PhantomReference type" buzz: Java
"One approach to doing this involves constructing a truncation of the tensor product of a one-dimensional multilevel basis" buzz: numerical solutions to diff eq
"An efficient algorithm for doing this based on the convolution theorem uses a Fast Fourier Transform and an inverse Fast Fourier Transform before a combination step" buzz: multiplication

Some odd answers:

Answered Stephen Kleene with "cleene"
Answered electroweak theory with "Glashow-Weinberg-Salaam electroweak theory" (to be fair, Jerry Vinokurov answered this with just Glashow-Weinberg-Salaam theory"

Some dubious buzzes:

Powering Hawking radiation from the formula for the power spectrum of Hawking radiation
Powering trees on the description of Kruskal's algorithm
Powering potential energy surfaces off of "diabolic points"

And probably the two most damning questions of all:

Powering Planck satellite a few words before power against Jerry with "PLANK staelitte"
One-lining gamma ray bursts off of mapping the Hercules-Corona Borealis Great Wall with "flashes of gamma rays"

Nobody can possibly be so dominant at so much of science in such a short time. I hope there will be some way of establishing concrete evidence that this guy obtained the packets off of the packet archive, so we have more than just the most suspicious statline in existence. But I hardly doubt it is necessary.

Honestly, I'm just confused as to how you thought you could dupe the many experienced quizbowlers playing this thing, and why. It was literally just for fun. It's an online mirror where the questions have already been posted! How can you possibly derive enjoyment from copy pasting stuff from word documents! Why would you ruin this for the people who were trying to play! Were you trying to make it seem like you were smarter than all of us?

Well, since I dislike sarcasm, I will say it directly: you have actually proved the opposite, you have shown us that you are really, really stupid.

EDIT: formatting.
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Thu Apr 24, 2014 2:24 am

But is he an Eagle Scout?
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by The Ununtiable Twine » Thu Apr 24, 2014 2:51 am

touchpack wrote:
sephirothrr wrote:Congrats to to Team Sam, who won the online tournament in a complete landslide!

I would be remiss if I did not mention the Herculean efforts of a one Mr. Steven Hines, who went from a modest 16.29 PPG on a Division at SCT to follow his team to sixth place, to today, a mere two and a half months later, with a staggering 104.44 points per game on a nationals level tournament with an open field.

In fact, he earned as many powers, saying nothing of tossups total, in the first 4 rounds of a collegiate post-nationals level tournament, as he scored entire tossups in 13 whole rounds, of something easier than what highschoolers will play at the end of May.

In fact, if we compare this event to the stats from the original iteration of this tournament, which notably occurred before packets were posted publicly on the internet, we can see that it's a fact without a doubt - Stephen Hines is not only the best science player in the game, he's in a league of his own.

To that, I say:
Image
Wow, I look forward to playing this guy at Chicago Open! Just like I was relishing the chance to face off against Joshua Alman! Let us all bow to the new science overlord of quizbowl, Steven Hines!
On the bright side this guy can be proven innocent when he answers all of the questions I have for him on canopolies, planar algebras, and Kom(Mat(Cob^3_/l))). You know he's gonna just know that shit. He is TWICE AS GOOD as Seth Teitler after all! Maybe this eminent scholar just GETS the Carter-Saito movie moves and can explain a certain proof that appears toward the end of the Bar-Natan paper to me. You damn well bet I would have asked him to explain those things on the spot if had he beaten me to that particular tossup. Reminds me of that time Andy Watkins beat me to TWO math tossups in the same packet, back when I was good at those things! Just a splendid player, this Hines!
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by Cody » Thu Apr 24, 2014 6:26 am

I believe this is tied for the most obvious instance of quizbowl cheating, ever - which really does take some doing! Sadly, you cannot take home the crown for obviousness since it's so hard to differentiate "cheating so obvious it literally smacks you in the face", but you certainly can take the crown home for the combination of "most obvious" and "most pointless" - so, big round of applause from me.
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by Ndg » Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:07 am

True story: he powered the tossup on Andy Watkins.
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by The Time Keeper » Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:48 am

Ndg wrote:True story: he powered the tossup on Andy Watkins.
The poetry of this is just fucking beautiful.
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by Cheynem » Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:22 am

On a more serious note, I hope Brown quizbowl has been/will be informed of this.
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by Sniper, No Sniping! » Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:31 am

He came a long way from this thread, it appears: viewtopic.php?t=14458
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by grapesmoker » Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:38 am

Sniper, No Sniping! wrote:He came a long way from this thread, it appears: viewtopic.php?t=14458
Apparently the best way to conquer the science canon is just to have access to the questions beforehand.
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Thu Apr 24, 2014 11:27 am

grapesmoker wrote:
Sniper, No Sniping! wrote:He came a long way from this thread, it appears: viewtopic.php?t=14458
Apparently the best way to conquer the science canon is just to have access to the questions beforehand.
I wish I'd have thought of that before I did that whole "reading" thing.
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots » Thu Apr 24, 2014 12:41 pm

When did you guys feel relatively certain that cheating was going on? On one hand, it seems unfortunate that this guy wasn't kicked out after say, three rounds of competition; on the other, I'm sympathetic to the idea that a TD needs to be very certain before making any accusations. What's the best response a TD can take when something happens as suspicious as this?
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by Cheynem » Thu Apr 24, 2014 12:43 pm

Well, for a no-stakes online tournament, I'm okay kicking someone out fairly quickly--it's no great shakes and is way more obvious.

