ACF Nationals Thanks and Discussion

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Re: ACF Nationals Thanks and Discussion

Post by RexSueciae » Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:55 pm

I wanted to fire a question at the author of the Millay bonus in the Maryland packet -- for the bonus part on "tetrameter," which of her sonnets were you thinking about? I pulled this eventually while thinking of her "Three Sonnets in Tetrameter," which are some pretty dope sonnets, but (as "Three Sonnets" implies) she wrote multiple poems in that form. Don't get me wrong, I thought the bonus was good content, I'm just curious about authorial intent or whatever.

Now I'm going to gripe cantankerously about three specific questions.
  • From the Chicago A + Johns Hopkins packet, the tossup on the human voice which kept referring to it as an "instrument" -- that's a technically correct description, I guess, but really fam?
  • From the Minnesota + MIT A packet, I was negged for giving the answer of "Eastern Shore" on the tossup for "Delmarva Peninsula." Pardon me for saying so, but is the Eastern Shore not a peninsula of its own? Perhaps the Eastern Shore of Maryland by itself is a non-peninsular region but in Virginia, when people talk about the "Eastern Shore" the landmass they have in mind is pretty clearly a peninsula (given that the tip of a peninsula is itself a peninsula by definition). Add to that the fact that literally every clue from this tossup -- the Parallel Thimble Shoal Tunnel, the ponies of Assateague, skipjacks (which, I believe, are found *west* of the peninsula in the Chesapeake Bay, not east of it in the Atlantic Ocean), Perdue Farms, Cape Charles, and the Bay-Bridge Tunnel -- refer specifically to things within the Eastern Shore of Virginia! (Okay, Perdue started just north of the Maryland border, but they're still in the greater Eastern Shore region.) Could there not have been a prompt there, as the question itself mentioned the Eastern Shore as a component of the Delmarva Peninsula? Or, perhaps, a clue at the very beginning about Delaware to rule out "Eastern Shore" as an acceptable answer.
  • From the Editors 5 packet, I negged whirlwind by saying "wind?...[pause]...whirlwind?" and was ruled wrong because, well, they're direct quotes and I'm pretty sure that the specific English word "whirlwind" is used in most translations, even though the one famous quote from Hosea predicts that "they shall sow the wind, and reap the whirlwind," and so forth. I just wish there had been a specific "do not accept 'wind'" guideline because I heard at least one person actually got prompted in another room for saying "wind," which made me sad.
Okay, that's out of the way, back to saying good things.

I liked playing this set. This year's ACF Nationals was generally really good. Neither of the two protests I remember making (I have a bad memory) ended up mattering, and I was pleased to hear some questions on super real things that definitely deserved to come up. What I especially liked about this tournament's philosophy was the common-link content, asking about important things which by itself would be weird but which worked well with other things included. Sure, I remember an extraordinary number of "Note: musician and type of work required" or similar warnings, but fortunately I don't do music at Nats-level difficulty so I'm perfectly cool with that. :razz:

I would like to warmly thank both the editors and the question-writers of this set for doing a good job. I had fun.
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Re: ACF Nationals Thanks and Discussion

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:27 pm

These questions were very good. My complaints stand as follows:

-1708 is also a critical value for the Rayleigh number in convection (in the Taylor tossup)
-The Hypernetted Chain and Percus-Yevick equations are used to find the radial distribution function, which is also called the pair correlation function, or sometimes just correlation function. I'd push for this not to just be prompted, but accepted.
-There were functionally three music questions in one packet: Aida, Gesualdo, and Bach partitas
-There were also two packets in which the chemistry was basically physics - Born-Oppenheimer and Mossbauer spectroscopy

That is all.
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Re: ACF Nationals Thanks and Discussion

