ICT Discussion

Wall of Ham
Rikku
Posts: 420
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 9:28 am

ICT Discussion

So... starting the ICT thread now.

I didn't really notice anything about the distribution, but there was a random Pencil and Paper question in DII. It was very unexpected. Was it like written in the last minute or something?

Also, there was a bonus on CCD in DII.
Barry
Cornell
Demonic Leftovers
Wakka
Posts: 248
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2007 2:26 pm
Location: Wilmington, DE

Re: ICT Discussion

Two words. Baboukis Smugula's.
TWO TIME NATIONAL CHAMPION David A. Seal, Esq.
QUINTUPLE CROWN WINNER: ICT/ICT/NHB/NHB/CULT
Coach of 2014 and 2015 ICT Champion UVA
University of Chicago '10
University of Virginia School of Law '13
Not Every Team Can Afford Me
Coattail Rider
Auks Ran Ova
Posts: 4143
Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 10:28 pm
Location: Minneapolis
Contact:

Re: ICT Discussion

dseal wrote:Two words. Baboukis Smugula's.
what
Rob Carson
University of Minnesota '11, MCTC '??
Member, ACF
Member, PACE
Writer and Editor, NAQT
Mechanical Beasts
Banned Cheater
Posts: 5673
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2006 10:50 pm

Re: ICT Discussion

From a DII perspective:

To be fair, the "pencil and paper ready" was probably just so that you could draw a right triangle with sides 1 and sqrt(8). Given that the only reasonable way to mess with those and get an integer is to square them and take the square root, even understanding the physics was unnecessary.

I was a little disappointed with some of the leadins, especially on math/science. Having the first clue for Diels-Alder be something about heterocycles and the second clue be endo preference; having the second word (or so) of reduction be "Meerwein" and to follow up with turning something with a carbonyl into an alcohol; having a tossup on "six" begin with "the sum of 1/n^2 from n=0 to infinity is..."--these are pretty easily avoidable. These were ones that I got.

The really painful one was, approximately, "The 'C' in ZF*C stands for this." I came very close to buzzing at the asterisk, but consciously held back because I assumed that it was a bad question with a first clause that just sort of provides background for the answer, i.e. "The 'C' in ZFC stands for the axiom of choice, but slightly stronger is this other c-initialed axiom. Quack quack quack, give this noun that refers to a quality possessed by a 17-gon with straightedge and compass."--so I was willing to give it a pass to wait for the real question. I feel like if you know what the axiom of choice is, then you've heard of enough set theory to know about ZF--so for someone with any math knowledge, this is like "the CD embossed on my copy of Nicholas Nickelby."

Round 5 seemed to contain a sports tossup and two straight (or at least closely placed) sports bonuses, and some other pop culture. NAQT's distribution being nearly 20% non-academic seemed worst here--perhaps because we probably got a total of twenty points on 4-5 trashy bonuses and no trashy tossups that round--and that round was pivotal for us to win (needless to say, we didn't).

But I have to say, there were some sweet inclusions: Symphony of Psalms and Bourbaki were beautiful. I was also very excited to finally honor my first pet, a Maine Coon cat named Trotty, by powering a certain asshole aunt.

I do wish I had gotten to watch Chicago and Maryland play (in addition to watching Harvard A's victory)--it must have been an awesome game.

Congratulations to all.
Matt Weiner
Sin
Posts: 8422
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2003 8:34 pm
Location: Richmond, VA

Re: ICT Discussion

There was nothing systematically wrong with the actual content of questions at this year's ICT, and it was probably the best set yet produced in the constraints of the NAQT format. But, one thing I did notice is that it's time to get rid of the whole-tournament distribution approach and start checking the individual packets. Several times, one very narrow topic came up twice in one round and never in any other packet. Sometimes, it was even a tossup and the corresponding bonus--current events in Russia, non-NFL football, really unusual stuff. It should be obvious why this is unfair and bizarre. The stated justifications for not following the practice of every other tournament on earth and doing distribution and checking for repeated subjects at the packet level are flimsy and unconvincing. It should be fixed.
Matt Weiner
Founder of hsquizbowl.org
Mechanical Beasts
Banned Cheater
Posts: 5673
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2006 10:50 pm

Re: ICT Discussion

I've never heard any of the "stated justifications," so I'm definitely very decisively on your side there. I suppose one could, hypothetically, "know" that the last two tossups must both be literature and therefore have some kind of metaknowledge that makes it less real quizbowl?

But I think that argument is bullshit, especially when you can have a packet of LOL SPORTS (and, though more academic, I guess LOL SCIENCE! would be just as bad) if you go the other way. I stand with you there.

I can certainly believe that this was excellent for NAQT constraints; this is the first ICT set I've played all of, and I bow to your greater experience. I just feel like there were some individual questions that could have stood improvement (and I felt that more strongly than I have about, say, HSNCT sets--for their difficulty level, I feel like they were more pyramidal). Even make the C in ZFC or endo preference the second clue--even make the leadin something you can puzzle through to get the same information--but a five-man buzzer race in the first line of a tossup shouldn't need to happen, I don't think.

But again--you know more about quiz bowl and its limitations than I do.
Andrew Watkins
Gautam
Auron
Posts: 1413
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2007 7:28 pm
Location: Zone of Avoidance
Contact:

Re: ICT Discussion

It was an ok tournament. The most frustrating part I thought was the lack of real science which was taken over by a whole bunch of fake science, but I've been crying out loud about that for a while now, and I'm just quitting. It's really not worth it to continue to harp on about a bad product when I can see no visible improvent in the very best of NAQT's efforts.

I thought there were too many bonuses that either lacked an easy part or were just impossible to get even 10s or 20s on.

It was probably worth it to sacrifice D2 eligibility to play DI. Overall it was an ok experience for a first truly national tournament, but eh, it could have been better.

Gautam
Gautam - ACF
Currently tending to the 'quizbowl hobo' persuasion.
Important Bird Area
Posts: 5671
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2003 3:33 pm
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Contact:

Re: ICT Discussion

gkandlikar wrote:I thought there were too many bonuses that either lacked an easy part or were just impossible to get even 10s or 20s on.
I'd be interested to hear commentary from others on bonus difficulty, or see some examples.

I know I wrote some fairly difficult stuff for the third parts of bonuses, but I tried very hard to make the 10 widely accessible. Bonus conversion stats:

2008:

1. Chicago 16.61
2. Maryland 16.24
3. Illinois A 16.21
4. Stanford 16.15
5. Brown 15.24

27. Rochester 9.21
28. Illinois B 8.97
29. Alabama 8.66
30. Harding 7.14
31. Oklahoma 7.00

2007:

1. Chicago 19.75
2. Michigan 18.37
3. Stanford 16.94
4. Illinois 16.81
5. VCU 16.76

28. Oklahoma State 8.79
29. Cornell 8.50
30. Grinnell 7.63
31. Southern Virginia 7.24
32. St. Olaf 5.74
Jeff Hoppes
President, Northern California Quiz Bowl Alliance
VP for Communication and history subject editor, NAQT
Editor emeritus, ACF

"I wish to make some kind of joke about Jeff's love of birds, but I always fear he'll turn them on me Hitchcock-style." -Fred
theMoMA
Posts: 5797
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 2:00 am

Re: ICT Discussion

I think that the main thing with bonuses is that there are lots of ones written in NAQT's niche areas, like world leaders, certain kinds of music, movies, etc. that display no effort to differentiate between levels of knowledge other than knowing it very well and 20ing or 30ing it, or 0ing it frustratingly. Most of the academic bonuses were pretty good in terms of giving an easy part, and I would imagine that our team's bonus conversion was much better in these areas as a result.
Andrew Hart
Minnesota alum
cvdwightw
Auron
Posts: 3446
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 12:46 am
Location: Southern CA
Contact:

Re: ICT Discussion

Packets 5 and 9 pretty much blew. The rest was pretty good, at least the academic stuff. Certainly the best college-level NAQT event I've been to. That said, perhaps it's time to do a little bit of layout editing to avoid bad packet feng shui. Going an entire half (especially when it's the first half of the tournament) without a literature tossup is downright unacceptable regardless of how many literature tossups are in the packet as a whole.

