SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Elaborate on the merits of specific tournaments or have general theoretical discussion here.
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SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by Your Genie Felon, Me » Tue Feb 27, 2018 2:05 pm

This thread is for specific question discussion.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by csheep » Tue Feb 27, 2018 2:41 pm

Thank you to whoever wrote the Bottom's Dream lead-in to the Poe question - that put a giant smile on my face.
Does this mean Arno Schmidt has been officially introduced into the canon? :party:

The "Dante" tossup felt a a little cliff-y, with the clues prior to the description of Paolo and Francesca seeming not that helpful. I don't know if buzz point data supports this. There was a big cliff in the Amaterasu toss-up, at least in the room where I played when literally every single player buzzed at the same point.

There was a repeat of Jenner/smallpox in bonuses across different rounds.
Last edited by csheep on Tue Feb 27, 2018 4:24 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by tiwonge » Tue Feb 27, 2018 3:11 pm

Could I hear the LDS Heavenly Mother bonus? I was excited to hear the answerline, but I didn't get it, and couldn't remember what clues pointed to it.

I was also really excited about the Navajo myth bonus, but I'd like to see that bonus, too. I am not familiar with a story about Coyote and mortality, and am wondering if something else (like the water baby, which was my first association with Coyote + throwing something into water) might be better.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by Mike Bentley » Tue Feb 27, 2018 4:47 pm

Here were some of the notes I took during the tournament:

The tossup on Medea starts with a clue from Owen Meany. The only play I remember in that is a performance of A Christmas Carol. Maybe Medea happened in it but I didn't see any references in a Google book search.

The question on migration seemed a bit easy to figure out. It pretty early mentioned it was a practice that birds engaged in and implied that they were moving (I think).

The Holodomar question had language in it that made it a bit hard to pin down what it was looking for. In general it seemed like a lot of writers complaining about their disillusionment with the dream of the Soviet Union, perhaps manifest through this specific famine.

I think there are enough Canadian provinces out there that you could use the more straightforward pronoun of "province" rather than "region" for the Quebec tossup.

I'd move the Heathers tossup around so it's not in one of the few packets that also had a fine-arts film question (motorcycles). And regarding motorcycles, I was prompted after saying "bicycles" which seemed probably not correct.

That bonus on Canadian politics was way too hard.

The literature bonus on Dickens and Scrooge probably had two easy parts.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by A Very Long Math Tossup » Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:02 pm

Could I see the tossups on pendulums and Japanese mathematicians and the bonuses on the Lagrangian and post-zygotic isolation?
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by Amiable Vitriol » Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:25 pm

Mike Bentley wrote:Here were some of the notes I took during the tournament:

The tossup on Medea starts with a clue from Owen Meany. The only play I remember in that is a performance of A Christmas Carol. Maybe Medea happened in it but I didn't see any references in a Google book search.
Strangely enough, the performance of Medea is mentioned on page 529 of the Google Books file, which is omitted. You can find the quote mentioned in the tossup on page 530, however. Also, Dan Needham puts on a number of Euripides plays- was that confusing for anyone? Medea is the most emphasized/directly quoted but I was wondering how that would play.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by UlyssesInvictus » Tue Feb 27, 2018 7:25 pm

Can we see the full Medea tossup? Owen Meany is a long book, and I'm struggling to remember if Medea is actually an important part of the book or more of a throwaway details that's kind of punishing, even as a lead-in.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by Your Genie Felon, Me » Tue Feb 27, 2018 7:33 pm

tiwonge wrote:Could I hear the LDS Heavenly Mother bonus? I was excited to hear the answerline, but I didn't get it, and couldn't remember what clues pointed to it.
Packet 6 wrote:12. Books by Raphael Patai and William Dever used archaeological evidence to argue for the existence of this figure. For 10 points each:
[10] Name this role, which one theory claims Asherah served before being removed from the Bible. This figure is an infrequently-discussed part of official Mormon doctrine.
ANSWER: God’s wife [or equivalents of God’s consort; or the Heavenly Mother; or the Mother in Heaven]
tiwonge wrote:I was also really excited about the Navajo myth bonus, but I'd like to see that bonus, too. I am not familiar with a story about Coyote and mortality, and am wondering if something else (like the water baby, which was my first association with Coyote + throwing something into water) might be better.
Packet 7 wrote:14. This group included Maia, the mother of Hermes, and Electra, the mother of Dardanus. For 10 points each:
[10] Name these sisters of the Hyades and the Hesperides. One myth says they committed suicide after the death of their father Atlas, while another claims that they were turned into doves to escape Orion.
ANSWER: the Pleiades
[10] In the creation myth of these people, the Pleiades were the first constellation placed into the sky by Black God. Complaining that the process was taking too long, Coyote used a blanket to throw the rest of the stars into the sky.
ANSWER: Navajo [or Diné bizaad]
[10] In a myth of the Nez Perce, one of the Pleiades pulls the sky over her face after her sisters mock her for falling in love with a man with this trait. The Navajo believed that people gained this trait after Coyote threw a stone into a lake, which sank.
ANSWER: being mortal [or being able to die]
Hm. Upon google search, the story clued here maybe isn't that well known? This will probably have to be adjusted, thanks for drawing our attention to it.
matt2718 wrote:Could I see the tossups on pendulums and Japanese mathematicians and the bonuses on the Lagrangian and post-zygotic isolation?
Packet 2 wrote:16. The normal mode frequencies of these systems can be obtained by solving a quadratic equation involving two plus-or-minus square root of two. One of these systems is the basis for a tuning technique named for Schuler used for inertial navigation. An elliptical integral of the first kind exactly modelling systems can be solved through (*) Legendre polynomials or Taylor expansion. An equation describing the physical variant of this system contains a square root of I over mgd term, while the simple variant of this system has a period proportional to the square root of L over g. The physical variety of one of these systems requires the use of the parallel axis theorem.
For 10 points, name this oscillator consisting of a mass suspended from a pivot.
ANSWER: pendulums [accept specific varieties of pendulums; prompt on simple harmonic oscillator]
Packet 3 wrote:14. One mathematician from this country names a problem that asks for the minimum area of a region in which a needle can rotate 360 degrees. A generalization of Brouwer's fixed-point theorem to set-valued functions is named for a mathematician from this country, and was used to prove the existence of Nash equilibria. In 2012, a mathematician from this country published four impenetrable papers on inter-universal Teichmüller theory, claiming to prove the (*) abc conjecture. A conjecture relating elliptic curves to modular forms is named for André Weil [“vay”] and two people from this country, and was proven by Andrew Wiles in 1994, implying Fermat’s Last Theorem. For 10 points, name this home country of Yutaka Taniyama and Goro Shimura, as well as the paper-folding art of origami.
ANSWER: Japan [or Nihon; or Nippon]
Packet 2, again wrote:3. This problem, first posed by Johann Bernoulli, contributed to the calculus of variations. For 10 points each:
[10] Name this problem involving finding the path between two points that would take the least amount of time to solve, whose solution was proven to be a cycloid.
ANSWER: brachistochrone [“bruh-KISS-tuh-crone”] problem
[10] The Lagrangian of a system is the difference between two kinds of this quantity, one of which is by virtue of motion and can be calculated as one-half times mass times velocity squared.
ANSWER: energy [accept kinetic energy]
[10] The brachistochrone problem can be solved straightforwardly with this simplified version of the Euler–Lagrange equations, which sets the functional equal to a partial of that functional with respect to y-prime times y-prime.
ANSWER: Beltrami identity
Packet 7, again wrote:12. Examples of these include hybrid inviability or sterility. For 10 points each:
[10] Name these barriers that lead to reproductive isolation by preventing a fertilized egg into fully developing. The mule is a result of them.
ANSWER: postzygotic barriers
[10] This man names a speciation rule that states that if in a hybrid species one sex is absent or undeveloped, it will be the heterozygous one. He also observed the effect of oxygen concentrations on hemoglobin’s affinity for carbon dioxide.
ANSWER: J. B. S. Haldane
[10] In this phenomenon, natural selection contributes to reproductive isolation of species by causing barriers for hybridization.
ANSWER: Wallace effect [or reinforcement]
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by Your Genie Felon, Me » Tue Feb 27, 2018 7:35 pm

