2017 EMT: Alex's Stuff (Fine Arts, some OSci/Religion)

Old college threads.

2017 EMT: Alex's Stuff (Fine Arts, some OSci/Religion)

Postby Aaron's Rod » Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:17 pm

Hey all, here's my stuff.

I did:
- Math: All
- Computer Science: search algorithms, Turing/P=NP/Fortran, string/concatenation/dictionaries, classification/trees/KNN
- Painting: David, Raphael, allegory, Watteau, Velasquez, Revolutionary War, Garden of Earthly Delights, PRB, Magritte, Jesus/Van Eyck/Memling, Jerome/John/Catherine, Judith/Caravaggio/Medusa, self-portraits/Night Watch/bride, chiaroscuro/tenebrism/sfumato, Dali/Beata Beatrix/View of Delft
- Other visual: Praxiteles, City beautiful, Stieglitz, mosaics, The Greek Slave/Berlin Holocaust memorial/Tilted Arc, Bronze Horseman/Busting Bronco/Donatello, Cartier-Bresson/New York/Maier, Ai Weiwei/bird's nest/porcelain
- Music: All but Hermit songs/ Barber/ Knoxville: Summer 1915
- Other auditory: All
- Religion: healing miracles, Icons, purgatory, kosher, Abraham, beard, born again/predestination/sola scriptura, fasting/baptism/Jesus prayer, mark/synoptic/Q, glossolalia/snake handing/holy rollers, prophets/Miriam/Maimonedes
- Other: Hamilton

This was compiled after the Skype mirror when we were at 11 of 15 packets, I'll edit this before the in-person mirror.

This is my first major writing project, but I've been around quizbowl just long enough to "feel ways about stuff." So, a few things about question philosophy before I/we get into specific discussion:

Religion
People have said that there should be more Orthodox Christianity in quizbowl. I grew up cradle Greek Orthodox and am happy to oblige. In the same vein, I really wanted to diverge from "name this holiday" for Judaism.

Math/Computer Science
Similarly, people have said that there should be more stats in quizbowl. I transferred from a grad program in stats to one in in predictive analytics and am happy to oblige. I had one math tossup (LLN) and one comp sci bonus (classification/trees/KNN) that I thought would try and approach that area, especially since it's exploding in importance right now.

Music
Hooray for the chance to use my BMus. Thanks for all the feedback that's already come through on the forums and during rounds; there's already a few questions that I know I'm going to tweak, but I'll discuss specific answer lines in the next post. I feel strongly about a couple of things when it comes to music in quizbowl, namely "reading out a series of six notes to describe a theme is extremely unhelpful" and "knowing the key of a piece usually has little to no practical significance." The longest series of notes that you get is "B-B-high F#" for the Polovtsian Dances for _Russia_ and “do-ti-do-mi” for _Brahms_. I also specified "low" or "high" when the notes spanned a fourth or a fifth, since it's sort of ambiguous. (I'd be interested in music players' opinion on using solfege in this situation--in this case the alternative was "D C# D F#" which seemed super clunky. I only used solfege that one time.) Speaking of which, if you read music but sort of struggle with writing music clues, I'd really recommend A Dictionary of Musical Themes (probably available at your local academic library) for getting your hands around a piece.

With the questions on _Haydn string quartets_ and _Chopin études_ in particular, I felt sort of obligated by the difficulty level (which I had misjudged in general) to just describe and then title-drop nicknamed works. It's really quite difficult to write about Haydn at all because he was so prolific! At least with Chopin I literally sat down with a book of the études, a few of which I had played, and wrote from those. If anyone has suggestions I'm completely open to them.


I tried to make quick notes of my sources for many of my questions, so if you're curious about something please do ask.
Last edited by Aaron's Rod on Wed Apr 05, 2017 9:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Alex's Stuff (Fine Arts, some OSci/Religion)

Postby Aaron's Rod » Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:31 pm

EDITED 4/5/17: All of the questions mentioned in this post were edited quite a bit before the 3/25 or 4/1 mirrors.

Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote:The arts, or at least the ones I know some things about, seemed to be a bit scattered in difficulty, though it trended towards being quite hard. The painting questions generally used good descriptions and picked good clues, but needed a bit more smoothing in difficulty - the clue ordering was a bit off in many cases, and there were some pretty tough answers. The music similarly generally chose good clues, but often reached for Regionals or Nationals-level topics (Mendelssohn's violin concerto, that Amy Beach bonus). Looking at these arts questions, the power-marks also seem to be fairly stingy in general. I'd be happy to give more specific examples in private.


csheep wrote:As mentioned, the music skewed very hard. Stuff like Boulanger/Amy Beach bonus and "wind symphonies" as a toss-up are pretty difficult. Haydn string quartets is pretty hard too I think? I remember thinking the cluing for the "horn" toss-up was hard.

I actually thought the Mendelssohn VC toss-up wasn't too bad though Will obviously disagrees. I guess this could be a distinction of "quiz bowl famous" vs. "real life famous"? My impression is people with "real knowledge" of music might find the Mendelssohn VC pretty reasonable to ask about, but maybe my perception is just way off here.


The Mendelssohn violin concerto is a giant in the literature of a very popular instrument--it's probably comparable to the Emperor Concerto for piano or the Mozart concerto for clarinet in terms of how largely it looms in violin rep. It's also an entry in the Norton Anthology of Music, the score companion to the Burkholder A History of Western Music, a positively ubiquitous music history textbook.

In this work’s third movement, the soloist plays fast four-note ascending and descending arpeggios across all four strings before plucking all four strings together. The first of this work’s three movements is in sonata form, instead of sonata and ritornello form, and the composer wrote out the extended cadenza that interrupts the capitulation. This work’s andante second movement continues attaca from the first as a bassoon holds out a B from the first movement’s (*) E minor chord. This concerto was written for Ferdinand David, who was concertmaster of the Leipzig orchestra that this work’s composer conducted. For 10 points, name this concerto for the highest common string instrument written by the composer of Songs Without Words and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
ANSWER: Violin Concerto in E Minor, Opus 64 by Felix Mendelssohn <AWD>


Re: the first clue, if I recall correctly the wording in the Burkholder commentary is actually that it's "bowed" across all 4 strings; I knew this tossup was going to be kind of a stretch difficulty-wise, so I wanted to drop that it was a string work early. Looking at it now, I really don't like the second clue at all--I think I'd like to find a more helpful one for the in-person mirror.

John Mackey’s Wine-Dark Sea is a piece in this genre. Donald Hunsberger commissioned a piece in this genre that uses crotales, vibraphone, and chimes to create sounds that “hang in the air,” that piece is …and the mountains rising nowhere. One piece in this genre includes a clarinet playing a klezmer-like solo and begins and ends with a solo soprano singing “I am clothed with mother’s love,” that piece is (*) Angels in the Architecture by Frank Ticheli. Paul Hindemith’s works for this instrumentation include a Symphony In B-Flat and the Symphonic Metamorphosis. One suite for this instrumentation is based on six folk tunes, including “Rufford Park Poacher.” For 10 points, name this genre that includes Percy Grainger’s Molly on the Shore and Lincolnshire Posy.
ANSWER: wind ensemble [accept band, concert band, symphonic band, wind band, anti-prompt on “military band,” DO NOT accept or prompt on “marching band”] <AWD>


I'm actually sort of surprised that this tossup has gotten mentioned by both people who have been kind enough (not sarcastic!) to comment on music. Angels in the Architecture is a famous band piece by Frank Ticheli, who is to contemporary mid/high-level band as Eric Whitacre is to contemporary mid/high-level choir or Meghan Trainor in late 2014 (that is, they're all inescapable). This is another TU that I thought would be a little bit of a stretch, so it starts with what I'd call very "real knowledge" and then goes into stuff that you might study purely for quizbowl.

Name some things about women composers, for 10 points each:
[10] The younger of these two sisters was the first female winner of the Prix de Rome for music, but died at the age of 24. Her older sister Nadia taught composers such as Phillip Glass, Elliott Carter, Astor Piazzola, and many more.
ANSWER: Nadia and Lili Boulanger
[10] This child piano prodigy and American composer around the turn of the twentieth century wrote four Sketches for piano, as well as a Gaelic symphony and 150 songs.
ANSWER: Amy Beach
[10] Living American composer Joan Tower wrote a set of five fanfares she titled Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman, which uses same instrumentation as this composer’s Fanfare for the Common Man.
ANSWER: Aaron Copland <AWD>