Post by felgon123 » Wed Apr 26, 2017 11:01 pm

RexSueciae wrote:I wanted to fire a question at the author of the Millay bonus in the Maryland packet -- for the bonus part on "tetrameter," which of her sonnets were you thinking about? I pulled this eventually while thinking of her "Three Sonnets in Tetrameter," which are some pretty dope sonnets, but (as "Three Sonnets" implies) she wrote multiple poems in that form. Don't get me wrong, I thought the bonus was good content, I'm just curious about authorial intent or whatever.
I was thinking specifically of the isolated sonnet (not part of the "Three Sonnets" sequence) beginning "Not only love plus awful grief," published in the October, 1938 issue of Poetry. That clue was really just a segue to get to the clues about Marvell's famous use of that meter, but if you got it off of that, that's cool.
RexSueciae wrote:From the Chicago A + Johns Hopkins packet, the tossup on the human voice which kept referring to it as an "instrument" -- that's a technically correct description, I guess, but really fam?
Really.
RexSueciae wrote:From the Editors 5 packet, I negged whirlwind by saying "wind?...[pause]...whirlwind?" and was ruled wrong because, well, they're direct quotes and I'm pretty sure that the specific English word "whirlwind" is used in most translations, even though the one famous quote from Hosea predicts that "they shall sow the wind, and reap the whirlwind," and so forth. I just wish there had been a specific "do not accept 'wind'" guideline because I heard at least one person actually got prompted in another room for saying "wind," which made me sad.
I thought I had all my bases covered with possible translations of the Hebrew terms, but I didn't think of this scenario. The primary meanings of the relevant words all have to do with storms, storm-equivalents, or the winds associated with storms (all of which are most frequently rendered in English translations of the Bible as "whirlwind," which is why that was the first-listed answer). Had I thought to do so, I would've added "storm-wind" as an acceptable answer; a small oversight on my part, for which I apologize. Had the protest mattered, it would've been resolved in your favor.
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Re: ACF Nationals Thanks and Discussion

Post by felgon123 » Wed Apr 26, 2017 11:10 pm

The Quest for the Historical Mukherjesus wrote:-There were functionally three music questions in one packet: Aida, Gesualdo, and Bach partitas
Although this technically was not a distributional error (music tossup, other arts tossup, and other academic tossup--mainly literature--with a music giveaway), had we noticed the convergence, we certainly would've switched Gesualdo to a packet where the other arts was not auditory arts. Apologies for that.
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Re: ACF Nationals Thanks and Discussion

Post by 1.82 » Thu Apr 27, 2017 1:34 am

As a moderator, I was not particularly a fan of this bonus, especially the third part:
13. For 10 points each, answer the following about Middle English lyric poetry.
[10] The lyric beginning “Sumer is icumen in” (SOO-mer “is” ih-KOO-min “in”) repeatedly tells the animal it addresses to do this, from which the poem gets one of its unofficial titles.
ANSWER: sing [accept “lhude sing”]
[10] The central three stanzas of the lyric “I sing of a maiden” (ee “sing oóf a maiden”) each compare the arrival of the infant Jesus to the arrival of the dew in this month. This month is invoked in the first line of The General Prologue of The Canterbury Tales.
ANSWER: April
[10] Another famous lyric begins by describing how this man “lay ibounden, bounden in a bond; foure thousand winter thowt he not too long” (lay ih-BOON-den, BOON-den “in a bond”, FOO-ruh THOO-zahnd “winter” THOOT hay not “toe” “LONG”).
ANSWER: Adam
Reading a Middle English passage of this length using pre-Great Vowel Shift phonology (as the pronunciation guide directs moderators to do) removes the connection to contemporary English that the passage has in written form, turning it into a foreign language. The team that received this bonus in my room had no chance at parsing the third part of this bonus at game speed, and I would be surprised if many teams did any better.
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Re: ACF Nationals Thanks and Discussion