For an actual tournament, obviously more of a process is needed.
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by Unicolored Jay » Thu Apr 24, 2014 1:01 pm

I wonder what his negs were like, given he had more of them than basically every previous cheater combined.
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Thu Apr 24, 2014 1:03 pm

Unicolored Jay wrote:I wonder what his negs were like, given he had more of them than basically every previous cheater combined.
Saying "Boltzmann equation" for "Boltzmann's H theorem", things like that
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by AKKOLADE » Thu Apr 24, 2014 1:10 pm

Sparks Nevada wrote:
Ndg wrote:True story: he powered the tossup on Andy Watkins.
The poetry of this is just fucking beautiful.
hahahahhahahahhahhahahhahahaha
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by sephirothrr » Thu Apr 24, 2014 1:15 pm

Ndg wrote:True story: he powered the tossup on Andy Watkins.
Unfortunately, as poetic as this would be, he only received 10 points for knowing that everything Andy touches, he destroys.
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by The Ununtiable Twine » Thu Apr 24, 2014 1:19 pm

sephirothrr wrote:
Ndg wrote:True story: he powered the tossup on Andy Watkins.
Unfortunately, as poetic as this would be, he only received 10 points for knowing that everything Andy touches, he destroys.
So we should now have a tossup on Hines. What would he be the grand vizier of?
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by sephirothrr » Thu Apr 24, 2014 1:36 pm

Unicolored Jay wrote:I wonder what his negs were like, given he had more of them than basically every previous cheater combined.
All of his negs were of the variety that he basically wanted to let everyone know that he knew the answer, but couldn't come up the right thing.

Buzzing in with X-Ray Spectroscopy (in power!) and not being able to successfully come up with "florescence" on a prompt.
Couldn't come up with Fabry-Perot after being prompted on "interferometer"
Buzzed in (on the very first clue!) of "synchrotron" and negged with "cyclotron" and later laughingly complaining that he can never tell the two apart

and those were just the worst examples of the five negs total he had when I read for him, which I only had the misfortune of doing three times.
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Thu Apr 24, 2014 1:39 pm

sephirothrr wrote:Buzzed in (on the very first clue!) of "synchrotron" and negged with "cyclotron" and later laughingly complaining that he can never tell the two apart
That clue was from a graduate-level radiative transfer textbook!
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by The Ununtiable Twine » Thu Apr 24, 2014 2:09 pm

The Quest for the Historical Mukherjesus wrote:
sephirothrr wrote:Buzzed in (on the very first clue!) of "synchrotron" and negged with "cyclotron" and later laughingly complaining that he can never tell the two apart
That clue was from a graduate-level radiative transfer textbook!
A graduate-level radiative transfer textbook that he has clearly read!

EDIT: If there was ever a primer entitled "How Not To Cheat" - not putting up insane 38/0 P/N ratios on hard sets would be the first note and laughing off your negs with worthless babble would be the second. "Oh I knew that" guffaw guffaw no really stop being a tool, there's literally no way to confuse Boltzmann transport equation with Boltzmann H-theorem.
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by Ringil » Thu Apr 24, 2014 2:33 pm

The Ununtiable Twine wrote:
The Quest for the Historical Mukherjesus wrote:
sephirothrr wrote:Buzzed in (on the very first clue!) of "synchrotron" and negged with "cyclotron" and later laughingly complaining that he can never tell the two apart
That clue was from a graduate-level radiative transfer textbook!
A graduate-level radiative transfer textbook that he has clearly read!

EDIT: If there was ever a primer entitled "How Not To Cheat" - not putting up insane 38/0 P/N ratios on hard sets would be the first note and laughing off your negs with worthless babble would be the second. "Oh I knew that" guffaw guffaw no really stop being a tool, there's literally no way to confuse Boltzmann transport equation with Boltzmann H-theorem.
Well to be fair, I think Aaron made that same neg so it's not unreasonable. But, yeah....
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by grapesmoker » Thu Apr 24, 2014 2:44 pm

Vernon Lee Bad Marriage, Jr. wrote:When did you guys feel relatively certain that cheating was going on? On one hand, it seems unfortunate that this guy wasn't kicked out after say, three rounds of competition; on the other, I'm sympathetic to the idea that a TD needs to be very certain before making any accusations. What's the best response a TD can take when something happens as suspicious as this?
My bullshit detector went off very early in our first game against him because he was beating me to things that were part of my Ph.D. program. I didn't want to say anything because I didn't want to look like I resented good buzzes, but by the second game I was pretty sure something fishy was happening. I find it extremely hard to believe that a player who had done nothing of note up to now, and was a high school freshman to boot, would have been able to come up with many of those answers. You have to range really, really far, and delve really deep in order to be able to make buzzes across that many categories, and I just don't believe that this kid has the sort of high level knowledge of particle physics, cosmology, numerical analysis, and computer science you'd need to have that kind of performance.