UlyssesInvictus wrote:Can we see the full Medea tossup? Owen Meany is a long book, and I'm struggling to remember if Medea is actually an important part of the book or more of a throwaway details that's kind of punishing, even as a lead-in.
Packet 1 wrote:15. During a production of this play in A Prayer for Owen Meany, Dan Needham emphasizes the line “Many things the gods achieve beyond our judgment” as spoken by a “sorrowful girl.” After being asked “Are not these words of mine pleasing for you to hear?”, a character in this play exclaims “I am lost!” repeatedly. That character from this play seeks advice from Aegeus regarding the actions of (*) Creon’s daughter. This play begins with a conversation between a nurse and tutor that is interrupted by the laments of a woman who later uses a poisoned diadem to horrifically murder a rival before escaping in a chariot drawn by dragons. The title character of this play kills her children and Glauce. For 10 points, name this Euripides play about the vengeful wife of Jason.
ANSWER: Medea
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by Fucitol » Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:45 pm

The first clue in the pendulum TU seems to me like it would be true for every SHO but that’s based on distant memories of sophomore physics.

The first clue in the exoplanet tossup is taken almost directly from Wikipedia and the second half of it basically describes what an echelon spectrograph dies and has nothing to do with exoplanets. The instrument being described is also used to observe things that aren’t planets and this means the clue is technically partially misleading although anyone who’s heard of the instrument will know it’s primarily used for planets.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by settlej » Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:21 pm

Overall, I had a great time with the set! A few difficulty related things that I wrote down while playing:

For the bonus that (I think) went hardness/Pearson/Lewis acid, I think Pearson might be on the hard side (assuming hardness was the intended hard part)

I also thought the CHSH inequality was a hard hard part for this level.

Could I see the wavefunction TU? I believe the second word of it was "radial" and then went on to talk about hydrogen. That's not really suitable for a lead in imo, especially given the lead in difficulty of other science TUs.

Someone above might have mentioned it, but the post zygotic barriers/Haldane/Wallace effect bonus seems hard. I think making Wallace something more 10-able would be good.

Helium-4 nuclei should be acceptable for alpha particle (and should at least prompt on just helium nuclei)

Could I see the superfluid TU? When I was looking up the paper you led in with earlier this week, they observed a BEC going from a superfluid state to Mott insulator state. I wanted to double check the clue to make sure it wasn't confusing for anyone who has seen that paper.

Thanks again for writing the set! It was a lot of fun, and I had several delightful buzzes.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by A Very Long Math Tossup » Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:59 pm

Packet 2 wrote:16. The normal mode frequencies of these systems can be obtained by solving a quadratic equation involving two plus-or-minus square root of two. One of these systems is the basis for a tuning technique named for Schuler used for inertial navigation. An elliptical integral of the first kind exactly modelling systems can be solved through (*) Legendre polynomials or Taylor expansion. An equation describing the physical variant of this system contains a square root of I over mgd term, while the simple variant of this system has a period proportional to the square root of L over g. The physical variety of one of these systems requires the use of the parallel axis theorem.
For 10 points, name this oscillator consisting of a mass suspended from a pivot.
ANSWER: pendulums [accept specific varieties of pendulums; prompt on simple harmonic oscillator]
James is right. The lead-in is absolutely not uniquely identifying, and there are plenty of systems with the same normal frequencies. I like the reference to elliptic integrals, but the Legendre and Taylor clues are problematic: anyone who would buzz on Legendre polynomials would have already gotten the question by "elliptic integral", so it doesn't make sense for it to be the power cutoff. Mentioning them before the integral clue probably wouldn't work either, as Legendre polynomials are used all over the place (they're also more common in electrostatics than mechanics). Virtually every non-trivial mechanics problems involves a Taylor expansion, so that clue isn't very useful. It might be better to replace it with something about the small-angle approximation (as overclued as it may be).
Packet 3 wrote:14. One mathematician from this country names a problem that asks for the minimum area of a region in which a needle can rotate 360 degrees. A generalization of Brouwer's fixed-point theorem to set-valued functions is named for a mathematician from this country, and was used to prove the existence of Nash equilibria. In 2012, a mathematician from this country published four impenetrable papers on inter-universal Teichmüller theory, claiming to prove the (*) abc conjecture. A conjecture relating elliptic curves to modular forms is named for André Weil [“vay”] and two people from this country, and was proven by Andrew Wiles in 1994, implying Fermat’s Last Theorem. For 10 points, name this home country of Yutaka Taniyama and Goro Shimura, as well as the paper-folding art of origami.
ANSWER: Japan [or Nihon; or Nippon]
I think Kakutani's theorem is more obscure than the Kakeya needle problem (I could be wrong, though). Maybe swap those clues?
Packet 2, again wrote:3. This problem, first posed by Johann Bernoulli, contributed to the calculus of variations. For 10 points each:
[10] Name this problem involving finding the path between two points that would take the least amount of time to solve, whose solution was proven to be a cycloid.
ANSWER: brachistochrone [“bruh-KISS-tuh-crone”] problem
[10] The Lagrangian of a system is the difference between two kinds of this quantity, one of which is by virtue of motion and can be calculated as one-half times mass times velocity squared.
ANSWER: energy [accept kinetic energy]
[10] The brachistochrone problem can be solved straightforwardly with this simplified version of the Euler–Lagrange equations, which sets the functional equal to a partial of that functional with respect to y-prime times y-prime.
ANSWER: Beltrami identity
Beltrami might be a bit hard for this tournament.
Packet 7, again wrote:12. Examples of these include hybrid inviability or sterility. For 10 points each:
[10] Name these barriers that lead to reproductive isolation by preventing a fertilized egg into fully developing. The mule is a result of them.
ANSWER: postzygotic barriers
[10] This man names a speciation rule that states that if in a hybrid species one sex is absent or undeveloped, it will be the heterozygous one. He also observed the effect of oxygen concentrations on hemoglobin’s affinity for carbon dioxide.
ANSWER: J. B. S. Haldane
[10] In this phenomenon, natural selection contributes to reproductive isolation of species by causing barriers for hybridization.
ANSWER: Wallace effect [or reinforcement]
I'd love to see more ecology & evolutionary bio in quizbowl, but this question is way too hard for a regular-minus tournament.

