Keep the Heat B/Thermodynamics C

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Re: Keep the Heat B/Thermodynamics C

Post by haverstall » January 22nd, 2012, 1:27 pm

chalker wrote: Standard caveat that this isn't the place for official clarifications. That said, I like this idea and think it clearly falls under General Rule #2 (http://soinc.org/ethics_rules), especially since we explicitly allow teams to bring tools and say that teams don't have to provide an estimate until the end of the testing period. Of course we'd have to somehow prevent teams from 'cheating' by leaving the thermometers in the beakers right up until the very end and then recording the temp.
Ok, so I was not aware that you could actually give the predicted temperature right before temperature was measured. At all my competitions, we were required to give the predicted temp before we filled our beakers. IMHO, I feel that is definitely better, simply because of what Chalker said about potential cheating, which was definitely possible at River Falls yesterday, since we actually inserted thermometers about a good minute before official temps were recorded, meaning a team could simply look at the temp on the thermometer, say that as predicted, and then 30 seconds afterward, get the official internal beaker temp.
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Re: Keep the Heat B/Thermodynamics C

Post by NinjaChicken » January 22nd, 2012, 1:47 pm

chalker wrote:teams don't have to provide an estimate until the end of the testing period.
The first invitational that I went to, we had to submit our estimate within 5 minutes of inserting the water. I feel like that's very fair. I don't see why any team should take 20+ minutes to come up with an estimate. 5 minutes is plenty of time to examine graphs and decide a temperature - the extra time, I feel, will only add to the possibility of cheating.

I think the rule 4.a.vi. should be slimmed down to say "They must provide the event supervisors with their estimate at least 5 minutes after they receive their water."
Or some comparable time.

EDIT:
haverstall wrote: We were required to give the predicted temp before we filled our beakers.
I can understand why this would also be good, but at the invitational I went to, I factored in how quickly I could load the beaker. I went slower than I liked, so I lowered my original estimate, based on my graphs, by 0.5˚C, and ended up being closer than my original estimate.
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Re: Keep the Heat B/Thermodynamics C

Post by adrenalynn » January 23rd, 2012, 3:53 pm

chalker wrote:
adrenalynn wrote: in my past experience, <1% separates Gold through "no medal for you".
This is an interesting statement that doesn't match my experience. Can you provide any data? I"m not sure if you mean from a team total standpoint or an event standpoint. Some data points I quickly dug up from last year are below. I've used Optics for comparison since they it also involves a 'hands on activity' and a 'written test'
Referring to individual events. In Wind Power, the combined blade scores for high and low factored with the exam left 1% margins. The first year of Wind Power it was ~5%. I can provide specific numbers in pm, but I doubt you care that much about old events. :)

If you're leaving your thermometers in, two probes per station (one control, one experiment), then aren't you effectively getting start temp and end temp potentially differing for each team regardless of bath temp?

That was incidentally my plan too. 18 hand-crafted high-precision serial-bus-driven probes tied over a "micro-lan" to the serial bus on a microcontroller tied to a central PC, with that mirrored on a backup PC for redundancy.

I need to nail this down pretty soon as I need to start ordering components from our distributor in China if I'm going to have time to write the microcontroller and PC-side code...

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Re: Keep the Heat B/Thermodynamics C

Post by haverstall » January 23rd, 2012, 5:02 pm

NinjaChicken wrote:
chalker wrote:teams don't have to provide an estimate until the end of the testing period.
The first invitational that I went to, we had to submit our estimate within 5 minutes of inserting the water. I feel like that's very fair. I don't see why any team should take 20+ minutes to come up with an estimate. 5 minutes is plenty of time to examine graphs and decide a temperature - the extra time, I feel, will only add to the possibility of cheating.

I think the rule 4.a.vi. should be slimmed down to say "They must provide the event supervisors with their estimate at least 5 minutes after they receive their water."
Or some comparable time.