I don't even understand what the point of this is. Congratulations, you (partly) ruined my Wednesday night. Now you have to face the fact that your easily-detectable cheating is going to get you banned from future tournaments. For what, exactly?
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by Cheynem » Thu Apr 24, 2014 2:47 pm

College freshman. Point still stands, though. Like this isn't just "hmm, studying binge paid off"--this is flat out insane numbers.
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by grapesmoker » Thu Apr 24, 2014 2:50 pm

Yeah I meant college freshman.
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Thu Apr 24, 2014 3:09 pm

Is this a situation that's serious enough that a formal ban would need to be enacted, or should this person just be relentlessly mocked until he's too embarrassed to show his face in quizbowl ever again?
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by Cheynem » Thu Apr 24, 2014 3:28 pm

I mean, I'm perfectly willing to suggest a ban until we at least get an explanation/apology/whatever. I don't necessarily think he needs to be banned for life for a stupid thing, but I also don't think he should be rolling up to tournaments and expecting to get away Scott Free either.
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by The Ununtiable Twine » Thu Apr 24, 2014 4:01 pm

Make him refund everyone's money, then make him give a 50-minute Skype presentation on a Lederberg topic of our choosing. Naturally we would be allowed to ask questions.
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by Ndg » Thu Apr 24, 2014 5:04 pm

sephirothrr wrote:
Ndg wrote:True story: he powered the tossup on Andy Watkins.
Unfortunately, as poetic as this would be, he only received 10 points for knowing that everything Andy touches, he destroys.
My mistake. I knew he got it soon after the "Grand Vizier" clue, but I couldn't remember how soon.
Cheynem wrote:I mean, I'm perfectly willing to suggest a ban until we at least get an explanation/apology/whatever. I don't necessarily think he needs to be banned for life for a stupid thing, but I also don't think he should be rolling up to tournaments and expecting to get away Scott Free either.
I agree with this. I would be fine with just hearing an apology from him. Making him refund everyone's fee seems a little petty, and I'm certainly willing to pay $5 for the other six rounds of untainted quiz bowl.
grapesmoker wrote:My bullshit detector went off very early in our first game against him because he was beating me to things that were part of my Ph.D. program. I didn't want to say anything because I didn't want to look like I resented good buzzes, but by the second game I was pretty sure something fishy was happening. I find it extremely hard to believe that a player who had done nothing of note up to now, and was a freshman to boot, would have been able to come up with many of those answers. You have to range really, really far, and delve really deep in order to be able to make buzzes across that many categories
Even so, he left the biology and chemistry more or less untouched, as I recall. Since I am far better with those subjects then with physics and math, at the time I didn't realize just how ridiculous a lot of his buzzes were. I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that he was some kind of extreme physics specialist. Of course, now I feel like a bit of a fool.
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by grapesmoker » Thu Apr 24, 2014 7:08 pm

Ndg wrote:Even so, he left the biology and chemistry more or less untouched, as I recall. Since I am far better with those subjects then with physics and math, at the time I didn't realize just how ridiculous a lot of his buzzes were. I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that he was some kind of extreme physics specialist. Of course, now I feel like a bit of a fool.
He answered some bio and chem questions in the rounds against us, but I'm not sure how many because I generally tuned out when those were being read.

I don't really care about the money, but it would be nice to get an explanation of this nonsense. I'm not holding my breath though.
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by Cheynem » Thu Apr 24, 2014 7:30 pm

I do think these results should be turned over to ACF and NAQT (as well as Brown quizbowl itself and other schools in New England).
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by abnormal abdomen » Fri Apr 25, 2014 1:35 am

Hello, everyone.

So this is a mess.

Lloyd and I ended up discussing this very briefly before talking to Steven, and then discussed it again after we got his response. We were obviously very suspicious when we saw this as well, but I of course wanted to email Steven to see what he had to say for himself.

Essentially, the results were unexpected. Put plainly, Steven totally denies any allegations of cheating, and basically went through all of the instances mentioned earlier and went on to explain that he learned these things in class. For example, he said things like this:
Steven:
"This programming language includes a PhantomReference type" buzz: Java
This was explicitly mentioned during a lecture on garbage collecting given the CS 330 by Tom Doeppner last semester - we learned about strong, soft, weak, and phantom references in java and how they compare to C.