Aside from these nitpicks, however, I enjoyed the set tremendously.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by Mike Bentley » Wed Feb 28, 2018 1:43 am

I also didn't think the musical tossup on New York worked that well. The setting of How To Succeed isn't especially notable beyond that it takes place in a skyscraper that might be in New York.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by A Very Long Math Tossup » Wed Feb 28, 2018 2:23 am

Mike Bentley wrote:I also didn't think the musical tossup on New York worked that well. The setting of How To Succeed isn't especially notable beyond that it takes place in a skyscraper that might be in New York.
I also thought it was pretty transparent. There aren't many cities that are represented enough in musical theater to warrant an entire tossup.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by Your Genie Felon, Me » Wed Feb 28, 2018 6:53 am

settlej wrote:Could I see the wavefunction TU? I believe the second word of it was "radial" and then went on to talk about hydrogen. That's not really suitable for a lead in imo, especially given the lead in difficulty of other science TUs.
Packet 6 wrote:15. The first radial one of this quantity for a hydrogen atom, derived using a product of spherical harmonics and this quantity normalized, contains an e to the negative r over a-nought term. Working with the Klein–Gordon equation shows that this quantity for a positive energy state is the complex conjugate of this quantity for a negative energy state. For bosons under exchange, this quantity remains (*) symmetric as opposed to its antisymmetric nature for fermion exchange. The magnitude squared of this quantity, which must be one when integrated according to the normalization condition, gives the probability density of a particle having a given momentum. For a free moving particle, this quantity follows a sine curve for momentum versus position, supporting the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. For 10 points, name this quantity symbolized psi that describes the quantum state of a particle.
Yes, this was a common comment, and we'll make sure to address that.
settlej wrote:Could I see the superfluid TU? When I was looking up the paper you led in with earlier this week, they observed a BEC going from a superfluid state to Mott insulator state. I wanted to double check the clue to make sure it wasn't confusing for anyone who has seen that paper.
Packet 4 wrote:20. A boojum is a pattern on the surface of this substance caused by a monopole singularity. A 2002 paper by Greiner et al. discussed quantum phase transitions of a system without thermal fluctuations from one of these substances to a Mott insulators. One form of these substances exhibit a fluctuation in thickness and temperature known as (*) “third sound.” Lev Landau posited the existence of rotons as excitations in one of these substances. These substances form Rollin films on the sides of their containers. Helium-4 was first observed by Pyotr Kapitsa to act as one of these substances below its “lamba point” of 2.17 kelvins. For 10 points, name these substances that exhibit zero viscosity.
Abstract from 'Quantum phase transition from a superfluid to a Mott insulator in a gas of ultracold atoms' wrote:Here we observe such a quantum phase transition in a Bose–Einstein condensate with repulsive interactions, held in a three-dimensional optical lattice potential. As the potential depth of the lattice is increased, a transition is observed from a superfluid to a Mott insulator phase.
I don't actually know anything about this, so I can't say anything, but it seems that it would be helpful to clarify this in the clue – suggestions on how to do that would be appreciated! Also, I should acknowledge here that a commont complaint was the "third sound" cliff in this tossup, which we will also address.
Thanks again for writing the set! It was a lot of fun, and I had several delightful buzzes.
Thank you! I'm glad it was enjoyable.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by Your Genie Felon, Me » Wed Feb 28, 2018 7:00 am

matt2718 wrote:
Mike Bentley wrote:I also didn't think the musical tossup on New York worked that well. The setting of How To Succeed isn't especially notable beyond that it takes place in a skyscraper that might be in New York.
I also thought it was pretty transparent. There aren't many cities that are represented enough in musical theater to warrant an entire tossup.
I think part of the transparency resulted from the fact that you hear about big business and skyscrapers (window cleaner), which already kinda leads you towards NYC. But do you think that any NYC tossup on musicals will be inherently transparent? I rewrote the tossup to look like this (this is a draft that hasn't been fully edited yet):
Draft of Tossup Rewrite wrote:In a musical set in this city, the main character’s store sells a lottery ticket that has a 96,000 dollar payout and Nina, Vanessa, Daniela, and Carla gossip and tell each other to "tell me something I don't know". In another musical set in this city, a character sings that “a tiger in a cage can never see the sun” in the song “Take Me or Leave Me”. A musical set in this city has five songs consisting of various peoples’ voicemails and ends with the cast singing (*) “no day but today” over and over after the protagonist wakes up and says Angel told her not to die. Another musical set in this city was choreographed by Jerome Robbins and features the a song that alternates bars of 6/8 and 3/4, “America.” In that musical, the Jets, the Sharks, and lovers Tony and Maria all live in this city. For 10 points, name this city, the setting of the musicals Rent and West Side Story.
I don't think the tossup in this form is as doomed to be transparent, but depending on what you think of the idea, the tossup might always be somewhat transparent. Not sure if it will still be too much of a problem?
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by cat » Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:32 am

I wrote a musicals tossup on NYC last year, too. Because LA, Chicago, Paris, etc. are also possibilities, I think it plays out fine since most people won't buzz until they recognize a clue so I don't see any issue with the TU you just posted.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by A Very Long Math Tossup » Wed Feb 28, 2018 12:28 pm

Draft of Tossup Rewrite wrote:In a musical set in this city, the main character’s store sells a lottery ticket that has a 96,000 dollar payout and Nina, Vanessa, Daniela, and Carla gossip and tell each other to "tell me something I don't know". In another musical set in this city, a character sings that “a tiger in a cage can never see the sun” in the song “Take Me or Leave Me”. A musical set in this city has five songs consisting of various peoples’ voicemails and ends with the cast singing (*) “no day but today” over and over after the protagonist wakes up and says Angel told her not to die. Another musical set in this city was choreographed by Jerome Robbins and features the a song that alternates bars of 6/8 and 3/4, “America.” In that musical, the Jets, the Sharks, and lovers Tony and Maria all live in this city. For 10 points, name this city, the setting of the musicals Rent and West Side Story.
I really like this rewrite and think it will play a lot better. The answer space is still pretty small, but Catherine makes a excellent point about other possible cities. The only issue I have is that In The Heights might be a bit easy for the lead-in.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by csheep » Wed Feb 28, 2018 12:54 pm