So, Beach is clearly supposed to be the hard part of the bonus. I toyed with the idea of removing Beach and making Tower her own answer part, but even I knew that was way too hard, and I thought there might be people who know Beach simply as being "a woman who wrote music a little earlier than you'd expect" (hence trying to approximate the years she was active). I am a little surprised that even giving you "Nadia" that people seemed to feel the Boulanger part was too hard.
Last edited by Aaron's Rod on Wed Apr 05, 2017 9:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Alex's Stuff (Fine Arts, some OSci/Religion)

Postby csheep » Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:00 pm

Yea I have no qualms about tossing up Mendelssohn VC personally as mentioned. It's hugely canonical and popular. I think the perception that it's too hard could have something to do with the fact that QB music tends to view pieces that have a nickname/story around it as "easier" than those without, regardless of actual real world popularity and/or importance. Agreed on the relative unhelpfulness of the second clue.

Wind symphonies is simply too difficult. When your giveaway clue is Grainger pieces at what is supposed to be a reg-minus tournament, that's a sign something went wrong.

Also - I meant to mention it but forgot, but Hermit Songs/Knoxville 1915 are also insanely difficult as hard/middle parts in my opinion. Turns out it's not yours, but just thought I'd leave the comment here anyway.

Chopin etudes was fine. Haydn string quartets is probably fine. I saw Haydn String Quartets as an answerline for ACF Nationals in 2015 though, FWIW.

I thought the bonuses on Beethoven Piano Sonatas and the "uncommon counterparts of common instruments" were really good.
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Re: Alex's Stuff (Fine Arts, some OSci/Religion)

Postby sephirothrr » Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:02 pm

I'm on my phone, so this will be neither exhaustive nor eloquent, so bear with me. Also, I think many of these were already mentioned during the tournament, but I figure it can't hurt to mention.

Aaron's Rod wrote:search algorithms


I think this question needs more early and middle clues. It started out talking about beam search, which is a fine leadin, and then immediately clued breadth first search, which even at this difficulty probably shouldn't be too much before FTP.

Aaron's Rod wrote:David

This question is also in need of some more early and middle clues - the words carved into the rocks in Napoleon Crossing the Alps is extremely well known, especially in quiz bowl, so it probably shouldn't be as early as it ended up being.

Aaron's Rod wrote:Revolutionary War

Could I see this question? I'm pretty sure one of the clues actually referred to a different conflict, but I don't remember which one it was.

Aaron's Rod wrote:LLN


I actually thought that this was a really neat idea that I haven't seen before in quiz bowl, but unfortunately it didn't end up playing very well in our room. I'd have to see the question again before I could articulate what I found troubling about it.

Aaron's Rod wrote:city beautiful


This is also a pretty neat thing to toss up, though saying the word "beauty" in the tossup made it difficult to figure out what the question wanted us to answer.

Aaron's Rod wrote:Busting Bronco

I'm not sure if this was what the answer line said in the packet, but that's not actually the name of that work.

I have more to say when I get home, at which point I'll probably flesh this out as well.
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Re: Alex's Stuff (Fine Arts, some OSci/Religion)

Postby sephirothrr » Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:30 pm

csheep wrote:Yea I have no qualms about tossing up Mendelssohn VC personally as mentioned. It's hugely canonical and popular.


While it's true that the piece is one of the most played in the repertoire, that doesn't change the fact that it's still too hard an answer line for this tournament. I think this question would work a lot better as a tossup on _Mendelssohn_ or _violin concertos_ that clued significantly from this specific piece.
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Re: Alex's Stuff (Fine Arts, some OSci/Religion)

Postby Aaron's Rod » Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:05 pm

sephirothrr wrote:
Aaron's Rod wrote:David

This question is also in need of some more early and middle clues - the words carved into the rocks in Napoleon Crossing the Alps is extremely well known, especially in quiz bowl, so it probably shouldn't be as early as it ended up being.

So funny--someone else also mentioned this to me privately, and I swear I had looked at various David tossups on a search database and not seen this. I saw it independently just looking through David clues and had no idea it was stock. Definitely noted.
sephirothrr wrote:
Aaron's Rod wrote:Revolutionary War

Could I see this question? I'm pretty sure one of the clues actually referred to a different conflict, but I don't remember which one it was.


