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Compute This

Posted: July 5th, 2008, 7:26 pm
by Jim_R

Re: Compute This

Posted: July 7th, 2008, 10:29 am
by ZekeBud
My absolute disgust for this event cannot be accurately measured by current human means.

However, in advance of the event actually happening, a fine Google searching technique was very helpful to my efforts in the event in the past.

Google Search Operator: Site
When looking for your data (and seeing as you're probably going to be limited to only one .gov location), Google may return many locations that are not within the given usgs.gov domain. To limit your results, do the following:
1. Type in your search material (e.g.: Big Earthquakes)
2. Add "site:usgs.gov" to the end (so you would have: Big Earthquakes site:usgs.gov)
3. Search! Now you're only looking at pages within the usgs.gov area (such as earthquakes.usgs.gov, or whatever you end up with)

This technique is effective both in this event and in real life. I now use it to scour my school's website to find the publications I'm looking for.

Other fun Google searching techniques can be found here: http://www.google.com/help/operators.html. I personally recommend use of a search engine, but your strategy must be formed in your own team.

Re: Compute This

Posted: July 7th, 2008, 12:14 pm
by sachleen
ZekeBud, I couldn't agree more. Google will help you out a lot, another thing I did when I did the event was find the answer, or what I thought was the answer on some other site, and then look for that specific answer on the site they give you. be careful not to spend too much time looking for one answer I think time management played a big part of our horribleness at that event :/

Re: Compute This

Posted: July 7th, 2008, 12:20 pm
by dudeincolorado
this event is crazy!!! I was the other person just kinda sitting there. anyone else like me and what did you do? i just made possiblr search quearys and that was it :(

Re: Compute This

Posted: July 7th, 2008, 1:14 pm
by sachleen
Yep, thats my partner and I. cept we actually tried :P We searched and searched, there was no way anyone could have finished, but some teams did :( I dont see how they got all that data and still managed to do the graphs without knowing some information beforehand..

Re: Compute This

Posted: July 8th, 2008, 4:05 pm
by rocketman1555
i like the google thing, and i made a website, but i wasn't aloud to use it at state, even though the rules clearly said i could

Re: Compute This

Posted: July 8th, 2008, 4:40 pm
by dudeincolorado
well this one team at state finished the whole thing and got 1st in like 20 minuets so im like :shock: and my partner was like :shock: so together we were like :shock: :shock: i think the whole room was like that :lol:

Re: Compute This

Posted: July 11th, 2008, 2:01 pm
by Pleiades
If you search using google will it come up with better results than using the search function they have on the website?

Re: Compute This

Posted: July 11th, 2008, 2:10 pm
by starpug
dudeincolorado wrote:well this one team at state finished the whole thing and got 1st in like 20 minuets so im like :shock: and my partner was like :shock: so together we were like :shock: :shock: i think the whole room was like that :lol:

That's just like you dudeincolorado
Pleiades wrote:If you search using google will it come up with better results than using the search function they have on the website?

I'm thinking that you have more options when using google.

Re: Compute This

Posted: July 14th, 2008, 10:59 am
by ZekeBud
Perhaps a portion of my disgust toward this event comes from being a human impound at NY States in 2005. Yes, that's right. Thanks to a bit of snow at West Point (a few inches never hurt anyone, by the way), all people in Compute This, having already seen the problem, were forced to stay in the starting room and wait. What fun to be a human impound for an hour...

Let me tell you, that was worthy of :shock:

However, I would argue that use of an external search engine (like Google) would probably work better than the search feature on a given site, or at least it would be something more applicable to broad solutions. While the USGS (I'm just citing this because it's on the tentative rules) site does have a Google-based search, I tend to prefer using something I'm familiar with.

How should you run things? I'd advise letting a coach or some other friend take a general look at the rules, then let them find some obscure data sets on the final chosen site (preferably something that you can graph, but whatever). Then, go off and try to find what they were looking at. It'll help you learn the skills needed to find stuff, but also force you to become comfortable with whichever search engine you like. It's a good way to practice for the event and to find some sort of comfort.

Re: Compute This

Posted: July 14th, 2008, 2:38 pm
by starpug
Compute This Wiki
This is the new Wiki page for Compute This for anyone who cares.

Re: Compute This

Posted: July 17th, 2008, 12:14 pm
by sachleen
ZekeBud wrote:How should you run things? I'd advise letting a coach or some other friend take a general look at the rules, then let them find some obscure data sets on the final chosen site (preferably something that you can graph, but whatever). Then, go off and try to find what they were looking at. It'll help you learn the skills needed to find stuff, but also force you to become comfortable with whichever search engine you like. It's a good way to practice for the event and to find some sort of comfort.


Yeah... that was what i planned on doing for it.. but yeah, I took a few glances at the site (noaa) here and there but never really did any practice tests for it. :cry:

Re: Compute This

Posted: July 25th, 2008, 1:51 pm
by Aia
ZekeBud wrote:My absolute disgust for this event cannot be accurately measured by current human means.



What about Balloon Race? That event is 100x worse than Compute This. I've done both... at least you can study for Compute This.

Re: Compute This

Posted: July 25th, 2008, 2:34 pm
by starpug
Aia wrote:
ZekeBud wrote:My absolute disgust for this event cannot be accurately measured by current human means.



What about Balloon Race? That event is 100x worse than Compute This. I've done both... at least you can study for Compute This.

Good point Ballon Race had so many varibles they ended up cutting it this year because it was soo bad you could be as well trained as possible and still get a 1 because of Air Currents. :x

Re: Compute This

Posted: August 3rd, 2008, 5:20 pm
by rocketman1555
[/quote]What about Balloon Race? That event is 100x worse than Compute This. I've done both... at least you can study for Compute This.[/quote]

compute this is more practicing, not studying, you just have to know how to do it, not as much actual information, but more of a process