EDIT:
haverstall wrote: We were required to give the predicted temp before we filled our beakers.
I can understand why this would also be good, but at the invitational I went to, I factored in how quickly I could load the beaker. I went slower than I liked, so I lowered my original estimate, based on my graphs, by 0.5˚C, and ended up being closer than my original estimate.
I do like your idea about the "5-minute rule." It's logical, and it does eliminate the potential of cheating. Also, having the ambiguous "parts/supplies" that can be brought to the event does prove a challenge, if looked at from the Spirit of the Rules.
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Re: Keep the Heat B/Thermodynamics C

Post by chalker » January 23rd, 2012, 8:35 pm

adrenalynn wrote:
Referring to individual events. In Wind Power, the combined blade scores for high and low factored with the exam left 1% margins. The first year of Wind Power it was ~5%. I can provide specific numbers in pm, but I doubt you care that much about old events. :)
I am somewhat intrigued, because that doesn't match our experience at Ohio State tournaments. Here is the relevant data for Wind power / Physics lab for the 2 years it was recently run (same format as above, 1st - 6th):
2011:
Div C: 50 - 40 = 10 (~20%)

2010
Div C: 87 - 68 = 19 (~20%)
Div B: 91.7 - 75.7 = 16 (~17%)


But as you said, that is old event data and not 100% relevant to the matter at hand.
adrenalynn wrote: If you're leaving your thermometers in, two probes per station (one control, one experiment), then aren't you effectively getting start temp and end temp potentially differing for each team regardless of bath temp?
I think the key is you still only grab a single data point from each probe (at the end of the time period). But having the probes in place the whole time ensures you don't have to worry about probe temp gradients, or timing issues, or a multitude of other things that could arise due to physically inserting and removing probes.

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Re: Keep the Heat B/Thermodynamics C

Post by haverstall » January 24th, 2012, 5:22 am

chalker wrote:
adrenalynn wrote: If you're leaving your thermometers in, two probes per station (one control, one experiment), then aren't you effectively getting start temp and end temp potentially differing for each team regardless of bath temp?
I think the key is you still only grab a single data point from each probe (at the end of the time period). But having the probes in place the whole time ensures you don't have to worry about probe temp gradients, or timing issues, or a multitude of other things that could arise due to physically inserting and removing probes.
I do have a question about this situation. My partner and I were talking about having probes that stayed in our beakers the entire time, and we were worried that we were losing energy via the probes, because of the difference in specific heat capacity of the metal, water etc. Also, at River Falls, they used thermometers that actually covered the entire hole at the top of the box, which could slow down cooling. Now, if the event sups kept it constant for all teams, it would be somewhat fair, but I think it messes up how competitors predict their temperature, and could potentially mess up standings. Then again, looking at your data, hopefully that little deviation won't change much, but the possibility is still there, especially with a very simple written test.
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Re: Keep the Heat B/Thermodynamics C

Post by chalker » January 24th, 2012, 5:38 am

haverstall wrote: Also, at River Falls, they used thermometers that actually covered the entire hole at the top of the box, which could slow down cooling.
I'd think this would have a major impact. A draft version of the rules last year allowed for plugs in the hole, but upon testing we found that that made the devices too good of insulators and we were worried that the heat drop wouldn't be enough. I think a lot of heat is lost via convection out of the holes.

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Re: Keep the Heat B/Thermodynamics C

Post by Flavorflav » January 24th, 2012, 6:55 am

coach99 wrote: I guess that glued composite materials would also be ruled out by the last sentence of 3a which prohibits fastening materials which contribute to insulating properties.
So you are suggesting that plywood should be illegal? I suspect that would DQ a lot of devices, if the judges agreed with you. I have just submitted a clarification on this, but does anyone want to weigh in on this unofficially? Perhaps someone whose last name rhymes with "walker?"

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Re: Keep the Heat B/Thermodynamics C

Post by chalker7 » January 24th, 2012, 7:22 am

Flavorflav wrote:
coach99 wrote: I guess that glued composite materials would also be ruled out by the last sentence of 3a which prohibits fastening materials which contribute to insulating properties.
So you are suggesting that plywood should be illegal? I suspect that would DQ a lot of devices, if the judges agreed with you. I have just submitted a clarification on this, but does anyone want to weigh in on this unofficially? Perhaps someone whose last name rhymes with "walker?"
I don't have the time to go through the back posts right now, but hasn't this been discussed before? Was there no resolution to the question? I seem to remember talking about it, just not sure if it was through these forums or via the clarifications workflow.

*edit- looking through my old emails, this question has been officially asked/answered for Division B, Keep the Heat but not Division C, Thermodynamics. It has not been posted to the website, but if you submit the question again in each category it might be seen as a common question and get posted to the website.
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Re: Keep the Heat B/Thermodynamics C

Post by chalker » January 24th, 2012, 8:54 am

chalker7 wrote: looking through my old emails, this question has been officially asked/answered for Division B, Keep the Heat but not Division C, Thermodynamics.
I think it's reasonable to publicly share the exact wording of the reply in reference, which was: "As long as the specific plywood you are using is not available as a commercial insulator, then yes, plywood is acceptable."

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