The opera toss-up on "three" seemed ill-conceived. It was easily fraudable/very transparent/"who's brave enough to buzz first", and doesn't seem to be particularly important as a concept to ask about with the clues selected.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by Your Genie Felon, Me » Wed Feb 28, 2018 1:15 pm

csheep wrote:The opera toss-up on "three" seemed ill-conceived. It was easily fraudable/very transparent, and doesn't seem to be particularly important as a concept to ask about with the clues selected.
Slight Edit of Tossup From Packet 4 wrote:In one opera, this many child-spirits prevent a character from committing suicide and tell another character to play magic bells to summon his lover. Lauretta’s father exclaims “Niente!” [“n’YEN-tay”] this many times before the aria “O mio babbino caro.” This many characters respond to a character’s aria “Zu Hilfe! Zu Hilfe!” [“tsoo HILL-fuh”] where he cries to the gods for help. Calaf says “vincerò” this many times at the end of “Nessun Dorma”. This number of characters place a (*) padlock over another character’s mouth to punish him for lying. Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi [“jah-nee SKEE-kee”] is the first in a series of this many operas. An opera in which Truffaldino tries to make the Prince of the King of Clubs laugh is titled for this many oranges and is by Prokofiev. For 10 points, name this number of characters that sing in operatic trios.
Part of the reception we got was that the clue on Don Giovanni (that "this many characters are on stage" when he's dragged to hell) was pretty bad, since in many productions various demons are on stage during that scene, so I replaced it with a Nessun Dorma clue. When I wrote the tossup initially, almost every clue was from The Magic Flute, but that didn't allow for great pyramidality, so other clues were added in, making it less thematically consistent. I'm less convinced that the tossup is particularly fraudable, and not much of the direct reception we received at the mirror focused on that aspect of the tossup, but I can certainly see how that would be true, and if other people seem to agree that it's transparent we can certainly replace the tossup with some other opera answerline.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by otsasonr » Wed Feb 28, 2018 1:23 pm

First things first: whoever included the Sunbather clue in the "dream" tossup, you are my Most Favourite Person.

I'm going to echo what was said above: Beltrami's identity is too hard for this level. In addition, it's also just not that important, going unmentioned in two classical mechanics textbooks I checked, as well as a textbook on the calculus of variations. I would recommend replacing it with something on cyclic variables, since that's when it applies anyway.

The pendulum tossup is not good. The first clue on normal modes is very much not uniquely identifying. (For that matter, what kind of pendulum are we talking about anyway? The standard planar pendulum doesn't have more than one mode. Are we referring to a set of coupled pendula?) The second clue is interesting, and might as well be the lead-in. The elliptic integral clue is fine, but as mentioned above, the follow-up with Legendre polynomials and Taylor expansion is not helpful. And the penultimate clue about the parallel axis theorem is also not helpful, since all that tells you is this is a system that rotates about a point which is not its centre of mass.

I doubt that anyone except for me is ever confused by this wording, but because it bugs me every time, the wavefunction is not a quantity. It's right there in the name: it's a function, that when evaluated at a particular point gives you a quantity. Even then, it's not a "good" physical quantity, in the sense that for any given physical configuration it has infinitely many indistinguishable values (i.e. if I shift the wavefunction by a constant phase for all the particles in a closed system, then all observables remain the same).

Also, can I see the tossup on "stress"?
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by Your Genie Felon, Me » Wed Feb 28, 2018 1:29 pm

otsasonr wrote:First things first: whoever included the Sunbather clue in the "dream" tossup, you are my Most Favourite Person… Also, can I see the tossup on "stress"?
You can thank Ali Saeed for that one! Also, here's the tossup:
Packet 5 wrote:Eshelby names a form of this quantity that he described to be caused by “configurational forces” by equating bulk tension with bulk free energy. A pair of measures for this quantity named for Piola and Kirchoff differ in the fact that the first measure is a multiaxial generalization of the second. (*) Lamé’s ellipsoid is a method of visualization for this quantity using a principal axes model. The yield point represents the threshold for this quantity after which an object experiences inelastic deformation. The shear form of this quantity is the product of gamma and shear modulus. This quantity’s tensile form is found in the numerator of the definition of Young’s modulus. For 10 points, name this quantity that is not pressure but can be expressed as a force over area, often inducing strain.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by Mike Bentley » Wed Feb 28, 2018 4:30 pm

Oh and there was a bonus on LCD Soundsystem. The first part was on a book that recently came out that chronicled the history of that scene. I remember reading a review of the book but I don't recall it being particularly memorable or acclaimed. Seems like quite a stretch for a hard part in this tournament.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by ryanrosenberg » Wed Feb 28, 2018 4:37 pm

Mike Bentley wrote:Oh and there was a bonus on LCD Soundsystem. The first part was on a book that recently came out that chronicled the history of that scene. I remember reading a review of the book but I don't recall it being particularly memorable or acclaimed. Seems like quite a stretch for a hard part in this tournament.
Same here.

I'd also add that the 1/1 "2000s alt-rock" distribution was a bit excessive (as was having both a tossup and bonus on cryptocurrency). One of those questions should probably be scrapped, perhaps for a sports question, since I don't recall this set having any sports.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by settlej » Wed Feb 28, 2018 4:48 pm

Packet 6 wrote:15. The first radial one of this quantity for a hydrogen atom, derived using a product of spherical harmonics and this quantity normalized, contains an e to the negative r over a-nought term. Working with the Klein–Gordon equation shows that this quantity for a positive energy state is the complex conjugate of this quantity for a negative energy state. For bosons under exchange, this quantity remains (*) symmetric as opposed to its antisymmetric nature for fermion exchange. The magnitude squared of this quantity, which must be one when integrated according to the normalization condition, gives the probability density of a particle having a given momentum. For a free moving particle, this quantity follows a sine curve for momentum versus position, supporting the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. For 10 points, name this quantity symbolized psi that describes the quantum state of a particle.
I'll echo what Rein said that "this quantity" threw me off from buzzing earlier than I did. You're not the only person! It feels like people just use "this quantity" as quiz bowl-ese to obscure the answer line.

Also, the wording for the free particle clue is really strange to me. Is it saying that the plot of momentum vs position of a free particle follows a sine curve? Or is it trying to get at the fact that for the free particle the non-localized wave function has the form exp(i(kx - (p^2)t/2m)? It seems like the purpose of the free particle clue was meant to basically tell people "this is quantum stuff", but I think it's confusing and maybe inaccurate. It can be shown that the Gaussian wave packet solution to the free particle has minimum uncertainty, so maybe that would be better to clue from.
Packet 4 wrote:20. A boojum is a pattern on the surface of this substance caused by a monopole singularity. A 2002 paper by Greiner et al. discussed quantum phase transitions of a system without thermal fluctuations from one of these substances to a Mott insulators. One form of these substances exhibit a fluctuation in thickness and temperature known as (*) “third sound.” Lev Landau posited the existence of rotons as excitations in one of these substances. These substances form Rollin films on the sides of their containers. Helium-4 was first observed by Pyotr Kapitsa to act as one of these substances below its “lamba point” of 2.17 kelvins. For 10 points, name these substances that exhibit zero viscosity.
I'm not a great player, but, yeah, the jump from the first two clues to third sound is quite the cliff for me. Looking over the Greiner et al. clue, it might be better to replace "system" with "Bose-Einstein condensate", but that also reduces the answer space. I think it's ok as is.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by cruzeiro » Wed Feb 28, 2018 9:13 pm

Could I see the tossup on Québec please? From memory, it felt basically like an old-timey Geo question asking physical features in the empty space in Northern Québec, without much else there.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by Your Genie Felon, Me » Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:14 pm

cruzeiro wrote:Could I see the tossup on Québec please? From memory, it felt basically like an old-timey Geo question asking physical features in the empty space in Northern Québec, without much else there.
Packet 6 wrote:This region’s largest lake is Lake Mistassini, which is fed by the Rupert River. A hydroelectric project in this region has sites on the Eastmain River, whose highest point is Mount Caubvick. This region is home to magma intrusions known as the Monteregian Hills. Chic-Choc and Torngat Mountains are located in this region, where the Nord and (*) St. Maurice Rivers rise from the Laurentian Mountains. The Manicouagan Crater is in this region, which borders Ungava Bay. The Plains of Abraham are located outside the capital of this region, which includes the Gaspe Peninsula in its south. This region’s largest city lies at the confluence of the Ottawa and St. Lawrence Rivers. For 10 points, name this Canadian province containing the city of Montreal, known for its French-speaking population.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by Nice hockey Cote d'Azur » Thu Mar 01, 2018 9:26 pm

I enjoyed the set, I thought in general the questions were quite good and I didn't notice any systemic problems. Here's a few general comments I had:

The trash felt really imbalanced to me, I remember only one TV bonus and a couple film questions but almost all of it was music.

