MIT Invitational 2018

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JT880
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Re: MIT Invitational 2018

Postby JT880 » January 24th, 2018, 7:00 pm

Hovercraft (9): The test was pretty challenging for me, but it was lots of fun to take. The length was around what we expected, and my partner and I barely didn't finish (we were almost done with the last question). Definitely required most of the teams to have the 2 partners to split it up and take it separately in order to finish, and the test itself had a good variety of questions. While I personally didn't do the vehicle testing, everything seemed to go ok there. The impound process was pretty slow, and it almost came to the point where I was going to have to impound the A team's hovercraft since both of them had events first slot. Luckily it didn't come to that, but it would be nice to have a few more stations for impound. If getting volunteers is a problem, simply starting the impound process earlier could easily fix the problem.
Speaking of hovercraft, does anybody know the test scores were? Last year those who medaled in hovercraft had a test score somewhere in the 30s while Troy probably had a score in the 40s or 50s (hard to tell from the graph that the ES posted a while back).
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Hovercraft, Optics, Thermodynamics, Dynamic Planet, Mousetrap Vehicle

jkang
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Re: MIT Invitational 2018

Postby jkang » January 24th, 2018, 7:18 pm

Luckily it didn't come to that, but it would be nice to have a few more stations for impound. If getting volunteers is a problem, simply starting the impound process earlier could easily fix the problem.
The biggest problem with these are 1) getting the tracks themselves - a group of us had to actually pick up the tracks from a team the day before the competition due to the difficulty in actually transporting and obtaining the tracks. Also the problem with impound isn't necessarily the length. The biggest problem is that many teams try to impound their devices as late as possible, and this results in large spaces of nothing near the beginning of impound and heavy traffic of teams near the end. This is something that will basically never be fixed by increasing the impound duration, just mostly manpower.

I've also seen a few complaints about volunteers here so I'd like to put in my two cents on it. Getting volunteers is hard. You guys could be judgmental now with how much you are involved in SciO, but college students are very lazy and for a lot of us SciO just doesn't matter anymore. Taking a whole day out of our schedules to help out a tournament is a huge commitment, especially when a lot of us are busy with work, friends, or other generally more interesting things. The fact that MIT is able to recruit so many volunteers for this invitational is very impressive. And they do try very hard to recruit volunteers. I think over the course of December and January I received about 4 or 5 emails asking their email list for volunteers. Another thing to note is that the MIT Invitational occurs during IAP (not during the semester), so a good handful of students won't be on campus. So the volunteers might not necessarily know every single detail about the events they're helping out with either. But also note that rather than months of time in advance (or years of experience with SciO), some of these volunteers have never worked with SciO before and are just interested in helping out science-interested high school students, which is an amazing thing in and of itself. So yes, while in an ideal world we would have many proctor-level volunteers that could do everything perfectly, what MIT had was still extremely good.
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Liberal Arts and Science Academy '15

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Re: MIT Invitational 2018

Postby Raleway » January 24th, 2018, 8:42 pm

MIT was quite the experience to say the least... it's not often you see Solon, Troy, Harriton, Mentor, Boca, and other top schools together besides nationals. That being said, I felt that my expectations for this invitational were maybe a bit too high, but still a great tournament.

Towers: Please, please, please just use a regular testing rig. I assume MIT self-built their testing jig and autoloader? It seems strange that they would need to test the autoloader before first session and have it not work... regardless it was a shame that it could not be used. Despite the controversial... tower... it was decently run although the wait line got horrendously long at times - two testing rigs next time if possible?

Heli: It was fine. The ceiling was decent. Not much else to be said.

Materials Science: Confusing last question but why was lab worth the way it was? The points to time value (maybe not necessarily skill) seemed skewed but it was overall a fine test. Definitely, maybe it was used as a way to see who was able to best finish test portion first and differentiate top teams. However, teams that decided to split lab/test would, in my opinion, be unable to do well just because the lab took a while but wasn't worth much.