One participant in this conflict produced a woodcut that inaccurately depicted a certain cause of this conflict. That woodcut depicting this conflict drew heavily from Henry Pelham’s The Fruits of Arbitrary Power. John Boydell commissioned another painting of this conflict, in which several people catch a man falling backward with his right arm outstretched. That work is The Death of (*) Major Pierson. Another painting of this war shows a man extending his arms outward to Daniel Morgan and a lieutenant in red on his left. That work depicting this conflict was painted 49 years after the fact by John Trumbull, and is the Surrender of General Burgoyne. For 10 points, name this war depicted in Emanuel Leutze’s [“LOITS-uhs”] painting of Washington Crossing the Delaware.
ANSWER: American Revolutionary War [accept the (American) War of Independence; if outside the U.S., prompt with “where?” if location not specified]

Yup, it's Major Pierson. Major screwup on my end.

sephirothrr wrote:
Aaron's Rod wrote:LLN


I actually thought that this was a really neat idea that I haven't seen before in quiz bowl, but unfortunately it didn't end up playing very well in our room. I'd have to see the question again before I could articulate what I found troubling about it.


One form of this law sometimes named for Markov relaxes its requirement for an independently and identical distribution. One theorem used to prove this law uses the fact that the variance of a sequence of independent random variables divided by the sum of n2 [“n squared”] is finite; that theorem is (*) Kolmogorov’s Criterion. One form of this statement says that its desired result will converge almost surely, while its contrasting “weak” form converges in probability and can be proved by Chebyshev’s inequality. For 10 points, state this probabilistic theorem that says that as n grows, the mean of a group of samples converges to its hypothetical true mean.
ANSWER: law of large numbers [prompt on “law of averages,” accept strong or weak law of large numbers, accept LLN, accept Bernoulli’s Theorem] <AWD>


sephirothrr wrote:
Aaron's Rod wrote:city beautiful


This is also a pretty neat thing to toss up, though saying the word "beauty" in the tossup made it difficult to figure out what the question wanted us to answer.

It had "beautify" in the giveaway, I'm not sure how much that would have lead people astray.

sephirothrr wrote:
Aaron's Rod wrote:Busting Bronco

I'm not sure if this was what the answer line said in the packet, but that's not actually the name of that work.

Yeah, no, it was right in the packet:
[10] The creator of this sculpture was inspired to cast it after he published a drawing of a “pitching” horse in Harper’s Weekly in 1892. The man riding the horse grips its mane with one hand and steadies himself with his right.
ANSWER: The Bronco Buster
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Re: Alex's Stuff (Fine Arts, some OSci/Religion)

Postby sephirothrr » Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:56 pm

so, re: the _law of large numbers_ tossup - to me, it doesn't feel like there's any actual change in difficulty in that tossup. Part of it might have to just do with me just not having ever thought about that as a Named Thing before. Also confusing was that "Kolmogorov's Criterion" refers to something else - as far as I know, Kolmogorov's Criterion has to do with reversible Markov chains. Wikipedia suggests that you might have meant "Kolmogorov's strong law", but I'm not familiar with the source used for that claim.

On _city beautiful_, I think that was just a function of the situation - the other team had negged, and we failed to convert at the end, partially because of that. I don't know if that's actually something that needs to be fixed, just an observation.
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Re: Alex's Stuff (Fine Arts, some OSci/Religion)

Postby setophaga » Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:39 pm

I probably only can comment on the music, but I found that most of the tossups I heard were definitely appropriate difficulty. Some clues were dropped fairly early in the question (e.g. Verdi for requiem) but otherwise the tossups seemed to contain good and rewarding clues.
The bonuses were also fantastic questions, but tended a little towards the hard side. I'd like to use the trains bonus as an example...this is certainly something I am sure very few people 30ed and some top teams 0ed. Alkan is certainly a reasonable hard part at this level, but not a middle part. Different Trains is a very niche piece and isn't performed terribly often except by top contemporary ensembles. I don't want to denigrate the importance and quality of this music, but it's certainly not something that shows up often in the general canon of Western art music.
Honegger is probably a solid middle part as well, so maybe adding a clue about Rhapsody in Blue in lieu of Different Trains would help bringing the level of the question down to something that will discriminate among the field a bit better. I really enjoyed the challenge of these music questions, though, and it's refreshing to see stuff like the Joke Quartet, Alkan and Machaut come up in a quizbowl round.
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Re: Alex's Stuff (Fine Arts, some OSci/Religion)

Postby Aaron's Rod » Wed Apr 05, 2017 6:26 pm

setophaga wrote:I probably only can comment on the music, but I found that most of the tossups I heard were definitely appropriate difficulty. Some clues were dropped fairly early in the question (e.g. Verdi for requiem) but otherwise the tossups seemed to contain good and rewarding clues.
The bonuses were also fantastic questions, but tended a little towards the hard side.