I agree that it's somewhat frustrating to have the presumed biology distribution contain things like "army ants" and "dysentery", and on the whole the science was probably weaker than it could have been, but even that was an improvement over last year.
Eärendil
Wakka
Posts: 138
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 8:56 am
Location: Queenstown, New Zealand

Re: ICT Discussion

cvdwightw wrote:I agree that it's somewhat frustrating to have the presumed biology distribution contain things like "army ants" and "dysentery", and on the whole the science was probably weaker than it could have been, but even that was an improvement over last year.
And let's not forget the lovely tossups on "soil" and "bird songs." "Protein folding" was slightly better though quickly transparent. I wasn't very happy with the bio distribution either, though there were some good tossups on things like "parathyroid glands," "actin," "microtubules," and "porphyrins."
Arnav // Stanford University
Mechanical Beasts
Banned Cheater
Posts: 5673
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2006 10:50 pm

Re: ICT Discussion

I was very happy with microtubules. But I don't see how--even within NAQT's constraints--it's necessary to have a giveaway in the first ten words of their organic chemistry tossups. Obviously they can't have 12-line monsters that first describe recent famous syntheses that used them, then variants and common applications, then associated vocabulary, then a description, then the giveaway... but well-known reductions should never get you fifteen points, much less a buzz in the first few words.

I see powers as NAQT's way of doing a little extra to reward developing specialists, which you obviously have to do in the college game. If you have a chemistry specialist, you should be able to power a chem tossup, and so forth. I remember associating endo with Diels-Alder my sophomore year of high school, when first I took a basic orgo course. What's wrong with this picture?

I'd bet there weren't many rooms where that wasn't a buzzer race within power.

Here's a D-A tossup from MLK 2006 (one of the alphabetically early packets):

1. In the aza-variant of this reaction, an imine is substituted for one of the reactants, allowing for preparation of tetrahydropyridines. Its desired end product and mechanism are similar [to] the Prins Reaction, the Huisgen Reaction, and especially the Cope Rearrangement, which differs in that it uses a* 1,5 starting product. Niobium pentachloride or another Lewis acid can often be used to catalyze it and sometimes to control the ratio of endo to exo product. The stereochemistry of substituents on the reactants is preserved in the product, as per the "cis principle" formulated by Stein and one of the reaction's namesakes. FTP, name this cycloaddition reaction that synthesizes a ring with a double bond from a conjugated diene and a dienophile, named for two German chemists.

Since MLK has powers, note the asterisk. Here's how I'd shorten it to roughly NAQT-length.

1. Its aza- variant uses an imine for one reactant, generating tetrahydropyridines. Its mechanism resembles the Prins and Huisgen reactions. Lewis acid catalysts may alter the ratio of products that it generates. It preserves stereochemistry, according to the "cis principle," and produces endo and exo products. FTP, name this cycloaddition that combines a conjugated diene and a dienophile.

This has one word on the fifth line in 12-pt TNR. Short enough, and in my opinion of an appropriate difficulty. It's a little choppy, but that can be changed as necessary. What's most important is that its first clue is something that I didn't know before reading the original tossup, but it's something that I've remembered since then, and the middle clues also aren't gimmes--but they are things that people who have taken a first-semester orgo course know. And the giveaway is gettable for anyone who pays attention to science giveaways.

Am I off here somewhere, ideologically? I don't pretend to offer any great wisdom--but after being rocked by hard (from my perspective) trash and hard (from my perspective) geography and hard (from my perspective) tossups on dirt, I feel like science should include awesome but gettable clues, just like that tossup on the Seychelles in the DI finals.
Andrew Watkins
Sima Guang Hater
Auron
Posts: 1880
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 1:43 pm
Location: Nashville, TN

Re: ICT Discussion

everyday847 wrote:I was very happy with microtubules. But I don't see how--even within NAQT's constraints--it's necessary to have a giveaway in the first ten words of their organic chemistry tossups. Obviously they can't have 12-line monsters that first describe recent famous syntheses that used them, then variants and common applications, then associated vocabulary, then a description, then the giveaway... but well-known reductions should never get you fifteen points, much less a buzz in the first few words.
The Meerwin-PV reduction isn't that well-known - its probably like 5th tier. I'm guessing you know it for the same reason that I did, because it was a leadin at regionals last year.
everyday847 wrote:I see powers as NAQT's way of doing a little extra to reward developing specialists, which you obviously have to do in the college game. If you have a chemistry specialist, you should be able to power a chem tossup, and so forth. I remember associating endo with Diels-Alder my sophomore year of high school, when first I took a basic orgo course. What's wrong with this picture?
What's the saying people always use on here? "I am intrigued by your ideas and wish to subscribe to your newsletter"? I remember powering very few tossups in my area in comparison to other tournaments. Also, keep in mind that your experience is not typical (assuming you're that one guy from Harvard whose name escapes me, one of my students last year told me that your high school has an orgo class). Have some pity on those of us who have to wait until sophomore year of college to get this info.
everyday847 wrote:1. Its aza- variant uses an imine for one reactant, generating tetrahydropyridines. Its mechanism resembles the Prins and Huisgen reactions. Lewis acid catalysts may alter the ratio of products that it generates. It preserves stereochemistry, according to the "cis principle," and produces endo and exo products. FTP, name this cycloaddition that combines a conjugated diene and a dienophile.
Certainly much better than the original tossup; those second and third sentences are pretty useless, however. You may disagree with me.
everyday847 wrote:Am I off here somewhere, ideologically? I don't pretend to offer any great wisdom--but after being rocked by hard (from my perspective) trash and hard (from my perspective) geography and hard (from my perspective) tossups on dirt, I feel like science should include awesome but gettable clues, just like that tossup on the Seychelles in the DI finals.
No. Tossups on dirt are the bedrock of good science. Go take a class.

There isn't really anything that Mr. Everyday, Arnav, and Gautam have said that I don't endorse wholeheartedly, except that protein folding tossup sucks. Considering that I just took a class where we spent a few lectures talking about protein folding and the leadin was from AP biology, it would have been very frustrating to be beaten to that tossup due to transparency.

Another major issue is the high proportion of historical science that cropped up in this tournament. Whatever the debate on the merits of tossups on minor Galilleo works is, I think we can all agree that they don't belong in the science distribution, and takes away from valuable space for actual science tossups. I noticed, actually, that most of said science was written by one R. Hentzel, and furthermore, that the chemistry distribution in particular was divided into "elements" and "non-elements". Judging by the question quality, both of these things need to change.