Code Busters: The test as a whole was quite interesting. The timed question didn't reward those who solved it faster enough due to the point value distribution. Questions were just standard testing the regular ciphers; not much to say there (oh wait please print enough copies so we can actually write on the tests)

Overall: I didn't get the vibe of excellence I thought I would get from this invitational. Having attended numerous invitationals from around the country, I still really enjoyed this one but I felt it could have done so much more. Giving us back wrong team tests is really frustrating (as some captains might know) and knowing how confusing the building numbering and what not is at MIT, why not dedicate only a few volunteers to moving people around at busy intersections? UPenn had this with volunteers and really helped. Best part of the day was definitely how smoothly awards ceremony ran. I guess it's now the tradition to get some guy to speak and stall for time... and worst part of the day was seeing who got first by how much :(

Thank you so much to the tournament organizers, event supervisors, proctors, and volunteers for giving us a great tournament! Hope to come back next year by not trading watermarked tests!
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Re: MIT Invitational 2018

Postby ScottMaurer19 » January 25th, 2018, 4:29 am

MIT was quite the experience to say the least... it's not often you see Solon, Troy, Harriton, Mentor, Boca, and other top schools together besides nationals. That being said, I felt that my expectations for this invitational were maybe a bit too high, but still a great tournament.

Towers: Please, please, please just use a regular testing rig. I assume MIT self-built their testing jig and autoloader? It seems strange that they would need to test the autoloader before first session and have it not work... regardless it was a shame that it could not be used. Despite the controversial... tower... it was decently run although the wait line got horrendously long at times - two testing rigs next time if possible?

Heli: It was fine. The ceiling was decent. Not much else to be said.

Materials Science: Confusing last question but why was lab worth the way it was? The points to time value (maybe not necessarily skill) seemed skewed but it was overall a fine test. Definitely, maybe it was used as a way to see who was able to best finish test portion first and differentiate top teams. However, teams that decided to split lab/test would, in my opinion, be unable to do well just because the lab took a while but wasn't worth much.

Code Busters: The test as a whole was quite interesting. The timed question didn't reward those who solved it faster enough due to the point value distribution. Questions were just standard testing the regular ciphers; not much to say there (oh wait please print enough copies so we can actually write on the tests)

Overall: I didn't get the vibe of excellence I thought I would get from this invitational. Having attended numerous invitationals from around the country, I still really enjoyed this one but I felt it could have done so much more. Giving us back wrong team tests is really frustrating (as some captains might know) and knowing how confusing the building numbering and what not is at MIT, why not dedicate only a few volunteers to moving people around at busy intersections? UPenn had this with volunteers and really helped. Best part of the day was definitely how smoothly awards ceremony ran. I guess it's now the tradition to get some guy to speak and stall for time... and worst part of the day was seeing who got first by how much :(

Thank you so much to the tournament organizers, event supervisors, proctors, and volunteers for giving us a great tournament! Hope to come back next year by not trading watermarked tests!
Speaking of towers, I heard that one of Troy's had blue glue running down the length of the main supports?
Solon '19 Captain, CWRU '23
2017 (r/s/n):
Hydro: 3/5/18
Robot Arm: na/1/1
Rocks: 1/1/1

2018 (r/s/n):
Heli: 2/1/7 
Herp: 1/4/4
Mission: 1/1/6
Rocks: 1/1/1
Eco: 6/3/9

2019 (r/s/n):
Fossils: 1/1/1
GLM: 1/1/1
Herp: 1/1/5
Mission: 1/1/3
WS: 4/1/10

Top 3 Medals: 144
Golds: 80

Raleway
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Re: MIT Invitational 2018

Postby Raleway » January 25th, 2018, 6:20 am

I don't know which Troy it was, but the square base non-bonus Troy tower did not have that. Does anyone know if Troy A went first session or was that Troy B? Thanks!
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Re: MIT Invitational 2018

Postby Riptide » January 25th, 2018, 9:43 am

Speaking of hovercraft, does anybody know the test scores were? Last year those who medaled in hovercraft had a test score somewhere in the 30s while Troy probably had a score in the 40s or 50s (hard to tell from the graph that the ES posted a while back).
2nd place had a test score in the low 30s, and our test score (9th) was pretty abysmal. Troy probably was in the high 30s or low 40s, but thats just speculation from looking at the chart you mentioned from last year.
Luckily it didn't come to that, but it would be nice to have a few more stations for impound. If getting volunteers is a problem, simply starting the impound process earlier could easily fix the problem.
The biggest problem with these are 1) getting the tracks themselves - a group of us had to actually pick up the tracks from a team the day before the competition due to the difficulty in actually transporting and obtaining the tracks. Also the problem with impound isn't necessarily the length. The biggest problem is that many teams try to impound their devices as late as possible, and this results in large spaces of nothing near the beginning of impound and heavy traffic of teams near the end. This is something that will basically never be fixed by increasing the impound duration, just mostly manpower.

