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!