The humanities for this tournament was generally excellent[ly difficult], and I certainly learned a lot in those categories, and frankly, if the science had been up to par with the humanities, this tournament would have been about 80% as good as it could possibly get without tweaking the length, time, and distribution issues inherent to the format (the other 20 had something to do with packet distribution issues, assorted clue ordering, and whatnot)
Eric Mukherjee, MD PhD
Brown University, 2009
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, 2018
Medicine Intern, Yale-Waterbury, 2018-9
Dermatology Resident, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 2019-

Writer, NAQT, NHBB, IQBT, ACF, PACE
Kyle
Auron
Posts: 1125
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 1:16 pm
Location: Ifrane, Morocco / Oxford, UK / Issaquah, WA

Re: ICT Discussion

everyday847 wrote:I feel like science should include awesome but gettable clues, just like that tossup on the Seychelles in the DI finals.
Eh, the Seychelles tossup wasn't that great. I think it should have put the Gondwanaland clues before the fact that some of the islands are made of granite (Really? Only some of the islands are made of granite?). The fact that some but not all of them separated from Gondwana is an allusion to the fact that some but not all of them are continental islands, and thus made of granite — but we already had that clue.
ToStrikeInfinitely wrote:Also, keep in mind that your experience is not typical (assuming you're that one guy from Harvard whose name escapes me, one of my students last year told me that your high school has an orgo class).
Andy Watkins, formerly of Shady Side of Pittsburgh. Andy is not, as you say, typical.

Also, I wanted to congratulate Dartmouth on their second place finish. We play against them so often that it's easy to overlook how quickly they have improved over the last three years. They're a scary team — and one that brings out the best in their opponents (in our case, quite literally, if you look at the stats). We'll look forward to playing them again at Brandeis in two weeks.
vandyhawk
Tidus
Posts: 584
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2003 3:42 am
Location: Seattle

Re: ICT Discussion

On the whole, I thought it was a pretty good tournament, and better than the last couple years. Some noticeably good things were the absence of any bonuses where you answer A,B,both, or neither (at least we never heard any), the lack of single-word bonus prompts (again, at least that I remember), and fewer bonuses that really test just a single thing. The latter could still be done away with, like the bonus asking for the amount of work done in various situations. Seems like a calculation bonus like that could be switched so that maybe one part is calculation, after first answering some related questions. I'll echo Matt W. in that the biggest complaint I have is the variable distro from round to round. It can produce some funny results, if one round happens to have a bunch of stuff clustered into an area where one team is an expert, rather than having the same distro in every round to try to prevent the round itself from biasing the results. For example, I think it was round 7 that had like 4 classics tossups, and round 13 had 2 each "real" bio and physics tossups, all of which I was able to power to lead us over Stanford. I don't know what the deal with round 5 was - I seem to have blocked it from memory for the most part given how terribly we plaid that round and the one before (our somewhat lower team stats compared with top bracket are at least in part due to those 2 rounds...).

I tend to pay more attention to science, which I'll comment on more in a bit, but non-science areas seemed generally fine within the constraints of the distro and such. The only trash, sports, etc. question I remember being out there was the tossup in round 7 on some indie band singer that neither I nor my teammate who knows such things had ever heard of. On the whole, though, I thought the non-academic portions were just fine. It seemed humanities type stuff was a little harder than science, especially in the bonuses. I think the numbers Jeff posted back that up. In most bonuses, there was a part that many teams could at least get 10, but it was pretty tough to get 30, and sometimes quite difficult to get 20. I don't have the questions since we had to take off prior to the finals, so can't really give specific examples here. It's probably not so ideal to have virtually everyone's ppb within a window of about 8 ppb, with the top end barely converting more than half the bonus points available to them.

As for science, some of the problem areas have already been mentioned, like Diels-Alder and the prevalence of element and historical tossups. I wonder if the ivory bill woodpecker was bio or maybe one of those science current events? The tossup on "dirt" was not such a good idea, and actually featured a hilarious misunderstanding of the reader by me (and Paul...) thinking he said "hummus" instead of "pumice." You can imagine that I had a hard time figuring out how the rest of the tossup may have dealt with chickpeas. Writing a tossup on Zorn's lemma and not accepting, at the minimum, the axiom of choice or the well-ordering principle, is kind of silly. I don't seem to recall an abundance of earth science, astro, or CS - am I remembering wrong? I don't know if it's necessarily a bad thing though. There were a number of good tossups - bubonic plague was interesting, dendrites was ok, parathyroid. Things like actin, plasma, and tryptophan featured some fairly common clues in power, but I didn't think they were awful. When answers in one round are dysentery (which featured me trying to say that but coming out diptheria), Skeptical Chemist, krypton w/out a very good giveaway, and yellow fever from historical/lit contexts, that's not really a good thing. Anyway, I don't want to nitpick anymore, esp. since I can't look through the rounds. There were some good science questions, but more bad ones compared with the number of bad questions in other areas. I suppose some of us at or near the end of our playing days could actually do something about that and write some questions for future events. From a brief conversation with R., it sounds like they would really like some new science writers.
Not That Kind of Christian!!
Yuna
Posts: 847
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 10:36 pm
Location: Manhattan

Re: ICT Discussion

I would pretty much agree with what has been said; emphasis on the fact that Packets 5 and 9 had some serious flaws in answer choice and topic distribution. But from what those who are much more experienced with quizbowl than I say, this ICT compares very favorably with all others.

The science definitely needed the most improvement. The proportion of answer choices that most approximated "real science," e.g. Diels-Alder, reduction and microtubules, were vastly eclipsed by "fake science" like antlers and army ants, and as previously mentioned, there were some very transparent early clues in the science. It's pretty useless to ask for more moderate geography and much less sports/pop culture, but that would have been nice, too.

**Edit: I played DII. Just saying.**
Last edited by Not That Kind of Christian!! on Mon Apr 14, 2008 4:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Hannah Kirsch
Brandeis University 2010
NYU School of Medicine 2014

"Wow, those Scandinavians completely thorbjorned my hard-earned political capital."
Auks Ran Ova
Posts: 4143
Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 10:28 pm
Location: Minneapolis
Contact:

Re: ICT Discussion

vandyhawk wrote:The tossup on "dirt" was not such a good idea, and actually featured a hilarious misunderstanding of the reader by me (and Paul...) thinking he said "hummus" instead of "pumice."
Are you sure it wasn't humus?
Rob Carson
University of Minnesota '11, MCTC '??
Member, ACF
Member, PACE
Writer and Editor, NAQT
yoda4554
Rikku
Posts: 254
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 8:17 pm

Re: ICT Discussion

vandyhawk wrote: Writing a tossup on Zorn's lemma and not accepting, at the minimum, the axiom of choice or the well-ordering principle, is kind of silly.
I wrote that one, and "axiom of choice" was promptable; well-ordering wasn't, and perhaps it should've been, but I don't think any of the clues actually apply for the well-ordering principle. I don't think they should have been more than that, since these three things aren't quite the same, and, I believe, all the clues prior to the stating of maximality/well-ordering principle are things that are pretty specifically Zorn's lemma (e.g., most everybody proves the Hahn-Banach theorem via Zorn, rather than the axiom of choice, and as far as I know basically never through well-ordering). I also believe that that aforementioned clue, in addition to making well-ordering principle obviously unacceptable, doesn't quite work with the axiom of choice.

Incidentally, "yellow fever" (not by me) was a "social history" tossup; I think it probably came off weirdly because it was two questions after dysentery, and there may have been a slightly-too-easy clue early on. I think the distribution requirement for social history at NAQT is a good thing in theory, since in packet submission those of us who aren't historians tend to find it easier to find inspiration for questions on Childeric XVII or the Treaty of West Bumblefuck, although in practice it has led to lots of tossups on silly things like Sally Hemmings; however, my layman's impression was that it was a mostly successful effort to write on historically-relevant things that aren't rulers, documents, wars, etc.