I've also seen a few complaints about volunteers here so I'd like to put in my two cents on it. Getting volunteers is hard. You guys could be judgmental now with how much you are involved in SciO, but college students are very lazy and for a lot of us SciO just doesn't matter anymore. Taking a whole day out of our schedules to help out a tournament is a huge commitment, especially when a lot of us are busy with work, friends, or other generally more interesting things. The fact that MIT is able to recruit so many volunteers for this invitational is very impressive. And they do try very hard to recruit volunteers. I think over the course of December and January I received about 4 or 5 emails asking their email list for volunteers. Another thing to note is that the MIT Invitational occurs during IAP (not during the semester), so a good handful of students won't be on campus. So the volunteers might not necessarily know every single detail about the events they're helping out with either. But also note that rather than months of time in advance (or years of experience with SciO), some of these volunteers have never worked with SciO before and are just interested in helping out science-interested high school students, which is an amazing thing in and of itself. So yes, while in an ideal world we would have many proctor-level volunteers that could do everything perfectly, what MIT had was still extremely good.
Good point, I didn't consider that.
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Seven Lakes High School '19
Seven Lakes Junior High '15

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Re: MIT Invitational 2018

Postby reefownage » January 25th, 2018, 10:50 am

I've also seen a few complaints about volunteers here so I'd like to put in my two cents on it. Getting volunteers is hard. You guys could be judgmental now with how much you are involved in SciO, but college students are very lazy and for a lot of us SciO just doesn't matter anymore. Taking a whole day out of our schedules to help out a tournament is a huge commitment, especially when a lot of us are busy with work, friends, or other generally more interesting things. The fact that MIT is able to recruit so many volunteers for this invitational is very impressive. And they do try very hard to recruit volunteers. I think over the course of December and January I received about 4 or 5 emails asking their email list for volunteers. Another thing to note is that the MIT Invitational occurs during IAP (not during the semester), so a good handful of students won't be on campus. So the volunteers might not necessarily know every single detail about the events they're helping out with either. But also note that rather than months of time in advance (or years of experience with SciO), some of these volunteers have never worked with SciO before and are just interested in helping out science-interested high school students, which is an amazing thing in and of itself. So yes, while in an ideal world we would have many proctor-level volunteers that could do everything perfectly, what MIT had was still extremely good.
I wish there was a like button on scioly forums, but there isn't, so I'll just respond to jkang's comment to say yes, this is so, so true. Many people from my school's team are no longer involved in science olympiad now that they're in college, which is perfectly okay, as there really are many, many other things to do. In general, speaking as a test writer and as part of the overall planning committee for MIT, any invitational at any level takes an incredible amount of manpower and preparation to run smoothly. Ideally, we would have hundreds of volunteers that were all scioly national champions back in their day, the perfect classrooms for test taking, perfect grading, immaculate returning of tests to teams, some easy answer to this long debate about "should tournaments make tests public/should they not," and gourmet food. But the MIT Invitational isn't supposed to be a perfect experience. It's supposed to be an excellent one. One worth going to, and one worth returning to. MIT certainly met that standard the three years I attended it as a competitor, and I believe it met that standard this year as well.

Also, if anyone would like to ask any questions about the Dynamic Planet test, feel free to email txiong@mit.edu! Would be super happy to answer any questions.

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Re: MIT Invitational 2018

Postby quantumk19 » January 25th, 2018, 12:29 pm

Does anyone know laser shoot scores for the top teams in Optics? Did they use all of the mirrors?

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Re: MIT Invitational 2018

Postby kenniky » January 25th, 2018, 2:20 pm

Does anyone know laser shoot scores for the top teams in Optics? Did they use all of the mirrors?
I'm not sure how much I'm allowed to say, but no team successfully used every mirror
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Re: MIT Invitational 2018

Postby KSSOISLIT » January 25th, 2018, 4:09 pm

I don't know which Troy it was, but the square base non-bonus Troy tower did not have that. Does anyone know if Troy A went first session or was that Troy B? Thanks!
I believe it was Troy A because Troy B went my session which was later in the day.
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