Glad you've enjoyed it! Many of the questions in the posts above yours have been edited considerably before the mirror you played.

setophaga wrote:I'd like to use the trains bonus as an example...this is certainly something I am sure very few people 30ed and some top teams 0ed. Alkan is certainly a reasonable hard part at this level, but not a middle part. Different Trains is a very niche piece and isn't performed terribly often except by top contemporary ensembles. I don't want to denigrate the importance and quality of this music, but it's certainly not something that shows up often in the general canon of Western art music. Honegger is probably a solid middle part as well, so maybe adding a clue about Rhapsody in Blue in lieu of Different Trains would help bringing the level of the question down to something that will discriminate among the field a bit better. I really enjoyed the challenge of these music questions, though, and it's refreshing to see stuff like the Joke Quartet, Alkan and Machaut come up in a quizbowl round.

Unfortunately, it's hard to know. I only have question-by-question data for the WUSTL mirror, where it was 0ed once, 10ed twice, and 20ed once. Actually, I intended Alkan to be a hard part. I'm not sure where the Rhapsody in Blue thing is coming from, could you explain what you meant?

I'd caution you from directly equating how often a piece is played to how often it is listened to (the Kronos quartet made the definitive recording of Different Trains) or how important or well-known it is. Do you mean the "general canon of Western art music" in quizbowl, or in general? In either case, I disagree--Different Trains was the giveaway for a Reich tossup at HFT 2014, and using aseems db has been clued no fewer than 57 times in quizbowl. Reich is one of, if not the most, famous minimalist composers, and minimalism is probably the most important musical movement in the second half of the 20th century to present. Also, when judging the difficulty of that bonus part, I did consider that "Trains" is literally in the title of the work.
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Re: Alex's Stuff (Fine Arts, some OSci/Religion)

Postby setophaga » Wed Apr 05, 2017 7:35 pm

I'd caution you from directly equating how often a piece is played to how often it is listened to (the Kronos quartet made the definitive recording of Different Trains) or how important or well-known it is. Do you mean the "general canon of Western art music" in quizbowl, or in general? In either case, I disagree--Different Trains was the giveaway for a Reich tossup at HFT 2014, and using aseems db has been clued no fewer than 57 times in quizbowl. Reich is one of, if not the most, famous minimalist composers, and minimalism is probably the most important musical movement in the second half of the 20th century to present. Also, when judging the difficulty of that bonus part, I did consider that "Trains" is literally in the title of the work.


I did a bit of research on "Different Trains", and along with the Kronos recording it's also been recorded by the well-known Borromeo Quartet, but not by many others, which is a shame. The consequence of this is that its innovations warrant it a very high standing in the compositional canon and less importance in the performance and listening canons, to take categories from Roger Sessions. Similarly, you could take something like a Chopin etude (important in a performance context) and Peter and the Wolf (important in the listening context). I've always been impressed that the quizbowl canon does a very good job balancing all three of these aspects of musical works, over which there is a lot of crossover. However, I've been thinking about this and realizing that quizbowl asks much less in music of pieces that are often studied than those which are often performed or listened to, which I realize now was one of your goals when writing the question.

I still would argue that specific works by Reich and Alkan are both sadly niche fields of musical interest to most listeners and performers of classical music, and might warrant them both being hard parts in a question. It's definitely nice, however, to see these things in a packet instead of more traditional warhorse answerlines.
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Re: Alex's Stuff (Fine Arts, some OSci/Religion)

Postby sambrochin » Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:39 am

I don't think the Revolutionary War question should've dropped that Boston Massacre woodcut clue so early. Same with search algorithms and breadth-first.

The chiaroscuro bonus seems pretty easily 30'd for anyone who's taken a high school art course.

I agree that Law of Large Numbers was a good idea for a tossup, although some people got confused about it in my room.