Also, in response to Eric, a quick visit to tossup #10 of the Temple/Columbia packet of this year's ACF Regionals should show that both myself (who doesn't count for much) and at least somebody in the ACF cabal finds tossups on the writings of Galileo acceptable parts of the science distribution, assuming they're decent questions. I'm not saying that the tossup at ICT (not mine) was necessarily awesome, or that there should've been nearly as much of that stuff as there was in the set, but it's significant to the development of physics and, in more moderation, I don't see why it's not askable.
Dave Letzler--Williams '06, Temple '08, CUNY and bastard teams '12ish
vandyhawk
Tidus
Posts: 584
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2003 3:42 am
Location: Seattle

Re: ICT Discussion

Ukonvasara wrote:
vandyhawk wrote:The tossup on "dirt" was not such a good idea, and actually featured a hilarious misunderstanding of the reader by me (and Paul...) thinking he said "hummus" instead of "pumice."
Are you sure it wasn't humus?
Ah, there it is. I guess you learn something every day - today it is that there is a difference between hummus and humus. I still prefer chickpeas.
Captain Sinico
Auron
Posts: 2867
Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2003 1:46 pm
Location: Champaign, Illinois

Re: ICT Discussion

yoda4554 wrote:[Zorn's lemma, the axiom of choice, and the well-ordering principle] aren't quite the same...
I disagree. In ZF, those things are, in fact, exactly the same (equivalent, to be exact; c.f. this.) By definition, that means that literally any result you can prove with one, you can prove with the other. If you must accept only one, you should prompt on the others until you get the one you want.

MaS
Mike Sorice
Coach, Centennial High School of Champaign, IL (2014-2020) & Team Illinois (2016-2018)
Alumnus, Illinois ABT (2000-2002; 2003-2009) & Fenwick Scholastic Bowl (1999-2000)
Member, ACF (Emeritus), IHSSBCA, & PACE
vandyhawk
Tidus
Posts: 584
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2003 3:42 am
Location: Seattle

Re: ICT Discussion

yoda4554 wrote:
vandyhawk wrote: Writing a tossup on Zorn's lemma and not accepting, at the minimum, the axiom of choice or the well-ordering principle, is kind of silly.
I wrote that one, and "axiom of choice" was promptable; well-ordering wasn't, and perhaps it should've been, but I don't think any of the clues actually apply for the well-ordering principle. I don't think they should have been more than that, since these three things aren't quite the same, and, I believe, all the clues prior to the stating of maximality/well-ordering principle are things that are pretty specifically Zorn's lemma (e.g., most everybody proves the Hahn-Banach theorem via Zorn, rather than the axiom of choice, and as far as I know basically never through well-ordering). I also believe that that aforementioned clue, in addition to making well-ordering principle obviously unacceptable, doesn't quite work with the axiom of choice.
Well, the Boolean Prime Ideal theorem clue was the same leadin used by Paul/me for a tossup on axiom of choice for regionals. Incidentally, we played Harvard that round, and they actually beat us to it on that first clue and said axiom of choice, was prompted, and got Zorn's lemma. The three things I mentioned certainly seem to be considered the major equivalent statements.
yoda4554 wrote: Incidentally, "yellow fever" (not by me) was a "social history" tossup; I think it probably came off weirdly because it was two questions after dysentery, and there may have been a slightly-too-easy clue early on. I think the distribution requirement for social history at NAQT is a good thing in theory, since in packet submission those of us who aren't historians tend to find it easier to find inspiration for questions on Childeric XVII or the Treaty of West Bumblefuck, although in practice it has led to lots of tossups on silly things like Sally Hemmings; however, my layman's impression was that it was a mostly successful effort to write on historically-relevant things that aren't rulers, documents, wars, etc.
Yeah, I figured this wasn't actually a science tossup, but was def. weird coming so soon after another disease tossup. Again, something that can be avoided by paying more attention to within-round distribution.
yoda4554 wrote: Also, in response to Eric, a quick visit to tossup #10 of the Temple/Columbia packet of this year's ACF Regionals should show that both myself (who doesn't count for much) and at least somebody in the ACF cabal finds tossups on the writings of Galileo acceptable parts of the science distribution, assuming they're decent questions. I'm not saying that the tossup at ICT (not mine) was necessarily awesome, or that there should've been nearly as much of that stuff as there was in the set, but it's significant to the development of physics and, in more moderation, I don't see why it's not askable.
Yeah, I left that in (though had Paul edit it since he took a whole class on Galileo). There is a big difference between asking to identify Galileo based on his developing important things in science, and to some extent about his works, and asking to name a work of his that isn't his major effort, and even Paul, who like I said took a whole class on Galileo, couldn't come up with.
yoda4554
Rikku
Posts: 254
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 8:17 pm

Re: ICT Discussion

ImmaculateDeception wrote:
yoda4554 wrote:[Zorn's lemma, the axiom of choice, and the well-ordering principle] aren't quite the same...
I disagree. In ZF, those things are, in fact, exactly the same (equivalent, to be exact; c.f. this.) By definition, that means that literally any result you can prove with one, you can prove with the other. If you must accept only one, you should prompt on the others until you get the one you want.

MaS
I know the page well and have visited it more than once. Let me rephrase that (hopefully without getting too far outside the bounds that my half-hearted math BA will let me go): there are reasons that we have different ways of stating what is essentially the same principle (in ZF), namely because they allow for more graceful applications to different scenarios. Based on the poking around that I did while writing said question, I tried to pick instances where Zorn's lemma was by far the preferred expression of said principle for the proof, since, for variety's sake, I wanted that to be the answer rather than the oft-asked axiom of choice. Basically all of the clues in the question are theorems to which Zorn's lemma is the most graceful and typically-used method; I think I saw some examples of relatively inconvenient proofs involving the axiom of choice, and not any involving the well-ordering theorem.
Dave Letzler--Williams '06, Temple '08, CUNY and bastard teams '12ish
Mechanical Beasts
Banned Cheater
Posts: 5673
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2006 10:50 pm

Re: ICT Discussion

ToStrikeInfinitely wrote:The Meerwin-PV reduction isn't that well-known - its probably like 5th tier. I'm guessing you know it for the same reason that I did, because it was a leadin at regionals last year.
I probably either knew it because we played last year’s regionals in practice, which is certainly possible, or just because I came across it while wasting time on the internet and noted it as a good potential leadin. I wrote a tossup on reductions about two weeks ago, but it wasn’t one of the clues (I’m looking at it now) so I’m not sure what it was.
ToStrikeInfinitely wrote:What's the saying people always use on here? "I am intrigued by your ideas and wish to subscribe to your newsletter"? I remember powering very few tossups in my area in comparison to other tournaments. Also, keep in mind that your experience is not typical (assuming you're that one guy from Harvard whose name escapes me, one of my students last year told me that your high school has an orgo class). Have some pity on those of us who have to wait until sophomore year of college to get this info.
It wouldn’t be a very fun newsletter after too long--just ask my teammates. I have pity--I'm just going on the guideline I heard in a discussion about what science is appropriate to ask early in the year, and it seemed first-semester orgo was standard. I figure that by the ICT, second-semester should be legitimate, and certainly not all freshmen taking a chem class should have an automatic fifteen points.

I look at it this way: Eric Mukherjee will beat me to the biochem that I haven’t touched yet in class and haven’t therefore had an easy way to memorize for quiz bowl purposes. This is as it should be. Perhaps we’ll be closer on stuff that first comes up freshman year, but since D-A comes up again and again in orgo, in applications and permutations (the imine example) that I haven’t seen before, he should still beat me to it. If I were playing him on that NAQT packet, the tossup would have been a buzzer race for power, and that’s not ideal quiz bowl.