Post by Galadedrid Damodred » Thu Apr 27, 2017 2:24 am

Warning: Wall O’ Text. Responses to content-related comments come first, then at the bottom is more on my approach to using/not using submissions.
otsasonr wrote:The tossup on viscosity includes a prompt for "momentum diffusivity", but not for the broader category of "diffusion coefficient", even though the question says "form of this quantity", which leaves it ambiguous what it's actually looking for.
I indicated to accept "momentum diffusivity" because of the sentence about the Prandtl number. However, from my research, it seemed that this term is used somewhat informally by analogy to the more well-known "thermal diffusivity," so kinematic viscosity isn't formally a kind of diffusion coefficient. Your comment did make me realize that I shouldn't have included the clue about the units of kinematic viscosity in the first place, because those units are shared by other quantities, like thermal diffusivity! (Which makes sense for the Prandtl number to be dimensionless…)
otsasonr wrote:The tossup on the distribution function had a completely useless clue saying something like "the time derivative of this function can be calculated as its Poisson bracket with the Hamiltonian", which applies to literally any function of the canonical coordinates in Hamiltonian mechanics.
The text of the clue is “This function’s time derivative equals the negative of its Poisson bracket with the Hamiltonian,” which is one way of stating Liouville’s theorem. As far as I know, Liouville’s theorem applies specifically to the distribution function, but I may be wrong. (I admit that classical, statistical, and to a certain extent fluid mechanics are where I have the least “real” knowledge, which is borne out by the criticisms you and Eric have made in this thread.)
otsasonr wrote:The tossup on curl used a lead-in describing it as being computed at every step of the Yee algorithm, which led to a swift neg with "finite differences". That should be prompted at least (since that's what is actually computed), or better yet the phrasing of that clue should be changed to something to the effect of "a numerical approximation of this operation is computed at every step of the Yee algorithm", which clarifies what the question is looking for.
The text of the lead-in is “This operation takes place at each ‘leapfrog’ time step of the Yee algorithm.” I have not written or run an FDTD code myself, but I did read Yee’s original paper and several sets of lecture notes on the subject. Based on that research, I concluded that the Yee algorithm executes the time derivatives in Maxwell’s equations at two different points in time but a single point in space, while it executes the curl operations in Maxwell’s equations (or spatial derivatives in the 1-D decomposition, hence the anti-prompt) at two different points in space but at a single point in time that “leapfrogs” by a half-timestep in either direction the points in time where the updates to the E-field and H-field (i.e. the results of the algorithm) are actually occurring. Therefore, at a single “leapfrog” timestep value, the only operations being done are curls, not finite difference or time derivatives.

