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# Solutions per week

I'm disappointed to see still only one solution per week permitted, despite the discussion we had last week. One of my unpublished solutions from last week is still better than the published ones, for example, and I'm sure there are some other excellent solutions written that I'd like to see but can't.

Can this be changed for this week?

Note by Matt McNabb
3 years, 7 months ago

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They should definitely allow more than 1 per week. · 3 years, 7 months ago

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There is one guy's solutions always amaze me.However,brilliant only allows him to submit one solution per work.So sad.:< · 3 years, 7 months ago

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Hello All,

Next week we will increase it to two solutions per topic. The quality of solutions has in general gotten better than it was, and we feel the conversation around them has improved as well.

The more all of you discuss the posted solutions, the more comfortable we will feel in allowing even more total solutions. As has been pointed out by Oscar, a solution does not have to be good in order to be a good discussion prompt. Unfortunately, having a discussion prompt does not always mean a discussion will take place. If nobody offers feedback on less than perfect solutions then the solution authors are not gaining much from having it public, and a large portion of the audience reading it is likely confused by it. The more that people vote, the better sorted the experience becomes for someone who is looking for clarity and help.

So the things all of you could do to make us increase the total number of solutions you can submit are:

• Offer your friendly feedback and constructive criticism to the solutions of others! (Many/most of you in this thread already do this quite well)

• Vote early and often on the solutions you like. If you do vote on a solution, leave a comment saying why you liked it.

• If you think something is cool or remarkable about a solution, then say so. If something someone uses reminds you of something interesting you have seen elsewhere, then mention it. Many people less perceptive than you would likely miss it, unless you point it out.

• If there is something you do not understand about someone's solution, chances are you are not the only one, so please ask.

Staff · 3 years, 7 months ago

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Last week, the quality of the solutions that were published was way higher than the weeks before, according to the staff, so they probably want to try it another week. I guess next week they'll allow 2 or 3 solutions per problem set. · 3 years, 7 months ago

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I think if they allow $$4$$ or $$5$$ solutions per problem set it will be better. · 3 years, 7 months ago

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The average quality of solution per problem is higher. But the quality of the best solutions is lower. I think the latter is more important. · 3 years, 7 months ago

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I'm not sure if I agree with you. But then again, I don't have the credentials to judge that.

Would you say that the featured solutions in the older system had low qualities? How many solutions per problem set were we able to submit then? Most weeks, I wasn't asked to submit a single solution. And the maximum was 2 solutions in a week. Didn't we have good solutions then?

The Challenge master could submit solutions to all of the problems and those solutions would be superb. We'd have the best solutions! Problem solved! Do you want that?

I think the answer is no.

I'd love to be able to submit 2-3 solutions per problem set. But being able to post solutions to all of the problems - I think that's a bad idea. · 3 years, 7 months ago

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I joined the site when it was possible to submit a solution for every problem, so I can't comment on how it was before that. And this is all our opinions, nobody has credentials :)

It's great when the CM comments on a posted solution. That's a great way to learn, having your solution critiqued by a CM. I guess we cannot expect them to do this for every problem since they are unpaid volunteers.

Perhaps an option would be for the CM to select which solutions to make visible. For example if somebody has written a solution that takes a new approach different to all the other published solutions, the CM could opt to make it visible. · 3 years, 7 months ago

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Their justification was that we did not have quality solutions. But the solutions are kind of like discussion boards, where quality is not necessary to spark a discussion or the reason that the answer was such. So more solutions should be allowed per week, as their argument is irrelevant and invalid. · 3 years, 7 months ago

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I believe that their argument was not invalid.

They said:

The quality of the best solutions did drop significantly last week. This became apparent mid-week, when we realized that many of the voted solutions would previously have been marked incomplete, and very few would have received the distinction of being worthy of featured (which corresponds to receiving 3 times the points of the problem).

Now do we want 12-13 solutions to a single problem while most of them are incomplete, poorly formatted and of low-quality?

You said:

the solutions are kind of like discussion boards, where quality is not necessary to spark a discussion or the reason that the answer was such.

That is 100% true. But no one is stopping you from discussing about a problem. Discussing is open. You can discuss about and comment on as many problems as you want. But think of the users who got a problem wrong and want to know how to approach the problem, learn new techniques and methods. They need a good complete solution like the ones that would have been featured in the older system.

Notice how the challenge masters have now taken an active role in the solutions discussions. It was clearly impossible if we had like 15 solutions.

Don't get me wrong! I truly believe that we should be allowed to submit more than one solution per problem set. I just don't believe we should be allowed to submit solutions to all the problems. I think 2-3 per problem set is perfect.

I also have another idea. Can the solutions with numerous errors or very few votes be 'hidden'? Pretty much like the 'formatting guide' on the bottom of the comment box which can be viewed by clicking on it.

I also noticed another great idea on another discussion thread. It said:

Make posting a solution cost some points (50?), while each upvote gives points (10?).

I think that is a great idea.

Long story short: like everything the one-solution-per-problem-set-system has both pros and cons. I personally would love to submit more than one solution and I think 2-3 is sensible. · 3 years, 7 months ago

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You said:

Now do we want 12-13 solutions to a single problem while most of them are incomplete, poorly formatted and of low-quality?