I’m very much in favor of writing Diels-Alder tossups. They’re more accessible, so that freshmen and ambitious nonspecialists can get the tossup late. Similarly, I’d prefer a tossup with hard clues to a tossup with an obscure answer--and certainly not a tossup with an obscure answer with almanac clues. (I say, write my D-A tossup rather than a tossup on Meerwein-PV, and definitely not one including an "easy" clue early-on.)

I feel like the D-A example had clues that were too easy early on. The choice of Diels-Alder as a tossup answer is great; clue choice and ordering were not.
ToStrikeInfinitely wrote:Certainly much better than the original tossup; those second and third sentences are pretty useless, however. You may disagree with me.
I don’t disagree. I probably would want to find actual additional clues somewhere, or spend more time on it. But you see the contrast.
ToStrikeInfinitely wrote:No. Tossups on dirt are the bedrock of good science. Go take a class.
I might prefer a tossup on bedrock for that role, or one on dirt that sounds like it’s a tossup on an element. But to each his own.
ToStrikeInfinitely wrote:that protein folding tossup sucks. Considering that I just took a class where we spent a few lectures talking about protein folding and the leadin was from AP biology, it would have been very frustrating to be beaten to that tossup due to transparency.
Ooh, good point. Preons are misfolded proteins--that's standard knowledge. Saying that a preon disease is caused by this process not going quite right is too straightforward. Anfinsen would be less well-known and would segue better into the distributed computing clue that was, essentially, “this process is unspeakably complex.”
ToStrikeInfinitely wrote: Another major issue is the high proportion of historical science that cropped up in this tournament. Whatever the debate on the merits of tossups on minor Galilleo works is, I think we can all agree that they don't belong in the science distribution, and takes away from valuable space for actual science tossups. I noticed, actually, that most of said science was written by one R. Hentzel, and furthermore, that the chemistry distribution in particular was divided into "elements" and "non-elements". Judging by the question quality, both of these things need to change.
I like the idea I’ve heard before for an “intellectual history” category, joining some social sciences with science history and some philosophy.
Kyle wrote: some crap about how I’m not typical
I’m a frosh who knows some easy science and is learning some harder science. I get the occasional unrelated tossup from things I’ve read or learned in class. I try to get better. I’m pretty damn typical--I'm flattered, though; thank you. (Unless you were pointing out as atypical any of my numerous faults, in which case I bow my head in shame.) (That said, treating me as though I’m not and taking my word as gospel, though inadvisable and unjustified, is fine by me. Completely kidding, by the way.)

Overall, though, I can’t emphasize enough how much I loved the ICT. It was a great tournament, and I look forward to next year’s.
Andrew Watkins
Kyle
Auron
Posts: 1125
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 1:16 pm
Location: Ifrane, Morocco / Oxford, UK / Issaquah, WA

Re: ICT Discussion

everyday847 wrote:
Kyle wrote: some crap about how I’m not typical
I’m a frosh who knows some easy science and is learning some harder science. I get the occasional unrelated tossup from things I’ve read or learned in class. I try to get better. I’m pretty damn typical--I'm flattered, though; thank you. (Unless you were pointing out as atypical any of my numerous faults, in which case I bow my head in shame.) (That said, treating me as though I’m not and taking my word as gospel, though inadvisable and unjustified, is fine by me. Completely kidding, by the way.)
No, Andy, I was pointing out that you're weird.

EDIT: I'm kidding!
Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN)
Chairman of Anti-Music Mafia Committee
Posts: 5640
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2006 11:46 pm
Location: Columbia, MO

Re: ICT Discussion

I would say that taking o-chem in high school is atypical.
Charlie Dees, North Kansas City HS '08
"I won't say more because I know some of you parse everything I say." - Jeremy Gibbs

"At one TJ tournament the neg prize was the Hampshire College ultimate frisbee team (nude) calender featuring one Evan Silberman. In retrospect that could have been a disaster." - Harry White
Captain Sinico
Auron
Posts: 2867
Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2003 1:46 pm
Location: Champaign, Illinois

Re: ICT Discussion

yoda4554 wrote:...I tried to pick instances where Zorn's lemma was by far the preferred expression of said principle for the proof, since, for variety's sake, I wanted that to be the answer rather than the oft-asked axiom of choice. Basically all of the clues in the question are theorems to which Zorn's lemma is the most graceful and typically-used method...
Okay. It is rigorously true that there is a proof of anything you can prove with one of these using the others. That's what it means when one says they are equivalent. Saying "even though these are the same thing, it's more elegant/common to use this form" is a very poor reason to neg someone (at all, much less without even a prompt.) To me, not even prompting on well ordering is especially a screwjob in this case because Zorn's lemma is a pretty obvious corollary to well ordering; in fact, to my recollection, at least one class I've taken has not even bothered to explicitly cite the result "Zorn's lemma" and just attributed all such results to well ordering.
Anyway, look, I don't want to belabor the mathematical details here. A more fundamental issue is this: I think it's drastically unfair in any case to not at least prompt on equivalent answers, regardless of convention or common practice. Do you believe that or not?
Also, please consider that it is possible (indeed, likely; indeed, true!) that there are people who know "these things are a consequence of the axiom of choice or equivalents" without having proved any of them. Why would you screw those people over? They know something; they're not wrong.

MaS
Mike Sorice
Coach, Centennial High School of Champaign, IL (2014-2020) & Team Illinois (2016-2018)
Alumnus, Illinois ABT (2000-2002; 2003-2009) & Fenwick Scholastic Bowl (1999-2000)
Member, ACF (Emeritus), IHSSBCA, & PACE
yoda4554
Rikku
Posts: 254
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 8:17 pm

Re: ICT Discussion

I don't want to get caught up in the technicalities either (there's a lot of the set yet to discuss). My impression, from both my own studies and from what I checked up while writing, was that anyone who'd actually studied this stuff would naturally respond with Zorn, because it just makes more sense to use Zorn in the situations in the question, and that only people with qb-only knowledge of the topics would go for one of the other statements. If that's incorrect as you say (i.e., if there exist math players who would have buzzed with well-ordering and negged), I'll happily admit my error and let the discussion move on.
Dave Letzler--Williams '06, Temple '08, CUNY and bastard teams '12ish
Wall of Ham
Rikku
Posts: 420
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 9:28 am

Re: ICT Discussion

everyday847 wrote: To be fair, the "pencil and paper ready" was probably just so that you could draw a right triangle with sides 1 and sqrt(8). Given that the only reasonable way to mess with those and get an integer is to square them and take the square root, even understanding the physics was unnecessary
This is exactly why the question shouldn't have been there in the first place. You could possibly fraud knowledge by meta-guessing the answer has to be an integer without even knowing how to calculate mechanical advantage. Please keep "Pencil and Paper Ready" out of college questions.

Another thing that bothered me was any tossups on numbers. They seemed too reminiscent of HSNCT, and I don't remember seeing them at SCT. There was from my memory tossups on "4", "6", "7" and "8". I don't really think these have a place in Div II. The "8" question in particular described the eightfold way through most of the question, so why couldn't it be a TU on that? Perhaps it was thought too difficult, but if the "top soviet biologist" is tossupable, then so is the eightfold way.

But then on the other hand, these TUs, when done well can be interesting. The "4" TU (Packet 17?) asked basically, 'to what power does the wavelength affect scattering for rayleigh scattering, the diameter affect the flow in pouseille's law, and the temperature to luminosity in the Stefan-Boltzman law." This actually requires knowledge of the equation in question and is probably more important in science than "soil" or "army ants".