However, your point is valid because it seems that I neglected to consider all the possible interpretations of the phrasing I chose, specifically the use of the word “timestep” to refer to a point in time rather than a step in the algorithm itself. This is a problem I have often faced with physics questions, as both a player and writer. It can be extremely difficult to condense an equation/theorem/etc. that is normally explained with complicated mathematical notation (as well as definitions of quantities, assumptions, exceptions, and so on) into a clear and unambiguous description that is both comprehensible to the ear at game speed and of a reasonable length (i.e. you don’t want one clue to take up 4 lines). This isn’t an excuse, since I must not have been as clear and unambiguous with the lead-in as I thought I was, but my experience in quizbowl has been that no one has found a magic formula for making understandable quizbowlese out of physics material as it is taught and learned in an academic setting. The ease of translation, if you will, is much easier for most humanities content and arguably for all of the other areas of science as well, since they don’t rely as heavily on mathematics as the default language of description. (Obviously mathematics itself is an exception to this assertion, although I still suspect it is easier to turn math into quizbowl clues because to understand a physics concept you need to understand both the math jargon and the physics jargon, so it is two levels removed from normal English.)
otsasonr wrote:I thought the AdS/CFT correspondence was a bit early in the de Sitter tossup, but that might just be a bias.
I put the AdS/CFT sentence before the sentences on de Sitter precession because the latter topic has more quizbowl exposure, even if AdS/CFT is the most-cited high-energy physics paper OF ALL TIME. Determining what topics are “more famous” than others is a task fraught with danger, since everyone knows different things to different degrees, but that was my judgment here, and Billy and Seth didn’t disagree with me, so that’s how I ordered the clues.
otsasonr wrote:Did anyone convert sawtooth collapse in the tokamak bonus? I've taken a whole course on fusion reactors and didn't, but I might just be salty.
I’m reasonably sure sawtooths are an important topic in tokamak research (and one that I learned while studying for quizbowl long before I wrote this bonus). In the textbooks I used as reference, there were extensive discussions of why sawtooths occur and attempts to model them with various degrees of accuracy. Incidentally, this illustrates one of my main efforts in writing bonus hard parts for this tournament, which was to avoid things named after people whenever possible and include a noticeable number of descriptive/math-based answers. While a high-level topic to be sure, “sawtooth” is an easy answerline to recall because it’s just what the signal looks like. I hope these went over well for the most part. As a player, I longed for more answerlines in the style of “time to the two-thirds power” in the Friedmann equations bonus because they hewed more closely to how I learned physics in the classroom.
otsasonr wrote:Describing what the six-factor formula calculates as a property of neutrons themselves is a pretty serious abuse of terminology.
The six-factor formula determines k, which is called the effective neutron multiplication factor. Even if calling this quantity a property possessed by a group of neutrons were an abuse of terminology, which I don’t think it is, there’s no possible way somebody who knows what this clue is referring to and has heard the moderator say “these particles” 3 times is going to give anything other than the correct answer. You’ve chosen a very small nit to pick here.
otsasonr wrote:While I will grant that Goldstone's theorem is the more common name, it is also definitely referred to as Nambu's theorem and the Nambu-Goldstone theorem, so those answers should be acceptable
I have never seen it referred to as anything other than Goldstone’s theorem, and a Google search of those other names does not turn up any results on the first page, so as far as I’m concerned your argument fails the reasonableness test, i.e. the question writer should not need to devote an excessive amount of effort to hunt down every possible alternate name that someone might use for something. Physicists using nonstandard or idiosyncratic nomenclature is definitely a thing, but I disagree with people who want to stuff answerlines with alternatives that are questionably valid and have an extremely small chance of even being said in the first place, just because one source somewhere says it differently.
otsasonr wrote:The first clue of the pendulum tossup is not unique, and is completely unhelpful. Two-timing analysis and effective potentials are used to analyse many different systems, not just Kapitza's pendulum.
I found this description of how to solve Kapitza’s pendulum and it seemed specific enough, with quite a few distinct mathematical characteristics, that I assumed it was uniquely identifying. If it’s not, mea culpa.
The Quest for the Historical Mukherjesus wrote:1708 is also a critical value for the Rayleigh number in convection (in the Taylor tossup)
I had no idea. Oops!
The Quest for the Historical Mukherjesus wrote:The Hypernetted Chain and Percus-Yevick equations are used to find the radial distribution function, which is also called the pair correlation function, or sometimes just correlation function. I'd push for this not to just be prompted, but accepted.
As far as I recall, I didn’t see “correlation function” used by itself in the sources I used when writing this tossup, so I put it in as a prompt figuring that anyone buzzing in that early in the question would be able to give a more specific answer. If that’s one of your two complaints about my work, I’ll take it (although the 1708 gaffe is embarrassing, I didn't expect to make zero mistakes, especially in the areas where my knowledge is entirely self-taught).
otsasonr wrote:The only other thing that I will say is in response to Austin's decision to write almost all of his categories from scratch, instead of editing submissions. I think it's disrespectful to participating teams to have them contribute questions to those categories if it is known that they are not going to be used. It's one thing for questions to be cut if they are repeated or of poor quality, completely another to knowingly let people write questions which will not be used even if they are good and unique. I understand that things like this are not necessarily known beforehand, but since this pattern apparently began back in August, I think this could have been foreseen.
First of all, I want to emphasize that I took this approach because I didn’t think I would have enough time to properly edit my categories otherwise. When I was offered the editing position (rather unexpectedly, I might add) around the end of July, I was unemployed but going through the interview process at the company where I now work. With regards to my work on ACF Nationals, I had to assume that I’d get a job, with my current employer or somewhere else, in the near future, so I decided I needed to write as many tossups as possible while I still had a significant amount of free time. (Bonuses are a lot easier to think up and a lot faster to write, for me and probably for most other writers, so I wasn’t as worried about those.) I’m a very slow writer/editor, so it was not an appealing prospect to me to churn out half of my questions, even for what amounted to a tad under 10% of the set, in the 2 months or so between when the first packets trickle in and the tournament needs to be ready. In fact, I’ll go further and state that if I didn’t have that free time in August and, to a lesser extent, September, I wouldn’t have agreed to join the editing team in the first place. It’s also important to note that for quite a while, I thought we’d need to produce in the range of 23-25 packets rather than the 20 that ended up being required after (I think) Jerry and Cody came up with a more efficient schedule, so the tossups I wrote or at least conceived of before January turned out to cover a higher percentage of needs than I had thought they would.

A relatively minor but still significant consideration was the need to weight subcategories properly. I tried as much as possible to use submitted bonuses directly or convert submitted tossups to bonuses, but this got progressively harder for the prelim packets as the number of gaps I was looking to plug narrowed. Ensuring adequate representation of all the major subfields of physics is the kind of editorial work that never gets noticed if it’s done right, but is immediately noticed if it’s done wrong. I did the same for earth science, making sure that there wasn’t a huge bias toward either geology or the hydrosphere + atmosphere, and astronomy, making sure to hit topics from the scale of the solar system, to stars and galaxies, on up to cosmology. And I’ve already talked about how I covered mythology.