Powering Hawking radiation from the formula for the power spectrum of Hawking radiation
On my statistical mechanics problem set, we actually derived this - I remember because any problem that actually facilitates learning new physics on top of revieing old catches my attention - also a professor once told me if it has h-bar in it it is quantum mechanical in nature, if it has c in it it is relativistic - but more importantly they rose c to the 6th power - there are very few things, I know of, that do this.
Anyways, despite these things, Lloyd and I obviously agree that the statline is pretty damning, and we aren't convinced by Steven's rationale. I guess it is worth nothing that Steven is taking a full schedule of all advanced/grad level physics and math courses, but it's clear that the statistics are not believable. I'm just rehashing his defense so that you all know what he said to me. He also mentioned that he wanted that made clear to everyone.

He also pretty much plainly said in light of these events he plans on stepping away from quizbowl for some time, because he feels (correctly) that people probably wouldn't welcome him at quizbowl tournaments. Lloyd and I agreed without much deliberation that Steven isn't going to play quizbowl for the rest of the year, and we don't really know about next year. We think we'd be okay with him playing sometime later next year if he came forward and apologized to the community, but he doesn't seem to be straying him his position. We also agree that this was a pretty pointless instance of cheating. I don't really understand the point of this. In any case, we don't plan on pursuing anything further than an "until further notice" ban from the team.

I should note that Lloyd and I did contact some people that we felt could give us advice on this matter, and they pretty much agreed entirely with us. I don't think it is a useful exercise for me to argue with Steven about whether or not his buzzes were reasonable. If someone else wants to do that, go for it, but I don't really know what we're going to get out of that.

In any case, Brown Quizbowl obviously regrets that this happened, and I personally was just plain shocked when I a) saw Steven's statline, and b) saw the massive discrepancy between his statline and the statline of noted semi-decent player Jerry Vinokurov.

Feel free to give us feedback. You can basically assume that I'm speaking for both myself and Lloyd in this post.

EDIT: One more thing. Steven mentioned to me in an email that, while he understands why people are speaking negatively of him, he thinks it's inappropriate that apparently some Desert Vista High School players at NHBB are being harassed/"attacked verbally" by people at the tournament. This probably shouldn't happen, given that DV players have nothing to do with what Steven did.
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by touchpack » Fri Apr 25, 2014 2:02 am

Steven:

Powering Hawking radiation from the formula for the power spectrum of Hawking radiation
On my statistical mechanics problem set, we actually derived this - I remember because any problem that actually facilitates learning new physics on top of revieing old catches my attention - also a professor once told me if it has h-bar in it it is quantum mechanical in nature, if it has c in it it is relativistic - but more importantly they rose c to the 6th power - there are very few things, I know of, that do this.
LOL

I'm not sure what's funnier:

1) For his rationalization of how he was able to buzz he picks LITERALLY the most generic and unmemorable parts of the formula. I can't think of a SINGLE power spectrum radiation formula that doesn't have either the Lorentz gamma or the speed of light (Larmor, synchrotron, cyclotron, bremmstrahlung ALL do). By far the most memorable part of the formula IMO is the bizarre factor of 1/15360 (which incidentally I buzzed on while playing the tournament legitimately, although I waited a few more words for confirmation)

2) He claims that he derived Hawking radiation in a stat. mech. class. I don't think this even needs explaining--this is like saying "I read Pride and Prejudice in my class on Japanese history!"

Hey Steven, if you're reading this:

1) You're not fooling anyone, just give up and apologize and MAYBE you might not get banned from every single quizbowl related activity on the face of the planet.

2) Fuck you for cheating at a for-fun Skype event. Like, seriously dude? Okay, you want to appear smart to your peers, I get it. Maybe try actually fucking learning something next time and then you'll be respected.
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by Matt Weiner » Fri Apr 25, 2014 2:46 am

abnormal abdomen wrote:EDIT: One more thing. Steven mentioned to me in an email that, while he understands why people are speaking negatively of him, he thinks it's inappropriate that apparently some Desert Vista High School players at NHBB are being harassed/"attacked verbally" by people at the tournament. This probably shouldn't happen, given that DV players have nothing to do with what Steven did.
As someone who is currently at the NHBB hotel waiting to volunteer for the first events of the weekend, I'll just confirm that the meeting and competition events of the tournament haven't started yet, and the only way any team who has checked in here would have encountered any other "people at the tournament" would be if they ran into them in the lobby. I also find it incredibly unlikely that some random high school team (or, indeed, any of the staffers) would "attack verbally" anyone for the crime of being from the same high school as a person who cheated, especially since there are very few people involved in NHBB who are enmeshed enough with college quizbowl to even know about this, and essentially all of the people who are both college quizbowl-aware and staffing NHBB were either with me tonight (where we did not see the Desert Vista team and of course would not have heckled them in any case) or are not arriving until tomorrow evening. I'm not saying that Steven Hines is fabricating allegations of harassment in a shameless attempt to deflect attention from his cheating by interjecting a made-up civility bomb into the proceedings, but--oh yeah, I am saying that, and this just goes to show that people who engage in the extremely pathetic practice of cheating at quizbowl just have totally broken personalities and will say or do almost anything no matter how irrational.
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Fri Apr 25, 2014 2:48 am