The first TU was on sort, which i negged with quicksort. The Tossup began with some comp sci clues I haven't heard of, and then described the answer as using merge and having O(n log n). Normally I wouldn't mind these common link TUs, but this one made it in no way clear that at the time it was describing a particular instance of a general answer, not the specific answer described.

In general, yea, repeat complaints about the occasional easy leadin, several bad science answers, etc. The answer selection varied between very hard and very easy, but that was expected. It seems that NAQT expects ICT Div II to be a hybrid of Div I and HSNCT, but I'd much rather prefer the style of the questions to be similar to Div I.

This was certainly a fun tournament, although I felt we could've done better as we played several close games and lost nearly all of them. It was excellently run, and the moderators were the best we've heard the whole year.
Barry
Cornell
Captain Sinico
Auron
Posts: 2867
Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2003 1:46 pm
Location: Champaign, Illinois

Re: ICT Discussion

yoda4554 wrote:My impression, from both my own studies and from what I checked up while writing, was that anyone who'd actually studied this stuff would naturally respond with Zorn, because it just makes more sense to use Zorn in the situations in the question, and that only people with qb-only knowledge of the topics would go for one of the other statements. If that's incorrect as you say (i.e., if there exist math players who would have buzzed with well-ordering and negged), I'll happily admit my error and let the discussion move on.
Okay; first of all, I have studied this, but buzzed with axiom of choice (knowing they're all equivalent, I assumed it'd be accepted.) While I did say Zorn's lemma on the prompt, it's definitely possible I might not have. So there's at least one counterexample.
Secondly, I differ with you still; even if anyone who's studied this (at whatever level of depth) would say Zorn's, you should still accept or prompt on equivalents (they're technically right, however learned.) What do you say to that?

MaS
Mike Sorice
Coach, Centennial High School of Champaign, IL (2014-2020) & Team Illinois (2016-2018)
Alumnus, Illinois ABT (2000-2002; 2003-2009) & Fenwick Scholastic Bowl (1999-2000)
Member, ACF (Emeritus), IHSSBCA, & PACE
pray for elves
Auron
Posts: 1055
Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 5:58 pm
Location: 20001

Re: ICT Discussion

yoda4554 wrote:I don't want to get caught up in the technicalities either (there's a lot of the set yet to discuss). My impression, from both my own studies and from what I checked up while writing, was that anyone who'd actually studied this stuff would naturally respond with Zorn, because it just makes more sense to use Zorn in the situations in the question, and that only people with qb-only knowledge of the topics would go for one of the other statements. If that's incorrect as you say (i.e., if there exist math players who would have buzzed with well-ordering and negged), I'll happily admit my error and let the discussion move on.
I haven't heard the specific question, but I (a graduating senior with a math major) would more likely have said axiom of choice or well-ordering rather than Zorn's lemma, simply because most of my classes involving set theory phrased Zorn's lemma as a consequence of the axiom of choice, even though one can prove the other, etc.
Evan
Georgetown Law Alum, Brandeis Alum, Oak Ridge High Alum
Ex-PACE, Ex-ACF
yoda4554
Rikku
Posts: 254
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 8:17 pm

Re: ICT Discussion

Let me restate this flatly and unconditionally:
yoda4554 wrote: I'll happily admit my error and let the discussion move on.
Dave Letzler--Williams '06, Temple '08, CUNY and bastard teams '12ish
Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN)
Chairman of Anti-Music Mafia Committee
Posts: 5640
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2006 11:46 pm
Location: Columbia, MO

Re: ICT Discussion

Barry, is Lysenko really that hard? I mean, I know I learned about him in a history class and have seen lots of HS questions about him, much more than the 8fold way.
Charlie Dees, North Kansas City HS '08
"I won't say more because I know some of you parse everything I say." - Jeremy Gibbs

"At one TJ tournament the neg prize was the Hampshire College ultimate frisbee team (nude) calender featuring one Evan Silberman. In retrospect that could have been a disaster." - Harry White
Mechanical Beasts
Banned Cheater
Posts: 5673
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2006 10:50 pm

Re: ICT Discussion

Wall of Ham wrote: The first TU was on sort, which i negged with quicksort. The Tossup began with some comp sci clues I haven't heard of, and then described the answer as using merge and having O(n log n). Normally I wouldn't mind these common link TUs, but this one made it in no way clear that at the time it was describing a particular instance of a general answer, not the specific answer described.
That's strange. According to my teammate, the leadin was unambiguously about radix sort, and he buzzed on that and got power. Is it possible that you negged on quicksort because the answer was radix sort? I'm no expert, but I definitely wasn't on quicksort or a general way of sorting by the time he buzzed.
Deesy Does It wrote: Barry, is Lysenko really that hard? I mean, I know I learned about him in a history class and have seen lots of HS questions about him, much more than the 8fold way.
I think Lysenko is very tossupable. He was in a Time article--I think something like "The New Lysenkoism"--attacking some right-wing campaign of misinformation or another, probably about stem cells. While the fact that I learned about him in a dentist's office a while ago doesn't justify his appearance as a tossup answer, I don't think it's bad to assume that one is familiar with people who have gotten to that level of common parlance. Similarly, I'd make Adlai Stevenson a tossup at any high school level, even an easy IS set. While typically I could imagine reluctance to make losing presidential candidates who didn't later go on to win, shoot someone, or do something else historically significant anything more than a bonus part, Kennedy appointing him made him into a verb: to be Adlaied is to be relegated to insignificance for political reasons, if I'm not mistaken. So I'd be a lot more comfortable tossing him up than, say, Rufus King (who should pretty much never be a tossup answer at all).

I need to find some way to introduce the Eightfold Path to the high school canon.
Andrew Watkins
Wall of Ham
Rikku
Posts: 420
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 9:28 am

Re: ICT Discussion

everyday847 wrote:
Wall of Ham wrote: The first TU was on sort, which i negged with quicksort. The Tossup began with some comp sci clues I haven't heard of, and then described the answer as using merge and having O(n log n). Normally I wouldn't mind these common link TUs, but this one made it in no way clear that at the time it was describing a particular instance of a general answer, not the specific answer described.
That's strange. According to my teammate, the leadin was unambiguously about radix sort, and he buzzed on that and got power. Is it possible that you negged on quicksort because the answer was radix sort? I'm no expert, but I definitely wasn't on quicksort or a general way of sorting by the time he buzzed.
Yea, my teammate told me the lead-in was about radix sort, but I haven't heard of that before. I was most certainly wrong when I said quicksort, but its just that the question wasn't very clear at the time it was talking about a general thing, not a specific thing.
Deesy Does It wrote: Barry, is Lysenko really that hard? I mean, I know I learned about him in a history class and have seen lots of HS questions about him, much more than the 8fold way.
Hmm, I didn't think it was (its not in my HS European history textbook), but Stanford Archives reveals 7 hits on Lysenko. Oh well, its something new to learn.
Barry
Cornell
Maxwell Sniffingwell
Auron
Posts: 2163
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2006 3:22 pm
Location: Des Moines, IA

Re: ICT Discussion

Wall of Ham wrote:"army ants".
Because time was running out, this was negged in my room, after "10-meter wide swath of destruction," with prairie dogs. Dwight Kidder described it as "the cutest swath of destruction in the world."
Wall of Ham wrote:The first TU was on sort, which i negged with quicksort. The Tossup began with some comp sci clues I haven't heard of, and then described the answer as using merge and having O(n log n). Normally I wouldn't mind these common link TUs, but this one made it in no way clear that at the time it was describing a particular instance of a general answer, not the specific answer described.
First clue was a description of radix sort, then named as "radix" method.
Second clue was that the "bogo" one sucks. (I got it here, a couple of words after power. BOGO was two words before the star.)
Third clue was a definition of quicksort.
Giveaway: class of algorithms, selection, quick, bubble.
Greg Peterson