If you look at the numbers, there really weren’t that many teams that I supposedly “disrespected” with this approach. (Notice I’ve completely avoided discussing the quality of said submissions, which is always a problem with science.) I can see where you could get that feeling, but the real problem is that the editors of ACF Nationals will inevitably throw out a huge number of submissions every year, since the number of teams that write packets is much larger than the number of non-editors’ packets that are needed for the tournament. I don’t know if there is an easy way to reform this scenario, but there’s certainly room for discussion to springboard off the lessons learned from ACF Fall, which has experienced this problem to an even greater degree. As a player, I used required packet-writing as a way to study and wasn’t concerned whether anything I wrote would ever see the light of day, but that’s not how editors should assume everyone thinks. And it’s not what I assumed either – in the end, I figured it was better to run the risk of people being mad that I didn’t use their submissions than to flirt with disaster and end up with a rushed, lower-quality product.
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Re: ACF Nationals Thanks and Discussion

Post by felgon123 » Thu Apr 27, 2017 2:44 am

1.82 wrote:As a moderator, I was not particularly a fan of this bonus, especially the third part:
13. For 10 points each, answer the following about Middle English lyric poetry.
[10] The lyric beginning “Sumer is icumen in” (SOO-mer “is” ih-KOO-min “in”) repeatedly tells the animal it addresses to do this, from which the poem gets one of its unofficial titles.
ANSWER: sing [accept “lhude sing”]
[10] The central three stanzas of the lyric “I sing of a maiden” (ee “sing oóf a maiden”) each compare the arrival of the infant Jesus to the arrival of the dew in this month. This month is invoked in the first line of The General Prologue of The Canterbury Tales.
ANSWER: April
[10] Another famous lyric begins by describing how this man “lay ibounden, bounden in a bond; foure thousand winter thowt he not too long” (lay ih-BOON-den, BOON-den “in a bond”, FOO-ruh THOO-zahnd “winter” THOOT hay not “toe” “LONG”).
ANSWER: Adam
Reading a Middle English passage of this length using pre-Great Vowel Shift phonology (as the pronunciation guide directs moderators to do) removes the connection to contemporary English that the passage has in written form, turning it into a foreign language. The team that received this bonus in my room had no chance at parsing the third part of this bonus at game speed, and I would be surprised if many teams did any better.
What you say is true, but also kind of beside the point? You're not supposed to parse the lines and then "figure it out." All the bonus is really testing is: Have you read/studied/heard of "Adam lay ibounden"? If you have, you should collect your 30 points without issue; it's a simple "fill in the blank in the title." In retrospect I should've made things easier on moderators by paraphrasing the poem in modern English, but I don't think there's any fundamental problem with the question as written, since it's not like pronouncing Middle English correctly should prevent anybody familiar with the poem from getting it.
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Re: ACF Nationals Thanks and Discussion

Post by vcuEvan » Thu Apr 27, 2017 9:45 am

RexSueciae wrote: [*]From the Minnesota + MIT A packet, I was negged for giving the answer of "Eastern Shore" on the tossup for "Delmarva Peninsula." Pardon me for saying so, but is the Eastern Shore not a peninsula of its own? Perhaps the Eastern Shore of Maryland by itself is a non-peninsular region but in Virginia, when people talk about the "Eastern Shore" the landmass they have in mind is pretty clearly a peninsula (given that the tip of a peninsula is itself a peninsula by definition). Add to that the fact that literally every clue from this tossup -- the Parallel Thimble Shoal Tunnel, the ponies of Assateague, skipjacks (which, I believe, are found *west* of the peninsula in the Chesapeake Bay, not east of it in the Atlantic Ocean), Perdue Farms, Cape Charles, and the Bay-Bridge Tunnel -- refer specifically to things within the Eastern Shore of Virginia! (Okay, Perdue started just north of the Maryland border, but they're still in the greater Eastern Shore region.) Could there not have been a prompt there, as the question itself mentioned the Eastern Shore as a component of the Delmarva Peninsula? Or, perhaps, a clue at the very beginning about Delaware to rule out "Eastern Shore" as an acceptable answer.
I guess I always thought of Delmarva as the peninsula and the Eastern Shore as a region on that peninsula. An equivalent question to me would be whether Baja California Sur would be acceptable for a "this peninsula" tossup on Baja California Peninsula tossup if all the clues related to stuff within Baja California Sur. I guess it's worth thinking about.
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Re: ACF Nationals Thanks and Discussion