EDIT: One more thing. Steven mentioned to me in an email that, while he understands why people are speaking negatively of him, he thinks it's inappropriate that apparently some Desert Vista High School players at NHBB are being harassed/"attacked verbally" by people at the tournament. This probably shouldn't happen, given that DV players have nothing to do with what Steven did.
Is this REALLY happening?
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by Ike » Fri Apr 25, 2014 2:49 am

He also pretty much plainly said in light of these events he plans on stepping away from quizbowl for some time, because he feels (correctly) that people probably wouldn't welcome him at quizbowl tournaments. Lloyd and I agreed without much deliberation that Steven isn't going to play quizbowl for the rest of the year, and we don't really know about next year. We think we'd be okay with him playing sometime later next year if he came forward and apologized to the community, but he doesn't seem to be straying him his position. We also agree that this was a pretty pointless instance of cheating. I don't really understand the point of this. In any case, we don't plan on pursuing anything further than an "until further notice" ban from the team.
So I wanted to post a few thoughts about this. I sure hope that you, Abid and Lloyd, won't allow him back to the team if he just apologizes a la Watkins, (especially since he's studied the tossup on Watkins and presumably knows about bullshit apologies,) especially because you two seem like nice guys who may want to see the good in people. More importantly, Steven seems like a liability for the Brown team. Allow me to give an example: Illinois had to deal with a cheater in 2011, who before practices would look up question sets and buzz on the first line for 14 out of 20 tossups while at practice. We gave him a stern warning the first time, but he just continued to cheat over and over. Eventually I banned him from the team for good - I felt that I couldn't trust him at any event in which the Illinois team participated. If I'm at a quizbowl tournament, I should not have to worry that the people implicitly representing our school may decide to look at a moderator's laptop if it is unattended.

That being said, people do deserve second chances, especially if they just made a bad error in judgment one night. So if you feel he's sincere, he makes a coherent open apology and attempts at restitution then sure, maybe he does deserve one more shot.
EDIT: One more thing. Steven mentioned to me in an email that, while he understands why people are speaking negatively of him, he thinks it's inappropriate that apparently some Desert Vista High School players at NHBB are being harassed/"attacked verbally" by people at the tournament. This probably shouldn't happen, given that DV players have nothing to do with what Steven did.
Whoops, maybe no one in the media should have harassed Stephen Liu after Watkinsgate. I obviously didn't do this and I have no idea who this Steven guy is, but if his former teammates are being contacted by people asking "is Steven a complete sociopath, please give us evidence to confirm my belief!" I really can't blame them for asking the question. If on the other hand his teammates are being bombarded by someone saying "Your former teammate is a complete cheater," well that sucks - but if he's showing enough concern about his former teammates and truly is as empathetic as he's claiming, maybe he should issue an apology along with that plea to stop them from being harassed, so that, you know, he'll show he actually cares about the people he fucked over as well.
Steven, defending, wrote:"This programming language includes a PhantomReference type" buzz: Java
This was explicitly mentioned during a lecture on garbage collecting given the CS 330 by Tom Doeppner last semester - we learned about strong, soft, weak, and phantom references in java and how they compare to C.
So probably bullshit.

1. For one, Phantom References are extremely arcane at best. Very, very few people know about such topics. As an example here:
An Article wrote:Some time ago I was interviewing candidates for a Senior Java Engineer position. Among the many questions I asked was "What can you tell me about weak references?" I wasn't expecting a detailed technical treatise on the subject. I would probably have been satisfied with "Umm... don't they have something to do with garbage collection?" I was instead surprised to find that out of twenty-odd engineers, all of whom had at least five years of Java experience and good qualifications, only two of them even knew that weak references existed, and only one of those two had actual useful knowledge about them. I even explained a bit about them, to see if I got an "Oh yeah" from anybody -- nope. I'm not sure why this knowledge is (evidently) uncommon, as weak references are a massively useful feature which have been around since Java 1.2 was released, over seven years ago.
https://weblogs.java.net/blog/2006/05/0 ... references (full story)
In case that isn't clear, you really have to be a Java savant at his age or have used Java a lot (like five years experience at the least, as the article points out) to most likely know about this, and even then, you probably don't! I'm not saying it's inconceivable, but it is highly unlikely you just cover it in an academic setting as described. Also lol, this article was the probably basis for his bullshit defense.

2.) Also, I found the lectures for the class that is cited in the defense: http://cs.brown.edu/courses/cs033/lectures.html I don't have access to his class notes, but this class does cover Systems Programming and some basic low level language basics. It's highly unlikely you would cover phantom references at all, and furthermore this class doesn't cover Java, doesn't cover garbage collection, and doesn't spend a lecture talking about references. I'm sure someone from Brown can email / request access to these lecture notes to see if they contain phantom references in the lecture notes if they really wanted to.

To sum up: the chances that either one of these statements is true is incredibly miniscule, about 1/15360 I would guess.