Northwestern University '18
Lawrence University '11
Maine South HS '07

"a decent player" - Mike Cheyne
Wall of Ham
Rikku
Posts: 420
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 9:28 am

Re: ICT Discussion

cornfused wrote:
Wall of Ham wrote:The first TU was on sort, which i negged with quicksort. The Tossup began with some comp sci clues I haven't heard of, and then described the answer as using merge and having O(n log n). Normally I wouldn't mind these common link TUs, but this one made it in no way clear that at the time it was describing a particular instance of a general answer, not the specific answer described.
First clue was a description of radix sort, then named as "radix" method.
Second clue was that the "bogo" one sucks. (I got it here, a couple of words after power. BOGO was two words before the star.)
Third clue was a definition of quicksort.
Giveaway: class of algorithms, selection, quick, bubble.
Hey, if you have the question, could you post the text? I don't have the set with me, so I may be way off in my complaint b/c I zoned out or something. Otherwise I can point out where I got confused.
Barry
Cornell
grapesmoker
Sin
Posts: 6368
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:23 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: ICT Discussion

First, let me congratulate Maryland on their first ever national title. The spirits of Maryland players past must surely be rejoicing. Pleasantries out of the way, I'll move on to the discussion.

First, the good. I think that on balance and with a notable caveat which I will discuss below, this is probably the best ICT I've played. The humanities portion of the distribution was almost uniformly excellent; realistically, I think it was about the best that an NAQT-format tournament, constrained by character limits and clocks, can be. A lot of the old tropes that were present even a year ago have disappeared (I'm referring to things like that "this thing, that thing, both or neither" bonuses and word-play tossups), and I think we can all agree that this is a definite improvement. The tossups in the humanities categories were about interesting things, and the bonuses, while harder than I think they needed to be, were relatively even in difficulty. I can't think of too many examples of things that were a surefire 30 for any conscious team or a guaranteed 0 for anyone. All in all, this part of the set was very enjoyable and featured many good questions.

The other thing I found irritating about the set was the way the questions were distributed. As Matt already pointed out, the distribution of categories was significantly skewed across the board. The infamous packet 5 was a great example of it; the 3 geography tossups Charles Meigs powered in Maryland's round against us was another. The reverse of that came for us against Stanford (or maybe Harvard, but I think Stanford), when my team had 5 science powers. That's not fair to us, and it's not fair to Stanford; teams should reasonably be able to expect roughly the same distribution across packets, and, indeed, across the first 20 questions. Several times after going over packets after the tournament, I found a number of very good academic tossups (including good science tossups) in the last 3 or 4 questions of the packet, while trash and geography typically were placed earlier on in the packets. Getting the distribution uniform across every packet is crucial to eliminating packet variability and keeping teams from feeling like they're being screwed by a packet stacked with categories unfavorable to them.

Finally, a comment on the trash. I realize that my team is probably the weakest trash team at the whole tournament, but I think the trash bonuses were inordinately hard. We found it nearly impossible to even get 10 on these bonuses, many of which had the form of "show we've never heard of, obscure actress who played some role on show, more obscure role for same actress." I think the academic parts of the distribution tried to give most decent teams a reasonable 10; I think it's not too much to ask for trash questions to meet the same minimal level of accessibility.

Anyway, to cut this short, I think this was on balance a much better ICT than that of one or two years ago, but not as good as it could've been. The science needs substantial improvements, and the distribution should be ironed out to prevent bizarre rounds that tend to screw teams by overwhelmingly playing to one or another team's strengths. None of this prevented the best team from winning, but these are legitimate problems with the set that should be fixed in the future.
Jerry Vinokurov
ex-LJHS, ex-Berkeley, ex-Brown, sorta-ex-CMU
code ape, loud voice, general nuissance
Important Bird Area
Posts: 5671
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2003 3:33 pm
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Contact:

Re: ICT Discussion

grapesmoker wrote:Things like ... "ivory-billed woodpecker"(!) appear to me to be a dubious selection of answers.
...and finally Jerry complains about something I was responsible for. Yeah, this would have been better off in Current Events than Science.
Jeff Hoppes
President, Northern California Quiz Bowl Alliance
VP for Communication and history subject editor, NAQT
Editor emeritus, ACF

"I wish to make some kind of joke about Jeff's love of birds, but I always fear he'll turn them on me Hitchcock-style." -Fred
yoda4554
Rikku
Posts: 254
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 8:17 pm

Re: ICT Discussion

There have been a few comments about the trash (bonuses) being inordinately hard--I'm curious which ones people had in mind. In the rounds I read (in DII and then in the bottom bracket of DI) my impression is that the trash was getting converted somewhat better than the academic stuff.
Dave Letzler--Williams '06, Temple '08, CUNY and bastard teams '12ish
grapesmoker
Sin
Posts: 6368
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:23 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: ICT Discussion

yoda4554 wrote:There have been a few comments about the trash (bonuses) being inordinately hard--I'm curious which ones people had in mind. In the rounds I read (in DII and then in the bottom bracket of DI) my impression is that the trash was getting converted somewhat better than the academic stuff.
One bonus I remember was the non-NFL careers of various quarterbacks. I mean, I don't know a whole lot about football, but why couldn't one of those answers be someone famous that our team might know instead of historical figures that a casual fan might not.
Jerry Vinokurov
ex-LJHS, ex-Berkeley, ex-Brown, sorta-ex-CMU
code ape, loud voice, general nuissance
Mechanical Beasts
Banned Cheater
Posts: 5673
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2006 10:50 pm

Re: ICT Discussion

That question went to our opponents. Ironically, though they were from Toronto and we had two staunch football fans--myself and Brian--they zeroed it and the only part we would have gotten was Warren Moon, of initially-CFL fame. (Jim Kelly is more famous, but the clues were harder.)

What happened to sports other than basketball basketball basketball, the Blackhawks, basketball, and that bonus on football? It seemed a little skewed, though that could be my limited memory.

I also don't really watch TV, so bonuses dealing with TV shows--or, worse, actors--don't work for me. Movies are somewhat better.

I think writing trash for an audience that wants academic quiz bowl is a challenge--obviously no easy task. It may have its role, but I would argue that its role ought to be smaller, first off, and more carefully considered / placed at the end of the packet. (That last option is probably contentious, but I'm much more willing to sacrifice trash than SCIENCE!, and I'll sooner sacrifice SCIENCE! than geography, and geography than science, etc.)
Andrew Watkins
Important Bird Area
Posts: 5671
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2003 3:33 pm
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Contact:

Re: ICT Discussion

everyday847 wrote:I think writing trash for an audience that wants academic quiz bowl is a challenge--obviously no easy task. It may have its role, but I would argue that its role ought to be smaller, first off, and more carefully considered / placed at the end of the packet. (That last option is probably contentious, but I'm much more willing to sacrifice trash than SCIENCE!, and I'll sooner sacrifice SCIENCE! than geography, and geography than science, etc.)
If you want to change the distribution, just change the distribution. Don't load the end of the packet with orphaned niche subjects.
Jeff Hoppes
President, Northern California Quiz Bowl Alliance
VP for Communication and history subject editor, NAQT
Editor emeritus, ACF

"I wish to make some kind of joke about Jeff's love of birds, but I always fear he'll turn them on me Hitchcock-style." -Fred
cvdwightw
Auron
Posts: 3446
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 12:46 am
Location: Southern CA
Contact:

Re: ICT Discussion

Did Air Bud count as a sports question?