Post by vinteuil » Thu Apr 27, 2017 11:01 am

Galadedrid Damodred wrote:
otsasonr wrote:The first clue of the pendulum tossup is not unique, and is completely unhelpful. Two-timing analysis and effective potentials are used to analyse many different systems, not just Kapitza's pendulum.
I found this description of how to solve Kapitza’s pendulum and it seemed specific enough, with quite a few distinct mathematical characteristics, that I assumed it was uniquely identifying. If it’s not, mea culpa.
FWIW, Stephen had no trouble buzzing on this clue.
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Re: ACF Nationals Thanks and Discussion

Post by Ike » Thu Apr 27, 2017 6:38 pm

Hey,

I just wanted to say that Austin Brownlow was kind of a last minute replacement: the original physics editor was indisposed, and I suggested Austin as a good emergency replacement. Ideally, Austin would have used more submissions, but I think given the situation, it was more important to have good physics than "good submitted physics." Another way of phrasing this is, Austin was "given notice to edit" on a much smaller time scale than the rest of the editors -- who all volunteered, so I don't think it's really his fault here that he chose to edit the tournament in a schedule that accommodated him.
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Re: ACF Nationals Thanks and Discussion

Post by Brian McPeak » Fri Apr 28, 2017 12:44 pm

The physics in this set was more than competently filled out. The "something for everyone" philosophy seemed to apply here-- I found a handful of questions to be extremely cool (quantization, 2D, amplitudes, jets), and the majority to be quite good in the usual way. My only complaint were that a few questions seem very hard to buzz on before the end (viscosity, geodesics, lorentz force, curl)-- though maybe people had more luck on these than I did.

The other categories, as people have pointed out, were also extremely good. I think the social science in this tournament is the type of thing that we want to see more of, but a lot of it wasn't what I've learned how to study for. This lead to a lot of the questions going pretty late to whoever figured out what was going on (terrorism, homeless, immigration were examples of good ideas with tons of clues that we just didn't know). I'd' be interested to hear others' thoughts about the SS questions on important but less canonical things.
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Re: ACF Nationals Thanks and Discussion

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Fri Apr 28, 2017 1:02 pm

Speaking from the perspective of a social science writer, my concern is that if social science leans too far in the "real" direction of concept/theme tossups, we may get a bit too much in the way of rewarding recognition of obscure names/papers (i.e. you could study by looking up named lists of papers on X topic without necessarily reading those papers, and get a lot of early buzzes). I've definitely been guilty of leaning too far in this direction myself before. I think diversity remains paramount, both to prevent rewarding one study strategy too much over another, and to reward the actual diversity of knowledge that people in quizbowl (and the non-quizbowl world) possess: some people are into more contemporary and academic aspects of social science, some are into learning about intellectual history and the "Great Ideas", some are into just learning about wacky ideas both contemporary and bygone, and many are into all of the above! A good set of questions rewards all of these.
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Re: ACF Nationals Thanks and Discussion

Post by Sam » Fri Apr 28, 2017 1:09 pm

Brian McPeak wrote: The other categories, as people have pointed out, were also extremely good. I think the social science in this tournament is the type of thing that we want to see more of, but a lot of it wasn't what I've learned how to study for. This lead to a lot of the questions going pretty late to whoever figured out what was going on (terrorism, homeless, immigration were examples of good ideas with tons of clues that we just didn't know). I'd' be interested to hear others' thoughts about the SS questions on important but less canonical things.
For what it's worth, NYU got "homelessness" and seemed to actually recognize clues, rather than just figuring it out. I got "immigration" because the first set of clues kind of sounded like immigration and then it started describing someone who sounded a lot like George Borjas, noted immigration opponent. I think that's often the outcome of these questions: maybe no one buzzes on the first clue, but people who know something about the subject can at least use that information to whittle down possible answer lines.