Can I see the rest of the Hamilton question? And for anyone wondering about the door squeak: Dun du-du-du-dun dun dun: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axnIvzVMUrQ
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Re: Alex's Stuff (Fine Arts, some OSci/Religion)

Postby Aaron's Rod » Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:46 pm

sambrochin wrote:I don't think the Revolutionary War question should've dropped that Boston Massacre woodcut clue so early. Same with search algorithms and breadth-first.

The chiaroscuro bonus seems pretty easily 30'd for anyone who's taken a high school art course.

I agree that Law of Large Numbers was a good idea for a tossup, although some people got confused about it in my room.

Can I see the rest of the Hamilton question? And for anyone wondering about the door squeak: Dun du-du-du-dun dun dun: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axnIvzVMUrQ


The Boston Massacre woodcut thing is a super memorable fact, but as far as I know it hasn't come up in quizbowl before (?).

You're not the first person to mention that chiaroscuro bonus, so I'll take a second look at it.

Packet 1, TU 8 wrote:According to a book written about the creation of this musical work, its opening notes were inspired by a sound file called “Door Wood Squeak.” The title character of this work is called an “arrogant, loud-mouthed bother” by his eventual rival in another song. In this work, the main character’s wife and sister-and-law recount different versions of meeting him in the songs (*) “Helpless” and “Satisfied,” respectively. This musical’s song “Guns and Ships” includes a stanza with a pace of 6.3 words per second and is rapped by Lafayette. The title character of this musical expresses his desire to make a name for himself in the song “My Shot.” For 10 points, name this musical written by and originally starring Lin-Manuel Miranda about the first Treasury Secretary of the United States.
ANSWER: Hamilton: An American Musical <AWD, Trash/Other>

There is basically no way to write that TU in a way that Hamilton superfans (uh, possibly including myself) will think it sufficiently hard.
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Re: Alex's Stuff (Fine Arts, some OSci/Religion)

Postby Progcon » Tue Apr 11, 2017 3:08 pm

There is basically no way to write that TU in a way that Hamilton superfans (uh, possibly including myself) will think it sufficiently hard.


Yeah I think it's important to note that in quizbowl, and for trash especially, some people are just going to get things first line. Trash knowledge is distributed very randomly through the qb population and some questions that are super easy powers from one player may not even be converted by another player. If you tailor too much of your trash to the super fans you end up with difficulty cliffs which are never fun to play even if the questions supposedly differentiate the A fans of Hamilton from the A- fans.

I thought this set did a great job with clue gradation actually with the exception of the Taylor surname tossup.

Also: I felt there was a ton of sculpture in the visual fine arts for this set and there were some pretty hard answerlines. I knew Canova but I think he is not a gimme answerline for this difficulty level (I may be wrong though). There was someone else who was pretty hard as well in this set. Was it Moore? Was all this sculpture a conscious decision on the writer's part or was it kind of random how the packets I heard had so much of it?
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Re: Alex's Stuff (Fine Arts, some OSci/Religion)

Postby Bensonfan23 » Tue Apr 11, 2017 3:30 pm

I thought this set did a great job with clue gradation...

Appreciate this comment, I know this was something I definitely spent a lot of time on when editing my questions.
...with the exception of the Taylor surname tossup.

After thinking about it, I'm going to defend this question as being perfectly fine for what it was, and if had issues, it definitely wasn't in the gradation of clues.

Here's the full question.
For his work with automorphic forms, one mathematician with this surname received the 2014 Breakthrough Award in mathematics. Another scientist with this surname names the conical stream of ionized particles resulting from electrospray ionization. A third scientist with this surname is the second alphabetical namesake of a theorem describing the movement of a steadily rotating, solid body in flows with high angular velocities. That scientist with this surname also names a (*) “column” that forms parallel to the axis of rotation when a solid object disrupts a rotating fluid. An astronomer with this surname is the second alphabetical namesake of the first pair of binary pulsars ever to be discovered, alongside Russell Alan Hulse. For 10 points, name this surname of a mathematician whose namesake series’ represent functions as an infinite sum of terms.
ANSWER: Taylor [or Richard Taylor or Geoffrey Ingram Taylor or Joseph Hooton Taylor Jr. or Brook Taylor; accept Taylor cone or Taylor-Proudman Theorem or Taylor column or Hulse-Taylor Binary or Taylor series] <RH, OSci>