There were two too many questions on cryptocurrencies.

The Luxembourg bonus seemed kinda hard, it felt like you could just kinda guess the first two. I was unaware that German is an official language of Belgium, and since very few people there speak it that doesn't seem like a particularly notable fact to me.

One questions says Robert and Governeur Morris were brothers, they are unrelated.

The Stein/Hemingway/Movable Feast bonus seemed notably easy.

The Open Window tossup described what I thought were basic plot details (the letters of introduction) pretty early, might want to move that down.

The 1988 election tossup says that Gary Hart ran in it, he also ran in 1984 so that should be clarified.

The vows question didn't play very well, it seemed pretty transparent to me.

As mentioned before, the Canadian politics bonus was real hard.

In the Kalevala bonus, "Northland" should be an alternate answer for Pohjola.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by Fucitol » Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:45 am

Marmaduke van Swearingen wrote:There were two too many questions on cryptocurrencies.

Given what is currently in the news, your acceptable number of cryptocurrency-related questions is at least one too low.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by Progcon » Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:15 pm

Sorry about the late and long post. Have had a hellish week since I played this set.

I thought this set was very okay ish. It got history, literature and fine arts right but I thought the science skewed hard (espcially physics hard parts. My teammate has taken multiple collegiate EM classes and was struggling on these medium parts.)

I didn't really play round 1 because one moderator had shitty audio on my end and I couldn't hear him. This moderator really impacted my ability to enjoy this set so please make sure your stuff is working before you read for a Discord event...

I thought all the econ in this set was really annoying and not interesting. The Card unemployment study is both not very good, has been improved upon a bunch, and comes up way too much in quizbowl. The bonus on Thaler was also really boring. Can quizbowl please stop asking about the same 10 econ things and having tossups on Hayek and Friedman??? Econometrics and micro theory almost never comes up but that content is studied far more than boring Keynesian versus Classical, basic Macro stuff. I negged the tossup with Friedman off a descriptive clue so that was annoying as hell. I'd like to see that tossup. The social science also contained very boring tossups on Jacobs and _New York_ that made me roll my eyes even as I converted them. The thought overall did not seem fresh or fun to play to be honest. At this point, I'd rather have .5/.5 Phil and .5/.5 SS at regular minus than hear the same things again and again and again.

The philosophy in this tournament was also really boring. I thought the tossup on "God" was really transparent as I powered it. This is the issue with common link philosophy: it creates a lot of "playing chicken" games or "what is this called" games that do not seem to be particularity friendly for new players. Most players--especially new ones-- suck at philosophy and I don't see how having common link answerlines helps at all aside from raw conversion numbers. Also, how many novice players have deep knowledge on Avicenna? Can I see that tossup?

I thought the math in this set did not seem very "curricular". I do not remember any analysis or pure algebra tossups. Instead, I recall silly number theory and "hobby math" questions. I did enjoy the CS in this set even if there were too many questions on crypto.

Finally, I agree with Tejas that the trash in this set was really unbalanced. I'd rather have there be no trash than hear the nth bonus on Indie rock or whatever niche film thing the writers like. There was literally no sports in this tournament aside from what I saw as a Current Events-esque Olympics tossup.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by Amiable Vitriol » Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:22 pm

Progcon wrote: Finally, I agree with Tejas that the trash in this set was really unbalanced. I'd rather have there be no trash than hear the nth bonus on Indie rock or whatever niche film thing the writers like. There was literally no sports in this tournament aside from what I saw as a Current Events-esque Olympics tossup.
I can't speak to the rest of this post, but 1/1 of sports ended up in the "finals packets," which were actually regular rounds that will be heard by most people at IRL sites. We're also working on other trash imbalances- sorry about that.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by kiwikoalabear » Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:35 pm

Thank you editors and everyone involved in producing this set! I played a mirror today and had a lot of fun, although I do have a few nitpicks.

The answer line "water" came up three separate times in tossups, which was jarring. The "water on Mars" tossup answerline I thought was unclear - my teammate buzzed in with "water", and couldn't produce the correct answer when prompted. If I remember correctly, the tossup was asking for a "substance" so I think "water" should be an acceptable answer line, since water on Mars is inherently the same thing as water on Earth or anywhere else.

Also, ballet (yay!) and computer science definitely came up a lot more than usual. This isn't really a complaint, just an observation that there were substantially more questions in those categories than expected for fine arts and miscellaneous science, respectively.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by kwang » Sat Mar 10, 2018 11:21 pm

I attended today's Hopkins mirror as well and had a pretty good time. I think this set hits its target difficulty well--for me as a high schooler at least, the questions were challenging but still accessible.

I would second Julia's criticism about the prompt instructions for "water on Mars". It doesn't make a lot of sense to ask for a "substance" and then also require the specific place where that substance is found, especially since all the clues were already about Mars. Additionally, I would note that teams groaned a bit whenever "description acceptable" came up. I personally found most of those answers to be reasonably straightforward (possibly besides the "sobriety in Islam" one), but perhaps others didn't feel that way/there were one too many such questions for people's tastes.

Could I see the tossup on "light"? (If I recall correctly, it was mostly Stockhausen's Licht and The Creation). I thought that question was really creative and refreshing. In general, the auditory arts questions were well written, especially Debussy, which (if I'm not mistaken) pulled from his lesser-performed piano duos for the clues in power.