There were decent tossups on Chuck Noll and manager of the Cubs and less-decent tossups on Colt Brennan and NL Rookie of the Year. There was also a Connie Mack tossup and something on the Arena Bowl, so I didn't feel any subdistribution of sports was unfairly unrepresented.

In general, a lot of pop culture/sports bonuses felt like they were either an easy 20 or a difficult 10 depending on how much you knew about the thing being asked. For instance, we 30'd the non-NFL careers bonus, although I'd imagine a lot of teams would zero it.
Kyle
Auron
Posts: 1125
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 1:16 pm
Location: Ifrane, Morocco / Oxford, UK / Issaquah, WA

Re: ICT Discussion

One might get the impression from reading the ICT set that Sandra Bullock's career ended in 1993. I was seven years old in 1993. I was not watching Sandra Bullock movies. I heard the lead-in to the bonus and was thinking I might be able to get 10 points on it because I have (unwillingly) watched Two Weeks Notice and could have told you that she was in Miss Congeniality and Crash, the latter of which won best picture only a few years ago. But the bonus parts were all on Sandra Bullock movies from the Sandra Bullock golden age of 1991-1993. Apparently it was all downhill for her after she played a lovestruck chemist in 1992's Love Potion Number Nine.
vandyhawk
Tidus
Posts: 584
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2003 3:42 am
Location: Seattle

Re: ICT Discussion

grapesmoker wrote:
yoda4554 wrote:There have been a few comments about the trash (bonuses) being inordinately hard--I'm curious which ones people had in mind. In the rounds I read (in DII and then in the bottom bracket of DI) my impression is that the trash was getting converted somewhat better than the academic stuff.
One bonus I remember was the non-NFL careers of various quarterbacks. I mean, I don't know a whole lot about football, but why couldn't one of those answers be someone famous that our team might know instead of historical figures that a casual fan might not.
I guess to put a different perspective on this one, we actually 30'd it. I don't remember what the first part was, but Tyler, Jack, and I are all avid sports fans. Jack was actually the only one who figured out the Jim Kelly part though. I think one big difference between ICT '06 (last year we were missing Paul) and this year, besides just a couple years of getting better, was our trash knowledge. I'm serviceable at NAQT trash, but Tyler and Jack are both quite good at it, and got most of their tossup points on trash type stuff. With that said, I remember the naming Chicago Blackhawks bonus was pretty tough, as was the Bob Dylan album bonus - no Highway 61 Revisited as an easy part? I think there were a couple more pretty tough ones, but they don't come to mind right now. As a whole, with a team of 3 people with ok to good (but not to a Dren/Charlie level) trash knowledge, we thought it was fine.

On a couple of Jerry's points, New Horizons was a tossup at some other tournament this year, or at least I'm pretty sure it was. Either way, many people seemed to know it. The other thing you mentioned about which country was building space stuff was a bit odd, though, I'll agree. I think we managed to guess our way to 20. Oh, and the round you mentioned with all the science powers was likely against Harvard, since I'm thinking that was the round we did the same thing to Stanford.

What round was the "Cubs manager" question? I'm sad I didn't get to hear that. Also, a final thought: LOL Air Bud...
Kyle
Auron
Posts: 1125
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 1:16 pm
Location: Ifrane, Morocco / Oxford, UK / Issaquah, WA

Re: ICT Discussion

Also, I'm not usually one to complain about the geography, but Qattara Depression / Tobruk / Gulf of Sidra was extremely hard. Gulf of Sidra is a much more obscure easy part than, for example, coming up with "To His Coy Mistress" after Marvell has already been the first part.
cvdwightw
Auron
Posts: 3446
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 12:46 am
Location: Southern CA
Contact:

Re: ICT Discussion

The Cubs manager question was in what would have been the second finals packet, so you probably didn't see it unless you got a copy of the packets.
Birdofredum Sawin
Rikku
Posts: 400
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2004 11:25 pm
Location: Mountain View

Re: ICT Discussion

Kyle wrote:One might get the impression from reading the ICT set that Sandra Bullock's career ended in 1993. I was seven years old in 1993. I was not watching Sandra Bullock movies. I heard the lead-in to the bonus and was thinking I might be able to get 10 points on it because I have (unwillingly) watched Two Weeks Notice and could have told you that she was in Miss Congeniality and Crash, the latter of which won best picture only a few years ago. But the bonus parts were all on Sandra Bullock movies from the Sandra Bullock golden age of 1991-1993. Apparently it was all downhill for her after she played a lovestruck chemist in 1992's Love Potion Number Nine.
Um, what? Are all trash questions required to have parts on things which came out in the last few years? There were plenty of questions in this set on post-2000 trash topics (e.g. Air Bud). There were also questions on older trash topics. Unless you're seriously claiming that "there cannot be questions on trash-related things which happened before I was sentient," this critique doesn't make any sense.
Andrew

Ex-Virginia, Ex-Chicago, Ex-Stanford
Matt Weiner
Sin
Posts: 8422
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2003 8:34 pm
Location: Richmond, VA

Re: ICT Discussion

Birdofredum Sawin wrote:Um, what? Are all trash questions required to have parts on things which came out in the last few
years? There were plenty of questions in this set on post-2000 trash topics (e.g. Air Bud). There were also questions on older trash topics. Unless you're seriously claiming that "there cannot be questions on trash-related things which happened before I was sentient," this critique doesn't make any sense.
Someone who likes football today probably knows who Jim Kelly is. Does someone who watches movies today know about an unremarkable Sandra Bullock movie from 1993 that has no connection to anything in the last fourteen years? What skill is being rewarded by testing that knowledge?
Matt Weiner
Founder of hsquizbowl.org
Kyle
Auron
Posts: 1125
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 1:16 pm
Location: Ifrane, Morocco / Oxford, UK / Issaquah, WA

Re: ICT Discussion

Birdofredum Sawin wrote:
Kyle wrote:One might get the impression from reading the ICT set that Sandra Bullock's career ended in 1993. I was seven years old in 1993. I was not watching Sandra Bullock movies. I heard the lead-in to the bonus and was thinking I might be able to get 10 points on it because I have (unwillingly) watched Two Weeks Notice and could have told you that she was in Miss Congeniality and Crash, the latter of which won best picture only a few years ago. But the bonus parts were all on Sandra Bullock movies from the Sandra Bullock golden age of 1991-1993. Apparently it was all downhill for her after she played a lovestruck chemist in 1992's Love Potion Number Nine.
Um, what? Are all trash questions required to have parts on things which came out in the last few years? There were plenty of questions in this set on post-2000 trash topics (e.g. Air Bud). There were also questions on older trash topics. Unless you're seriously claiming that "there cannot be questions on trash-related things which happened before I was sentient," this critique doesn't make any sense.
No, trash can come from before my time. I liked the Connie Mack question (despite not being able to come up with the answer). I like old movies and old music and think they should come up more, not less (within the trash distribution, of course) — but I think that this trash should be gettable. I'm just proposing that I had absolutely no knowledge whatsoever of Sandra Bullock movies of the period 1991-1993. This could be a personal fault, but my guess is that I'm not alone on this (correct me if I'm wrong here and Love Potion Number Nine is a really great movie I should run out and rent). I'm proposing only that choosing a Sandra Bullock movie from, say, the last ten years might give me some reasonable chance of getting 10 points. I don't care about 30; I just want a chance at 10.
Last edited by Kyle on Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.