There were also cases where the question went on pretty late and it seemed like whoever got it was just figuring it out, but I don't know if that's a problem. If both our teams knew equal amounts, the tossup would have gone to whomever was best at figuring out quiz bowl (not a trait we would necessarily want to go unrewarded). At worst it would have been, a, um, tossup--not good if all the questions are like that, but one or two in a packet seems fine.
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Re: ACF Nationals Thanks and Discussion

Post by 1.82 » Fri Apr 28, 2017 1:12 pm

At 20 packets, this year's Nationals set was shorter than the past several. I'm curious as to the reasoning behind writing a shorter set and I'm interested in opinions as to whether Nationals sets should contain closer to 20 or 25 packets.
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Re: ACF Nationals Thanks and Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Fri Apr 28, 2017 2:41 pm

1.82 wrote:At 20 packets, this year's Nationals set was shorter than the past several. I'm curious as to the reasoning behind writing a shorter set and I'm interested in opinions as to whether Nationals sets should contain closer to 20 or 25 packets.
This is part of the survey I put out; so far it seems most teams would like to see more rounds, but not all the responses are in yet.
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Re: ACF Nationals Thanks and Discussion

Post by theMoMA » Fri Apr 28, 2017 4:15 pm

As a staffer, I greatly appreciated the shorter tournament this year, and I don't think it took anything away from the competition. The 20+ round schedule in the top bracket from years past seemed excessive to me; I think something like this year's 17 makes a lot more sense. Asking staffers to read 20+ rounds of dense, long Nationals questions is a bit much, and I'm not sure it accomplishes any urgent competitive purpose.
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Re: ACF Nationals Thanks and Discussion

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots » Fri Apr 28, 2017 5:05 pm

The production schedule was a major driver behind that choice. A lot of good teams didn't submit a complete packet until the $ +50 deadline or later; others didn't produce a packet that could be used on its own. So, at some point in March we realized that if we had to wait for those packets to come in, we wouldn't have time to complete 23 packets along with editing and proofreading. Cody came up with an alternative schedule and that was that.

I agree with what Andrew says - that a less grueling schedule is good for players and staffers. From the editors' perspective, it also reduces the strain on available topics, and therefore the pressure to produce shitty packet-filling questions.
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Re: ACF Nationals Thanks and Discussion

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Sun May 14, 2017 10:16 pm

Question. I'm reading this set and am wondering about the leadin to the tossup on Dessalines, which states:

"According to legend, after this man was dismembered, his body parts were put together and buried by a woman  named Azalea."

The only thing I can find is this which doesn't seem to concord with this leadin. I can't seem to find a source for her name being Azalea anywhere; where was that found?
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Re: ACF Nationals Thanks and Discussion

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots » Mon May 15, 2017 4:19 pm

The Quest for the Historical Mukherjesus wrote:Question. I'm reading this set and am wondering about the leadin to the tossup on Dessalines, which states:

"According to legend, after this man was dismembered, his body parts were put together and buried by a woman  named Azalea."

The only thing I can find is this which doesn't seem to concord with this leadin. I can't seem to find a source for her name being Azalea anywhere; where was that found?
Hmm I genuinely don't remember and can't find it either. Must have been either a weird typo (Bazile -> Azalea?) or a weird google books source I was looking at for that tossup. Sorry about that.
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Re: ACF Nationals Thanks and Discussion

Post by Santa Claus » Mon May 15, 2017 4:57 pm

On the tossup on glutamate I got negged for giving "glutamic acid" and was just wondering what sort of difference there was between the two answers. The buzz was very late in question and they had already described it as an amino acid, so I felt that it was a bit much to not give points over a proton.
Galadedrid Damodred wrote:
otsasonr wrote:While I will grant that Goldstone's theorem is the more common name, it is also definitely referred to as Nambu's theorem and the Nambu-Goldstone theorem, so those answers should be acceptable
I have never seen it referred to as anything other than Goldstone’s theorem, and a Google search of those other names does not turn up any results on the first page, so as far as I’m concerned your argument fails the reasonableness test, i.e. the question writer should not need to devote an excessive amount of effort to hunt down every possible alternate name that someone might use for something.
To put in my two-cents on this, the bosons generated as a consequence of spontaneous symmetry breaking are often called Nambu-Goldstone bosons, with Nambu even winning the Nobel for his work in this field. You're right that the theorem is generally attributed to only Goldstone, but considering the close affinity between the two I think that it wouldn't be unfair to take answers with Nambu.
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Re: ACF Nationals Thanks and Discussion

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Mon May 15, 2017 5:00 pm

Santa Claus wrote:On the tossup on glutamate I got negged for giving "glutamic acid" and was just wondering what sort of difference there was between the two answers. The buzz was very late in question and they had already described it as an amino acid, so I felt that it was a bit much to not give points over a proton.
There isn't one (it's in equilibrium), you should get points.
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