Could I also see the common link tossup on films with "big" in the title? I absolutely LOVED this--got it on the description of Jesus Quintana, so I'm curious what the rest of the clues in that question were.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by 1.82 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 4:01 pm

Your Feline Genome wrote:
cruzeiro wrote:Could I see the tossup on Québec please? From memory, it felt basically like an old-timey Geo question asking physical features in the empty space in Northern Québec, without much else there.
Packet 6 wrote:This region’s largest lake is Lake Mistassini, which is fed by the Rupert River. A hydroelectric project in this region has sites on the Eastmain River, whose highest point is Mount Caubvick. This region is home to magma intrusions known as the Monteregian Hills. Chic-Choc and Torngat Mountains are located in this region, where the Nord and (*) St. Maurice Rivers rise from the Laurentian Mountains. The Manicouagan Crater is in this region, which borders Ungava Bay. The Plains of Abraham are located outside the capital of this region, which includes the Gaspe Peninsula in its south. This region’s largest city lies at the confluence of the Ottawa and St. Lawrence Rivers. For 10 points, name this Canadian province containing the city of Montreal, known for its French-speaking population.
I didn't play this tournament, but the Torngat Mountains clue is not good; the Torngat Mountains extend into Labrador, and Torngat Mountains National Park is in fact entirely within Labrador.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by Your Genie Felon, Me » Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:39 am

Progcon wrote:Can quizbowl please stop asking about the same 10 econ things and having tossups on Hayek and Friedman???… I negged the tossup with Friedman off a descriptive clue so that was annoying as hell. I'd like to see that tossup.
There was no tossup on Friedman himself, so I assume you're talking about this tossup?
Packet 10 wrote:Alan Shipman wrote about the “myth” of this topic, claiming that its opponents have tried to “[defuse] the Western class war” via the shifting of alienation. The “race to the bottom” is often attributed to this phenomenon, which John Gray has described as a post-Cold War “American project.” Paul Krugman quipped that “If there were an Economist’s Creed, it would surely contain” two affirmations underlying this process’s economic (*) neoliberalism. George Ritzer discussed this process in terms of “McDonaldization,” and Joseph Stiglitz wrote about it and its “Discontents.” This is the topic of Thomas Friedman’s The World is Flat, which argues that historical political divisions are growing increasingly meaningless. For 10 points, name this phenomenon of growing interconnectedness in the world’s economy.
Progcon wrote:Also, how many novice players have deep knowledge on Avicenna? Can I see that tossup?
Packet 8 wrote:In the “Metaphysics” section of one of his works, this philosopher claimed that the subject matter of logic is “secondary intelligible concepts.” This thinker’s belief that God cannot know particular things and his denial of the resurrection of the body are critiqued in the 13th and 20th points of a book by another author. This philosopher argued that one would still affirm one’s own existence despite being unaware of one’s body if born blind and unable to (*) touch anything. This thinker argued for the existence of the soul in the “flying man” thought experiment and is, along with his predecessor Al-Farabi, the major target of The Incoherence of the Philosophers by al-Ghazali. For 10 points, The Book of Healing was authored by what medieval Persian polymath known by a Latinized name?
kiwikoalabear wrote:The answer line "water" came up three separate times in tossups, which was jarring. The "water on Mars" tossup answerline I thought was unclear - my teammate buzzed in with "water", and couldn't produce the correct answer when prompted. If I remember correctly, the tossup was asking for a "substance" so I think "water" should be an acceptable answer line, since water on Mars is inherently the same thing as water on Earth or anywhere else.
kwang wrote:I would second Julia's criticism about the prompt instructions for "water on Mars". It doesn't make a lot of sense to ask for a "substance" and then also require the specific place where that substance is found, especially since all the clues were already about Mars.
You know, we really should just replace that tossup… Sorry about that, guys. We'll take care of this, either by changing the answerline or replacing the tossup.
kwang wrote:Could I see the tossup on "light"? (If I recall correctly, it was mostly Stockhausen's Licht and The Creation).
:wink:
Packet 7, written by JinAh wrote:A massive work with this name was called an “eternal spiral” by its composer; that seven-part work’s last section involves two separate auditoriums. At a concert in Vienna, an elderly composer was brought in on a stretcher and the audience broke into applause after the chorus sang this noun. In that piece, a momentous C major fortissimo chord represents the arrival of this thing. This word titles an opera cycle based around the days of the week that includes a (*) “Helicopter String Quartet.” This phenomenon provides the common nickname for a piece in C-sharp minor with an adagio sostenuto first movement. That piece, subtitled “Quasi una Fantasia,” was nicknamed for this phenomenon on Lake Lucerne. For 10 points, name this phenomenon which is announced with “And then there was” in Haydn’s The Creation.
kwang wrote:In general, the auditory arts questions were well written, especially Debussy, which (if I'm not mistaken) pulled from his lesser-performed piano duos for the clues in power.
Thanks! Kai takes credit for that excellent Debussy tossup.
kwang wrote:Could I also see the common link tossup on films with "big" in the title? I absolutely LOVED this--got it on the description of Jesus Quintana, so I'm curious what the rest of the clues in that question were.
Packet 1 wrote:A movie with this adjective in the title features a slo-mo sequence backed by mariachi music in which a character in a purple track-suit wafts his hand over a vent; that character is the star of the upcoming movie Going Places. In a movie with this adjective in the title, the protagonist approaches a woman at a bar to admonish her for “woo-hoo”-ing him. This adjective titles a movie in which Josh plays on a giant (*) keyboard in a toy store and stumbles upon a fortune telling machine called Zoltar Speaks. This adjective appears in the title of a 2017 Kumail Nanjiani film and a movie in which two men urinate on a rug owned by “the Dude,” played by Jeff Bridges. For 10 points, name this adjective that precedes “Lebowski” in the title of a Coen Brothers film.
kiwikoalabear wrote:Also, ballet (yay!) and computer science definitely came up a lot more than usual. This isn't really a complaint, just an observation that there were substantially more questions in those categories than expected for fine arts and miscellaneous science, respectively.
Surprised you didn't point out the larger amount of jazz questions than normal, too! Because opera was in the 1/1 music and opera subdistro, the Other Auditory Arts distro ended up being very jazz and ballet centric. I believe it ended up being something like 3/2 jazz, 2/3 ballet, 1/1 musical theater, and 2/1 misc. music (stuff like the gongs tossup). I personally liked how the other audio distro turned out, with removing opera leaving a lot more wiggle room for the other areas, but if that seemed like legitimately too much we might consider replacing some of the questions. Can't speak to the CS distro, other than it was intended to be 0.25/0.25, which seemed okay to me – the other science distro was definitely mostly padded with math and CS, with math being 0.45/0.45.
1.82 wrote:I didn't play this tournament, but the Torngat Mountains clue is not good; the Torngat Mountains extend into Labrador, and Torngat Mountains National Park is in fact entirely within Labrador.
Will fix!
kiwikoalabear wrote:Thank you editors and everyone involved in producing this set! I played a mirror today and had a lot of fun, although I do have a few nitpicks.
I'm glad it was fun, and thank you for your helpful comments!
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by Fuddle Duddle » Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:31 pm

Another note on the Avicenna tossup: use the Canon of Medicine rather than the Book of Healing as a giveaway; I'm pretty sure that's the more famous title.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by dni » Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:59 pm

Thanks to everyone who worked on this set! I played the JHU mirror this weekend and had a great time doing so.