In order, the clues were: Richard Taylor (math), Taylor cone (chem), Taylor-Proudman theorem (physics), Taylor column (physics), Hulse-Taylor binary(astro/physics), and Taylor series (math). While it may have been a little on the difficult side overall (Not the easiest science tossup, but also not what I would have called outlier-hard for this set), the clue gradation is fine. By design, clues were pulled from multiple fields (it was an OSci question), so the gradation may not have been the most readily apparent, but having spent a fair amount of time on this question, I'll stand by the clue placement and the idea of the question in general. (Note: My biggest self-critique of this question would be that's its admittedly pretty difficult to power for the difficulty. Although, both times I read this question it was buzzed on correctly at "Taylor cone", so that's definitely not impossible either).
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Re: Alex's Stuff (Fine Arts, some OSci/Religion)

Postby Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:04 am

Speaking from the perspective of a non-scientist who is not particularly good at science, I actually think the arguments being employed here about the Taylor question illustrate an issue with the approach of some of this set's science questions: there were a lot of recognizable names that have made the rounds in previous quizbowl tournaments, but which I would guess (again, as a non-scientist) are unlikely to be learned at the undergraduate level. For example, there was a lead-in to a precession tossup that name-dropped a relativistic procession equation that's come up in a couple tournaments before, and I'm not sure this is the best approach to take with a tournament targeted at undergraduates. Similarly, the Taylor question seems to be a lot of "a guy with this surname names some Named Thing that says X" - it's one thing to use such a common-link question to include material that could not easily be brought in otherwise, or to highlight an under-asked topic or a particular person's contribution (such as, perhaps, the leadin) but most of the clues seem at a glance to be a lot of Double Eponymous Science Things. Writing questions this way probably does make the science more accessible to non-science players, but in my opinion it's not doing this in a good way.
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Re: Alex's Stuff (Fine Arts, some OSci/Religion)

Postby Aaron's Rod » Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:00 pm

Progcon wrote:Also: I felt there was a ton of sculpture in the visual fine arts for this set and there were some pretty hard answerlines. I knew Canova but I think he is not a gimme answerline for this difficulty level (I may be wrong though). There was someone else who was pretty hard as well in this set. Was it Moore? Was all this sculpture a conscious decision on the writer's part or was it kind of random how the packets I heard had so much of it?

I realized I didn't address this, and then I got curious about it. I think this is just a result of the set being rather front-loaded with sculpture (and visual arts, rather than audio arts) in a way that is decidedly non-random. I will definitely reshuffle them before this Saturday's mirrors, and I apologize for any adverse effects this may have inadvertently caused. As far as I can tell, there's 2/4 of sculpture, 1/1 of photography, 1/0 on mosaics, 2/1 on film, 0/1 on stuff by Ai Weiwei, and 2/0 on architecture (City Beautiful and Venturi).
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Re: Alex's Stuff (Fine Arts, some OSci/Religion)

Postby Progcon » Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:27 pm

Aaron's Rod wrote:
Progcon wrote:Also: I felt there was a ton of sculpture in the visual fine arts for this set and there were some pretty hard answerlines. I knew Canova but I think he is not a gimme answerline for this difficulty level (I may be wrong though). There was someone else who was pretty hard as well in this set. Was it Moore? Was all this sculpture a conscious decision on the writer's part or was it kind of random how the packets I heard had so much of it?

I realized I didn't address this, and then I got curious about it. I think this is just a result of the set being rather front-loaded with sculpture (and visual arts, rather than audio arts) in a way that is decidedly non-random. I will definitely reshuffle them before this Saturday's mirrors, and I apologize for any adverse effects this may have inadvertently caused. As far as I can tell, there's 2/4 of sculpture, 1/1 of photography, 1/0 on mosaics, 2/1 on film, 0/1 on stuff by Ai Weiwei, and 2/0 on architecture (City Beautiful and Venturi).


