It's About Time C

trophymursky
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It's About Time C

Postby trophymursky » June 23rd, 2008, 4:20 pm

what do you guys think of the event. I looked at the 1997 rules and think that for the building aspect its easy to do well but to get it accurate to .1 second is really hard. and reaction time accounts for a lot. to me too much.
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Re: Its about time

Postby dickyjones » June 23rd, 2008, 4:45 pm

I completely agree that it seems reaction time will count WAY too much. Hopefully the rules will make reaction time less of a factor (maybe longer time periods to measure to .5 seconds?). The test (from trial event rules) seems lame, but hopefully they can put more advanced physics in it to make it more fun.
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Re: Its about time

Postby gh » June 23rd, 2008, 7:53 pm

Do you guys actually realize how long 100 milliseconds is? Almost anyone can time to that precision (not accuracy, since that really depends on the stopwatch more) with 20 minutes of practice. Three practiced timers' median time should almost always time well enough—within +/- 50 ms is necessary, because of rounding—to score fairly.
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Re: Its about time

Postby dickyjones » June 23rd, 2008, 8:33 pm

I think you're confusing this with Electric Vehicle timing. Measuring to a tenth of a second might be slightly less easy to do with one homemade hourglass or pendulum system. And since you obviously aren't have no idea when the end of the time period will be, there's likely to be some sort of delay. Hopefully someone on our team has amazing reaction time. :P But you're probably not going to miss more than 5 points total (w/ trial scoring system) due alone to bad reaction time (and inability to compensate for it), and if you're good, you'll make up for that on the written test.
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Re: Its about time

Postby fleet130 » June 23rd, 2008, 11:59 pm

Information expressed here is solely the opinion of the author. Any similarity to that of the management or any official instrument is purely coincidental! Doing Science Olympiad since 1987!

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Re: Its about time

Postby gh » June 24th, 2008, 4:47 pm

Oh, you mean the time recorded by the student.

I don't really see how that's a problem. Isn't it up to the student to build an accurate device and use it correctly? I know reaction time plays a big part in this. But, timing things is necessary skill, and it will always invariably depend on human reaction.

I could see a problem if the event sup doesn't call out the time accurately, causing everybody to be off from the accepted time.

As an addendum: I hope the event sups try to eliminate human error, and more importantly, accusations of human error, on their end by using electronic timers and buzzers or something. That would save everyone a lot of trouble.
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Reason: added stuff about using timers
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Re: Its about time

Postby trophymursky » June 25th, 2008, 7:07 am

but the problem is you can't use electricity.
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Re: Its about time

Postby fleet130 » June 25th, 2008, 11:54 am

From the Rules Discussion Forum:
but for the students, especially in trial 5 the student is given a range it can be in but doesn't know exactly when it is so wouldn't that count as an unexpected event
An "unexpected" event would be if you are watching television and a meteorite comes crashing through the roof into your living room. Reaction time decreases as the expectation for the event increases.

In this event, both the start and stop signal are certainly expected by the contestants. In fact they should be focusing their attention on that expectation in order to reduce their reaction time as much as possible. Since the reaction in both cases is in response to a stimulus, they should offset each other, reducing the overall error.
one possible solution is to add bonus points for certain aspects like output mechanism or being able to start and stop it.
It is also important to keep the event simple for judges to run and score. This simplicity also serves to reduce scoring errors. The complexity of the event rules was one of the reasons for the backlash against Mission Possible.
if the middle one is the most accurate then have three timers and use the middle one, don't have just one timer.
This falls under the category of "they ain't gonna do it". It is pointless to write requirements in the rules that will not be followed. Many tournaments just don't have the manpower and other resources. Rule complexity is also an issue here.
understanding the way it works is the judge tells everyone to start, then when the desired time for him is reached he calls stop as he stops his watch
At the start time the event supervisor will simultaneously start a master timer and give a
signal for the teams to start their timing device.
The rules do not state what type of signal will be given. If I were running this event, I would use signals produced by the master timer itself, not verbal. There is no requirement (or need) to stop the master timer.


And finally:
It is expected that event supervisors will understand (or will investigate) the subject matter and the problems involved with implementing the event. Providing that understanding is beyond the scope of the rules.
Worst case reaction time error should be in the 30-50 millisecond range. Combining the start and stop errors should reduce this significantly.
Information expressed here is solely the opinion of the author. Any similarity to that of the management or any official instrument is purely coincidental! Doing Science Olympiad since 1987!

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Re: Its about time

Postby trophymursky » June 25th, 2008, 1:03 pm

most of your arguements about not being able to do it don't hold up at the national or most state levels. Its about time with 2 bonus will still be no where mildly near mission so comparing them is flat out wrong. reaction time still is an uncertainty and if you are gonna be judged to the nearest 10th and get some pretty hard penalties for it then it just seems wrong for reaction time to have a factor like that.
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Re: Its about time

Postby gh » June 25th, 2008, 2:52 pm

but the problem is you can't use electricity.
Of course not. I suggested that the judges should use electronic means to reduce human error and responsibility on their side. If an electronic timer buzzes to signal the students to start and stop, then nobody can argue that the judge did not signal correctly.
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