Could I see the questions and answerlines for the partial differentiation (#8 in Round 4), heat (#7 in Round 5), surfactant (#10 in Round 8), and even (#5 in Round 9) tossups? I remember being thrown off by some of the clues but I'd like to see the questions again since I may have simply misheard.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by Your Genie Felon, Me » Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:08 pm

dni wrote:Could I see the questions and answerlines for the partial differentiation (#8 in Round 4), heat (#7 in Round 5), surfactant (#10 in Round 8), and even (#5 in Round 9) tossups? I remember being thrown off by some of the clues but I'd like to see the questions again since I may have simply misheard.
Damn, that's some detailed notetaking right there
Packet 4 wrote:Lewy’s example is an equation involving this mathematical operation that has no solution. A chain rule sometimes named for Euler multiplies three applications of this operation to get negative one. The commutativity of applying this operation twice is stated by Clairaut’s [“clair-OH’s”] theorem. In Cartesian coordinates, the Laplacian of a function can be written as a (*) sum of terms consisting of this operation performed twice. The Jacobian matrix consists of all ways of performing this operation on a vector-valued function. The heat equation and the wave equation are canonical examples of equations named for this operation, which generalize ordinary differential equations. For 10 points, name this operation that finds the rate of change of a multivariable function with respect to one of its variables.
Packet 5 wrote:Researchers in 2007 observed the effect of sudden changes in this variable in the upregulation of alpha crystallins, or sHSPs, in the eggs of zebrafish. Saccharomyces mutants sensitive to this variable were used by Hartwell to figure out the role of cyclins in cell division. This variable is observed by the preoptic anterior hypothalamus region in the brain, which gets signals from group A and group C nerve fibers through (*) Lissauer’s tract. Its namesake “shock proteins” also perform chaperoning conditions during protein folding. Fevers increase this variable, and an excessive decrease in this is known as hypothermia. For 10 points, name this variable which in humans is approximately 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
Packet 8 wrote:Examples of these compounds derived from fatty acids include sorbitan esters and ethoxylated sorbitan esters, known as spans and tweens, respectively. Langmuir–Blodgett troughs are used to study the properties of monolayers of these substances. The bulk concentration of these substances is assumed to be zero in the derivation of the Gibbs (*) adsorption isotherm. These substances will flocculate below the Krafft temperature. To denature proteins before gel electrophoresis, they are boiled with one of these substances, SDS. These compounds can form aggregate bodies known as micelles, whose structure is determined by the balance between the hydrophilic head and hydrophobic tail. For 10 points, name these compounds that reduce surface tension.
Packet 9 wrote:The CW structure of complex projective space consists of one cell in each dimension with this property. A symplectic form can only be defined on spaces in dimensions with this property. The Euler characteristic of any closed orientable surface is an integer with this property. If n has this property, then no n-sphere has a nonvanishing tangent vector field, by the (*) hairy ball theorem. The order of any dihedral group is an integer with this property. If a polynomial with real coefficients only has complex roots, then its degree must have this property. It is an open conjecture that every perfect number has this property. Goldbach’s conjecture states that every integer with this property can be written as the sum of two primes. For 10 points, two is the only prime number that has what property?
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by dni » Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:20 pm

Your Feline Genome wrote:Damn, that's some detailed notetaking right there
Haha thanks :)
Packet 4 wrote:Lewy’s example is an equation involving this mathematical operation that has no solution. A chain rule sometimes named for Euler multiplies three applications of this operation to get negative one. The commutativity of applying this operation twice is stated by Clairaut’s [“clair-OH’s”] theorem. In Cartesian coordinates, the Laplacian of a function can be written as a (*) sum of terms consisting of this operation performed twice. The Jacobian matrix consists of all ways of performing this operation on a vector-valued function. The heat equation and the wave equation are canonical examples of equations named for this operation, which generalize ordinary differential equations. For 10 points, name this operation that finds the rate of change of a multivariable function with respect to one of its variables.
The mention of "chain rule" first before specifying that it's the "Euler chain rule" seems a bit ambiguous to me, since it could also refer to just the normal chain rule. Perhaps using a different name for the operation or mentioning Euler before chain rule could make it slightly less confusing?
Packet 5 wrote:Researchers in 2007 observed the effect of sudden changes in this variable in the upregulation of alpha crystallins, or sHSPs, in the eggs of zebrafish. Saccharomyces mutants sensitive to this variable were used by Hartwell to figure out the role of cyclins in cell division. This variable is observed by the preoptic anterior hypothalamus region in the brain, which gets signals from group A and group C nerve fibers through (*) Lissauer’s tract. Its namesake “shock proteins” also perform chaperoning conditions during protein folding. Fevers increase this variable, and an excessive decrease in this is known as hypothermia. For 10 points, name this variable which in humans is approximately 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
This is a nitpick, but the "namesake 'shock proteins'" clue implies that the answer is "heat," while all the other clues point to temperature.

Other than that, everything seemed fine to me! Again, thanks to all the writers and editors for putting in the time to write a good set of questions that allowed teams of many different skill levels, including an average high school team like mine, to play enjoyable games.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by Cherrybell Miramonte » Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:51 pm

Packet 5 wrote:Researchers in 2007 observed the effect of sudden changes in this variable in the upregulation of alpha crystallins, or sHSPs, in the eggs of zebrafish. Saccharomyces mutants sensitive to this variable were used by Hartwell to figure out the role of cyclins in cell division. This variable is observed by the preoptic anterior hypothalamus region in the brain, which gets signals from group A and group C nerve fibers through (*) Lissauer’s tract. Its namesake “shock proteins” also perform chaperoning conditions during protein folding. Fevers increase this variable, and an excessive decrease in this is known as hypothermia. For 10 points, name this variable which in humans is approximately 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
This leadin seems fine, but I don't think it's a good idea to reward players with 15 points in the first line for knowing what the abbreviation HSP stands for.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by Fucitol » Mon Mar 19, 2018 2:08 pm

DuPhos wrote:
Packet 5 wrote:Researchers in 2007 observed the effect of sudden changes in this variable in the upregulation of alpha crystallins, or sHSPs, in the eggs of zebrafish. Saccharomyces mutants sensitive to this variable were used by Hartwell to figure out the role of cyclins in cell division. This variable is observed by the preoptic anterior hypothalamus region in the brain, which gets signals from group A and group C nerve fibers through (*) Lissauer’s tract. Its namesake “shock proteins” also perform chaperoning conditions during protein folding. Fevers increase this variable, and an excessive decrease in this is known as hypothermia. For 10 points, name this variable which in humans is approximately 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
This leadin seems fine, but I don't think it's a good idea to reward players with 15 points in the first line for knowing what the abbreviation HSP stands for.
Besides the fact that the last 3 or 4 "this variable" tossups in bio have all been temperature, that is an excellent point. Not sure why I didn't buzz until hypothalamus. Probably just assumed that it couldn't be that obvious.

you should remove "sHSPs" and move power before hypothalamus.