Nah it's all good. I think packetizing is really hard to do well and there are all these slight patterns that players might observe or be frustrated by that you would have never noticed. I did think that the other visual arts were definitely harder than other categories and it was kind of weird how a Le Six composer was the easy part of a bonus. Me and our music player both just guessed Satie assuming that would be the medium part and then we bageled it :lol: .Yes, I know Satie is not a member of Le Six. Can I see those french music questions?
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Re: Alex's Stuff (Fine Arts, some OSci/Religion)

Postby wcheng » Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:23 am

Some comments on your religion in this set:

I enjoyed the increased amount of Eastern Orthodox content in this set, and hope that editors of future sets will consider doing so as well.

When my team played the Abraham question, Ophir buzzed in on "Hineni" and said Moses. While I suppose that the first clue about Abraham in Islam invalidated his answer, Moses does say "Hineni" in Exodus 3:4, as does Samuel in 1 Samuel 3:4. I think that the clue could be improved by changing the beginning of the sentence to something less ambiguous.

I think that the bonus part on the Q source had some incorrect information. If I remember correctly, it was saying that the Q source was the material shared between Mark and Luke, but what it should be saying is that it was the material shared between Matthew and Luke.
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Re: Alex's Stuff (Fine Arts, some OSci/Religion)

Postby Wes Janson » Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:45 pm

Thanks for writing the music; I thought it was overall well written and consistent in difficulty.

I didn't get to hear the wind ensemble tossup, which is a shame, and I don't think the answerline is too difficult for this level; however, I would like to echo the above sentiment that some of the cluing seems off for that tossup. Unless there is another Symphonic Metamorphosis other than Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Carl Maria von Weber by Hindemith, I don't think that work was for a wind ensemble; in addition, while I recognize Ticheli (and probably played his works), I don't think I would have been confident enough to buzz on that clue alone. If this clue had some more works that have shown up in quiz bowl in the past (like Holst's Military Band Suites or Persichetti's Symphony for Band) or more "standards" (like Ralph Vaughn Williams's English Folk Song Suite), perhaps the difficulty cliff before the Percy Grainger clue could have been avoided. This being said, as a concert band fan, I heartily endorse more concert band music in quiz bowl!

*Edited for clarity
Last edited by Wes Janson on Sun Apr 16, 2017 2:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Alex's Stuff (Fine Arts, some OSci/Religion)

Postby piecake31 » Sun Apr 16, 2017 1:53 pm

May I see the tossup on David? I remember hearing some painting that I saw at the Met and was wondering what it is.
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Re: Alex's Stuff (Fine Arts, some OSci/Religion)

Postby Thaumatibis gigantea » Sun Apr 16, 2017 8:46 pm

piecake31 wrote:May I see the tossup on David? I remember hearing some painting that I saw at the Met and was wondering what it is.

It's this one! (Probably?) I saw it too, so it's where I buzzed. :P

I am only really qualified to talk about the visual arts and I know you didn't write everything I am mentioning, so I apologize as it seemed more efficient to post just here.

I felt as though yesterday there was still a some inconsistency in difficulty. It was pretty rough to have a tossup on Mantegna and city beautiful in the same packet (albeit a late packet), yet as was mentioned, David, black, and Velazquez felt a bit easy. I also just found the phrasing and pronouns in "allegories" really confusing and the entire on the harder side as well. I enjoyed your use of exhibition titles as clues, I think that is a cool way to reward real knowledge of an artist/work that I have not seen much before.

I personally had trouble distinguishing what was supposed to be the hard part in the Rembrandt and Judith and Holofernes bonuses but I am in a class with a heavy focus on the relevant painters/personally like them a bit so take that with a grain of salt!
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Re: Alex's Stuff (Fine Arts, some OSci/Religion)

Postby Bensonfan23 » Sun Apr 16, 2017 9:28 pm

piecake31 wrote:May I see the tossup on David? I remember hearing some painting that I saw at the Met and was wondering what it is.

10. Chemical instruments sit on a velvet cloth in this artist’s double portrait of Monsieur and Madame Lavoisier. A woman in white stands with her arms outstretched above her children in the midst of a battle scene in this artist’s The Intervention of the Sabine Women. In one work by this artist, a nurse holds two boys as (*) three Roman guards salute a man who holds three swords in his left hand. A bloody knife in one work by this artist lies next to the title revolutionary slumping towards the viewer with a quill in his right hand and a note in his left. For 10 points, name this artist of The Oath of the Horatii [“hoar-AY-shee-eye”] and The Death of Marat.
ANSWER: Jacques-Louis David <AWD, Painting>
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