Final thoughts on cheaters: I hate cheaters. I hated Samadder back in the day, I hate and still hate Cheaterson, and I probably will hate this guy as well. They do the same thing: they don't apologize sincerely, they always claim they're going to take a break, and they are just so dense they don't get it. Furthermore they're just so slimy, the one cheater who I still have to talk to every now and then is probably the most insecure, slimy, bastard I have ever met. If you're going to cheat at an activity in which 99% of the point is knowledge for knowledge's sake, then you really are a dumbass.

EDIT: Horrible grammar mistakes late at night.
Last edited by Ike on Fri Apr 25, 2014 12:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by grapesmoker » Fri Apr 25, 2014 10:01 am

I'm wondering who taught this stat mech class where you derive Hawking radiation. I know a few profs from my time there, but I can't imagine which of them would cover GR topics in a stat mech class, or why. The only one who I think might be crazy enough to do such a thing is Gerry Guralnick, but he taught me GR and didn't cover Hawking radiation, so I don't see why he would cover it in a stat mech class if he was teaching it. And that CS class is, as Ike said, a systems programming class, so it would surprise me if it included sufficiently in-depth discussions of garbage collection to cover phantom variables.

I mean, if those were the only two buzzes, sure, whatever. Who knows what people pick up or mention in their lectures. I'm not going to credit 41 powers to "all of this just happened to be mentioned in my lectures and also I have a perfect memory" though. Not for someone who, again, scored 15 PPG at DII SCT. If you seriously know science that well, you should be averaging at least twice that on science alone and have 3 powers every round. If there was any track record of this guy being that good at science and he played a real tournament that actually indicated this, perhaps. But not as it stands.
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by Habitat_Against_Humanity » Fri Apr 25, 2014 10:11 am

I like that this is basically the quiz bowl version of "Slumdog Millionaire" without you know, the not cheating part.
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by samus149 » Fri Apr 25, 2014 12:32 pm

Habitat_Against_Humanity wrote:I like that this is basically the quiz bowl version of "Slumdog Millionaire" without you know, the not cheating part.
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by The Ununtiable Twine » Fri Apr 25, 2014 1:59 pm

This whole situation reminds me of what happened to Michael Vick. If he confesses and apologizes for committing a crime he didn't think was so serious he gets off with a hand slap and is told not to do it again. Instead a long drawn-out fabrication is insisted upon. Really bad penalties result. Dude, just confess. It'll save everyone affiliated with you in a quizbowl sense from being badgered with unnecessary questionnaires concerning your misguided actions. You didn't have time to study enough material to power 41 (!) questions across several disciplines at a post-Nationals difficulty tournament. Although I would agree that these sorts of events cater to players who take higher level classes, I am making but a phantom reference to the 6-7 powers you could probably legitimately muster from lecture notes (which is a lot!) - instead I am referring to the 34-35 powers that you obviously did not earn via legitimate means.
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by Steven Hines » Fri Apr 25, 2014 2:40 pm

I told myself not to respond, that it would just add fuel to the flame; however, a great many people have advised me to respond - so I am doing just that:

First and foremost - I do not represent Brown Quizbowl or Desert Vista High School Quizbowl - I am at the moment, not affiliated in any way whatsoever. I am independently writing this response. I will say it one more time - my actions and my words should be used to hold me accountable and neither of the above organizations.

Second - Despite Matt's post about NHBB just barely starting, I have received various texts from a multitude of people not only at nhbb but elsewhere as well, which together make the claim that friends of mine (inclusive of those who went to the same school as me) are indeed being attacked in some form or fashion. THIS IS NOT OKAY - THESE PEOPLE ARE INNOCENT OF ANYTHING BUT ASSOCIATION WITH ME // QUIZBOWL PLAYERS SHOULDN'T PERPETUATE AN ENVIRONMENT IN WHICH PEOPLE ARE AFRAID TO KNOW SOMEBODY. If you think that attacking / shaming my past organizations will hurt me, you are right - I ask that, if you are not at fault, simply keep being awesome - but if you are at fault - stop it / hurting them to hurt me is not only malicious but an evil thing to do. Even if you think I did in fact cheat, that does not excuse you of attacking my former teammates. And don't laugh it off and claim that this is some bullshit tactic; because that is perhaps even more harmful than attacking the innocent, due to you perpetuating that it is okay to do these things.