EDIT: Actually maybe move Lissauer's tract before power because I've never heard of that but hypothalamus regulating temperature is middle school stuff(at least for me)
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by ErikC » Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:07 pm

Referring to Frederick Barbarossa as "this king" is strange when he is best known as being an emperor; the distinction is quite important. I don't know this couldn't have just been "this monarch" or my preference "this ruler"

Could I see the earth science tossup on water and the history tossup on Poland?
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by Your Genie Felon, Me » Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:23 pm

ErikC wrote:Could I see the earth science tossup on water and the history tossup on Poland?
Packet 10 wrote:This substance can be studied dynamically using the SWMM model, which includes parameters of Manning’s roughness and curve number. The Richards equation describes this substance’s transport and can be analytically solved using the Green and Ampt method. The Secchi [“SEK-ee”] disk, a 30-centimeter circle with black and white quadrants, is used in this substance’s analysis, while certain regions containing this substance include (*) littoral, profundal, and limnetic. The phreatic zone contains this substance at atmospheric pressure and lies right under the vadose zone. The presence of benthic macroinvertebrates in this substance can be used to study the effects of human activity nearby. This substance may undergo eutrophication as a result of excess phosphates and nitrates. For 10 points, name this substance found in lakes with chemical formula H2O.
Packet 13 wrote:One of this modern nation’s monarchs from the House of Wettin battled a rebellion which ended after a “Silent” meeting adjudicated by foreign troops. One of this modern country’s kings was the namesake of the Henrician Articles, which governed the rights of this nation’s monarch. Magnates from this country were the primary opponents of the Khmelnytsky Rebellion, which occurred shortly before this nation suffered a (*) “deluge” caused by foreign invasion. This nation’s Queen Hedwig married Grand Duke Jogaila, creating a connection that was formalized by the Union of Lublin; that connection lasted until this country was divided by three partitions. For 10 points, name this country whose Commonwealth with Lithuania had capitals at various points at Krakow and Warsaw.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by ErikC » Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:47 pm

Your Feline Genome wrote:
ErikC wrote:Could I see the earth science tossup on water and the history tossup on Poland?
Packet 10 wrote:This substance can be studied dynamically using the SWMM model
This line through me off. SWMM stands for Stormwater Management Model, so the extra m was confusing and I didn't buzz because I thought it was something different.
Packet 13 wrote:One of this modern nation’s monarchs from the House of Wettin battled a rebellion which ended after a “Silent” meeting adjudicated by foreign troops. One of this modern country’s kings was the namesake of the Henrician Articles, which governed the rights of this nation’s monarch. Magnates from this country were the primary opponents of the Khmelnytsky Rebellion, which occurred shortly before this nation suffered a (*) “deluge” caused by foreign invasion. This nation’s Queen Hedwig married Grand Duke Jogaila, creating a connection that was formalized by the Union of Lublin; that connection lasted until this country was divided by three partitions. For 10 points, name this country whose Commonwealth with Lithuania had capitals at various points at Krakow and Warsaw.
I was curious about the first line because the Wettin dynasty comes from Germany and then ruled Poland, but the way it is worded means that isn't what they are asking about.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by Charbroil » Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:17 pm

ErikC wrote:
Your Feline Genome wrote:
ErikC wrote:Could I see the...history tossup on Poland?
Packet 13 wrote:One of this modern nation’s monarchs from the House of Wettin battled a rebellion which ended after a “Silent” meeting adjudicated by foreign troops. One of this modern country’s kings was the namesake of the Henrician Articles, which governed the rights of this nation’s monarch. Magnates from this country were the primary opponents of the Khmelnytsky Rebellion, which occurred shortly before this nation suffered a (*) “deluge” caused by foreign invasion. This nation’s Queen Hedwig married Grand Duke Jogaila, creating a connection that was formalized by the Union of Lublin; that connection lasted until this country was divided by three partitions. For 10 points, name this country whose Commonwealth with Lithuania had capitals at various points at Krakow and Warsaw.
I was curious about the first line because the Wettin dynasty comes from Germany and then ruled Poland, but the way it is worded means that isn't what they are asking about.
I wrote this tossup; I think the first line excludes Germany (it would be odd and untrue to say that any member of the House of Wettin was a "monarch" of "Germany"), but let me know if you thought the wording was confusing.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by ErikC » Mon Mar 19, 2018 6:23 pm

Charbroil wrote:I wrote this tossup; I think the first line excludes Germany (it would be odd and untrue to say that any member of the House of Wettin was a "monarch" of "Germany"), but let me know if you thought the wording was confusing.
The main confusion would be monarch "from" this country; after Augustus the Strong was born in Germany and ruled there before becoming king of Poland. Perhaps saying "a ruler of the Wettin dynasty became king of this country" would be more clear.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by Charbroil » Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:04 pm

ErikC wrote:
Charbroil wrote:I wrote this tossup; I think the first line excludes Germany (it would be odd and untrue to say that any member of the House of Wettin was a "monarch" of "Germany"), but let me know if you thought the wording was confusing.
The main confusion would be monarch "from" this country; after Augustus the Strong was born in Germany and ruled there before becoming king of Poland. Perhaps saying "a ruler of the Wettin dynasty became king of this country" would be more clear.
The first line doesn't say "from this country;" it says "this modern nation's monarchs from the House of Wettin." Do you think that's still confusing?
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by Benin Rebirth Party » Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:33 pm

The bonus part on "thermogenin" should also accept UCP1.

The bonus part asking for the probability that a random walk returns to the origin, is "approaching 1" acceptable? And if not, is there an ELI5 reason why it's exactly 1? I can't seem to find a good explanation that I understand.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by ErikC » Tue Mar 20, 2018 9:52 am

Charbroil wrote:The first line doesn't say "from this country;" it says "this modern nation's monarchs from the House of Wettin." Do you think that's still confusing?
Sorry, I didn't quite get that right. I would say it's ok but there's a chance someone might reflex buzz if they recognize the dynasty as a German house. There's also a chance someone interprets the Kingdom of Saxony as a "nation" I suppose - wasn't Bavaria referred to as a nation at some point in the tournament? But both of those things are pretty large jumps that I don't think people will make so fast, so the question seems fine.
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Re: SMT 2018 Specific Question Discussion

Post by anderson » Tue Mar 20, 2018 1:59 pm

Replying to some math/CS comments:
matt2718 wrote:I think Kakutani's theorem is more obscure than the Kakeya needle problem (I could be wrong, though). Maybe swap those clues?
I don't think this is necessarily true. For example, if you take any game theory course you will probably learn about the Kakutani fixed point theorem when going over Nash equilibria.
Progcon wrote:I thought the math in this set did not seem very "curricular". I do not remember any analysis or pure algebra tossups. Instead, I recall silly number theory and "hobby math" questions. I did enjoy the CS in this set even if there were too many questions on crypto.
Unfortunately, I think this might have been a consequence of the rounds you didn't play having those tossups (well, there was a tossup on "boundedness" in one of the finals packets, as well as an algebra tossup on "invertible" in one of the later packets). Also, I object to calling number theory "silly". :P
Glad you enjoyed the CS, though!
dni wrote:The mention of "chain rule" first before specifying that it's the "Euler chain rule" seems a bit ambiguous to me, since it could also refer to just the normal chain rule. Perhaps using a different name for the operation or mentioning Euler before chain rule could make it slightly less confusing?
I was a little hesitant just calling it the "Euler chain rule" because that's not a canonical name, but I'll look into changing the wording.
Aaron Manby (ironmaster) wrote:The bonus part asking for the probability that a random walk returns to the origin, is "approaching 1" acceptable? And if not, is there an ELI5 reason why it's exactly 1? I can't seem to find a good explanation that I understand.
Well, probabilities are numbers, not limits, and in this case the number is 1. As an analogous example, let's say we choose a random real number between 0 and 1 inclusive and are looking for the probability that we don't pick 0. This probability is 1, because even though it's possible to pick 0, there are infinitely more ways to get a non-0 number than 0 (see also this article).

There are some good explanations for the math behind this specific problem of a 2D random walk here.
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