Third - You do not know me; if you did know me, none (and I mean none of these allegations would have been assumed as fact from the start). So I'm going to tell a story (and like all stories it can be true or false - you are going to assume its false but if the right people inquire I can show with substantial proof that it is true). I came into high school knowing jack about physics and math; I did know some computer science (started in 6th grade with c/cpp) though I wouldn't call it science just yet - more like I just knew programming. My road really started in 10th grade - I finally joined quizbowl / sciencebowl. It was the advent of what I like to call the new Steven. I was productive. I spent my weekends crawled up in a textbook or online doing various coding problems. Sure I had very little friends - at the time my friends denounced me (much like you all have) either for being the new guy and improving too rapidly or for turning away from my old activities. I was happy though. Over the summer between 10th and 11th grade, I read 11k pages in textbooks (sure I will agree, I did not understand all of them fully / but so what I enjoyed it). Anyways, 11th/12th grade I start to pick up on advance material / taking college courses in physics and math - advanced/grad level. Anyways I'm going to skip along the timeline. It is May, my senior year, I'm ignoring all my coursework studying solely for hsnct. My studying does pay off - I managed to nab the vast majority of physics either first or second clue (one memorable buzz was getting beta decay off the feynman diagram clue against thomas jefferson in round 2). One of the nicest things was not having to deal with buzzer races on stock clues. Anyways, the tournament goes well up until we play against Loyola in playoffs and lose - we got demolished on every category except science and trash. That is the end of my college experience. Fast forward to my two semesters (so far at Brown) - I'm taking all advanced courses/grad level. In cs 33, sure might not seem all that advanced (however I am the first (or so im told) to ever get out of the prereq requirements without having transferred. Anyways, I join quizbowl and enjoy it / however, I do not really have much time for it / adjusting to living as a college student - plus I'm plagued with sickness (strep/mono). Anyways, that basically gets us to the present. The reason why I told you this is because well you shouldn't be hating somebody you don't know, it is much more appropriate to hate somebody you at least know something about (i.e. he's just a high school freshman, he can't know any advanced physics).

Fourth - I am not mad - if I were in your shoes I probably would have had the same thoughts - though I probably wouldn't have acted on them given my lack of knowledge of the person and my fear of confrontation.

Fifth -
"This programming language includes a PhantomReference type" buzz: Java
This was explicitly mentioned during a lecture on garbage collecting given the CS 330 by Tom Doeppner last semester - we learned about strong, soft, weak, and phantom references in java and how they compare to C.

"One approach to doing this involves constructing a truncation of the tensor product of a one-dimensional multilevel basis" buzz: numerical solutions to diff eq
I took the APMA course, Numerical Solutions to Time To Dependent Differential Equations, and received an A - when I hear constructing tensor product and one dimensional my brain goes straight to schemes and then straight to numerical solutions to diff eq.

"An efficient algorithm for doing this based on the convolution theorem uses a Fast Fourier Transform and an inverse Fast Fourier Transform before a combination step" buzz: multiplication
I was doing so well at this point that all it took was "efficient algorithm" and convolution (which I know from PDE) to immediately think multiplication. I think anybody who knows what a convolution is could have also buzzed here.

Answered electroweak theory with "Glashow-Weinberg-Salaam electroweak theory" (to be fair, Jerry Vinokurov answered this with just Glashow-Weinberg-Salaam theory"
I'm in fucking particle physics - I don't think anymore is needed to explain this - I also powered coupling constant off of the vertex proportional to ig (g is coupling) this comes straight from feynman calculus.
To know which clue I got it off of was the sin^2 term being .23 - we discussed just yesterday neutrino mixing in my particle physics class (this can be verified - if you so desire).

Powering Hawking radiation from the formula for the power spectrum of Hawking radiation
On my statistical mechanics problem set, we actually derived this - I remember because any problem that actually facilitates learning new physics on top of revieing old catches my attention - also a professor once told me if it has h-bar in it it is quantum mechanical in nature, if it has c in it it is relativistic - but more importantly they rose c to the 6th power - there are very few things, I know of, that do this.

Powering trees on the description of Kruskal's algorithm
I was thinking graph - they said a lot of familiar language to graph theory but then I believe they said graph in the question and thats when I buzzed in with tree - I could be mistaken there were a lot of questions yesterday.

Powering potential energy surfaces off of "diabolic points"
I did not know this for sure - I would have given myself 30/70 odds on being right - but I would have kicked myself if I didn't go for it. I heard basins and collisions of two of these structures and symmetry - this made me feel like it was the potential energy hypersurface model from computational quantum chemistry - which Professor Schmidt from ASU mentioned in my first semester of quantum mechanics ever - (I can try to recover the slides if necessary).

One-lining gamma ray bursts off of mapping the Hercules-Corona Borealis Great Wall with "flashes of gamma rays"
This is probably the most unbelievable buzz, as well as, my proudest. I knew what the "great wall of space" was from my astro studying for sciencebowl - but furthermore in order to map a structure this massive what else could it have been? Really think about that. It had to be mapped using light and a lot of it. I have never heard of flashes of microwaves / x-rays /etc. So I went with gamma - and was correct.
Abid/Lloyd posted two random responses from the list I sent them, here is the full list / I know you won't believe these either but at least you have the full selection.

Sixth - Many of you want an apology, so I'm going to give you one here and now. I'm sorry that Andy Watkins has destroyed your patience with people / I think you and I can agree on one thing at least - if the Watkins scandal hadn't occurred, there would have been allegations made against me BUT this whole guilty till proven innocent demeanor wouldn't exist. I apologies to you all for quizbowl not being a healthy family - as it once was (has been for me up until now). This is - the only apology I will give to you. I did not cheat.

Seventh - Many of you would like for me to do a skype oral exam on a lederberg topic of your choosing. I will do this - on several agreements. The quizbowl community as a whole works together to stop the verbal abuse (or for matt's sake, potential verbal abuse) of my former teammates, friends, etc. No more than five people can attend (excluding anyone from Brown/DVQB that wants to attend) - and out of those five, one of them MUST be Jerry. I am given the topic a day beforehand (one day is not enough to learn it well enough to be sufficiently prepared but enough that I can actually prepare a decent lecture). You can put together a list of topics that you feel I should be accountable for - I am allowed to veto topics in which: I didn't buzz, I buzzed incorrectly, I buzzed off of feel, or are too dense to be covered in an hour (I am not half assing physics). And lastly, I give the oral presentation over summer (I am not detracting time from final studying for this).

Eighth - I would like to remind all of you that you are prominent people in the quizbowl community. People look up to you. This is a gift, as well as, a responsibility. You should act appropriately because whatever actions you take, they are seen to reflect on the quizbowl community as a whole. This does not apply only to this situation - this is general advice that should be adhered to throughout life.

Peace and Love,
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by vinteuil » Fri Apr 25, 2014 3:19 pm

Dude, nobody is arguing that you couldn't possibly know things because of your age. What people are arguing is that you weren't able to demonstrate that on a MUCH easier set (SCT) not very long ago, and your long story (third) does nothing to account for this whatsoever.

Also,
I apologies to you all for quizbowl not being a healthy family - as it once was (has been for me up until now).
Fuck you too, I guess?
Last edited by vinteuil on Fri Apr 25, 2014 3:25 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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The Time Keeper
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by The Time Keeper » Fri Apr 25, 2014 3:23 pm

Steven Hines wrote: Fourth - I am not mad - if I were in your shoes I probably would have had the same thoughts - though I probably wouldn't have acted on them given my lack of knowledge of the person and my fear of confrontation.


Sixth - Many of you want an apology, so I'm going to give you one here and now. I'm sorry that Andy Watkins has destroyed your patience with people / I think you and I can agree on one thing at least - if the Watkins scandal hadn't occurred, there would have been allegations made against me BUT this whole guilty till proven innocent demeanor wouldn't exist. I apologies to you all for quizbowl not being a healthy family - as it once was (has been for me up until now). This is - the only apology I will give to you. I did not cheat.
I really love how you're taking the moral highroad here. This is just beautiful stuff.
Pat Freeburn - No particular affiliation.

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Sima Guang Hater
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Fri Apr 25, 2014 3:40 pm

Here's a fun experiment (I hope Corin doesn't mind me using his stats as a control):

Corin Wagen's statline at HSNCT 2013: 19-19-5
Steven Hines' statline at HSNCT 2013: 13-22-9

Corin Wagen's statline at this tournament: 4-26-6
Steven Hines' statline at this tournament: 41-39-13
Eric Mukherjee, MD PhD
Washburn Rural High School, 2005
Brown University, 2009
Medical Scientist Training Program, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, 2018
Intern in Internal Medicine, Yale-Waterbury, 2018-9
Dermatology Resident, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 2019-

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"The next generation will always surpass the previous one. It's one of the never-ending cycles in life."

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Excelsior (smack)
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by Excelsior (smack) » Fri Apr 25, 2014 3:41 pm

So, I am just going to list some facts and fact-like entities here.

-Contra Ike, it's not _that_ ridiculous that someone could know about phantom references. I encountered a passing reference to them in some blog post about weakrefs in various languages, and I'm sure there are other reasons one could know about them.
-FFT-based multiplication algorithms are incredibly important.
-The entire point of clues like "a description of Kruskal's algorithm" is to buzz on them and say "trees". I believe that either Sriram or I did exactly that.
-I was going to claim that nobody uses the construction "flashes of X" where X is a type of electromagnetic radiation, but apparently the wikipedia article on GRBs does exactly that.
-The power spectrum formula for Hawking radiation is incredibly distinctive because it contains both h-bar and G, telling you that something simultaneously quantum-mechanical and general-relativistic is going on - i.e. a black hole is involved. That said, Yale's grad-level statmech-for-astrophysicists course doesn't even touch black hole thermodynamics, so. Also, "c^6" factors don't strike me as distinctive.
-You should of known that all sorts of people - even notable quizbowlers - misspell things.
-The last time somebody exhibited Alman-like improvement - and over the course of a mere three months, no less - was, well, Josh Alman, and we all know how that turned out.
Ashvin Srivatsa
Corporate drone '?? | Yale University '14 | Sycamore High School (OH) '10

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Rococo A Go Go
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Re: Lederberg 2: Daughter Cell (3/29/14)

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Fri Apr 25, 2014 3:44 pm

Is there a way to prove Steven accessed these questions improperly?

In an ideal world we'd have some extra science tossups laying around for somebody to test Steven's knowledge. If he was as good as he said, then perhaps he'd be able to duplicate the performance on unseen questions?
Nick Conder
Louisville, KY

"Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free."--Eugene V. Debs

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