I would be perfectly fine with this. What do I care about the lack of completeness in a solution when at least I get the fundamentals? As for the repeated solutions, this isn't a problem to me as I usually only read one post. And people won't take time out of their day to submit answers to every problem they do (I think, I could be wrong).

You said:

But no one is stopping you from discussing about a problem. Discussion is open.

One cannot discuss a problem openly until the week is over, or else it helps other people solve it.

You said:

Notice how the challenge masters have now taken an active role in the solutions discussions. It was clearly impossible if we had like 15 solutions.

Probably true.

You said:

Can the solutions with numerous errors or very few votes be 'hidden'?

They would be sorted by number of votes.

Someone else said:

Make posting a solution cost some points (50?), while each upvote gives points (10?).

Good idea! But you should at least be able to see others' posts before you post your solution to make sure that (a) someone doesn't have an obviously better solution than you and (b) someone hasn't posted your exact solution. Kinda like what they're doing right now with the preview-publish option. · 3 years, 7 months ago

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You would be perfectly fine with having a lot of low-quality-solutions, but some people wouldn't be.

This is what Peter had to say about this in the previous discussion:

...it is important to keep in mind that about 1/4 to half the people who are reading the solution discussions are people who got the problem wrong. Seeing 30-50 solutions, 80% of which are poorly formatted and expressed is demotivating to people who entered the discussion in frustration to begin with.

And

Bad/moderate solutions can drag down the whole conversation if their volume is too large. To have a fair voting system there needs to be a period when you view them randomly. Large volumes of solutions reduce the likelihood that a viewer will easily find a good one.

You said that you read only one post. So, you most likely vote for only one solution. But isn't it a little unfair to another similar solution that you don't read? I have seen this several times. A lot of solutions are very similar to the most voted solution but they have literally zero votes. How would you feel if you knew your hard-work wasn't even viewed by anyone? That is why I try to vote for solutions (plural) that I admire.

By the way, solution discussion is open. You can do that immediately after solving a problem. You can either post a solution or you can skip that and join the discussion. In the discussion, you can comment on anyone's solution, talk about different approaches, discuss about how you can use the ideas to solve other problems, learn about new techniques and all that stuff. The challenge masters now also try to start conversations with their notes.

I have noticed something else too. In this problem, there were 4 solutions that were exactly the same, word for word (which was really weird!).

By the way, getting the fundamentals of a problem isn't enough. While a lot of people can reach the numerical answer of a problem, not all of them can write a rigorous solution. In this problem, our challenge master calls one of the solution "Fallacious proof by a ton of nonsense statements". Honestly I had no idea how to write the solution of that problem although I was able to find the answer through intuition. We need rigorous solutions.

Thanks for taking the time to address all of my points. · 3 years, 7 months ago

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I have noticed something else too. In this problem, there were 4 solutions that were exactly the same, word for word (which was really weird!).

That was the first week of the new system I believe, in which you could view other solutions before posting your own, so that might explain.

I also noticed another great idea on another discussion thread. It said:

>Make posting a solution cost some points (50?), while each upvote gives points (10?).

I think that is a great idea.



I just don't believe we should be allowed to submit solutions to all the problems. I think 2-3 per problem set is perfect.

If it would cost points to submit solutions, then would that limit still make sense? If the price of posting a solution is rightly chosen, then it should encourage the user to only submit solutions which they think will get upvoted (i.e. it is a great solution, or only wrong solutions have been submitted).

Maybe, we could have 2-3 'free' solutions, and after that it costs you points to submit a solution, in case of emergency (e.g. you found a great way to solve a problem, but you have reached the weekly limit already). · 3 years, 7 months ago

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Maybe, we could have 2-3 'free' solutions, and after that it costs you points to submit a solution, in case of emergency (e.g. you found a great way to solve a problem, but you have reached the weekly limit already).

Great idea! · 3 years, 7 months ago

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I think EVERYONE here would love it if a member of the staff were to respond. · 3 years, 7 months ago

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I totally agree with the fact that more than one solution should be allowed. On a related topic, I would like emphasize that the removal of the featured solution feature (no pun intended!) has also been disappointing. I like the voting idea, but it seems a bit pointless to have it without the top-voted solution getting featured. It is OK if more than one solution is featured, but it's always nice to have something standing out there. · 3 years, 7 months ago

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i think more than one solution should be allowed. · 3 years, 7 months ago

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Yeah, I feel the same disappointment with you, Sir. I · 3 years, 7 months ago

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Are you talking bout you solution to the probability question? · 3 years, 7 months ago

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Nah, the one about the sum of non-real roots. The public solution uses calculus and mine doesn't, which I think is a bit more aesthetic. Of course mine may have mistakes but I will never know as CM's don't seem to critique non-published solutions. · 3 years, 7 months ago

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Three workers, Frank, Grace, and Hazel, have been hired to paint a fence. Frank alone can paint the fence in 4 hours, Grace in 3 hours, and Hazel in 2 hours. The workers alternate painting in the following manner: Frank works for 20 minutes, then Grace works for 20 minutes, and then Hazel works for 20 minutes, and the process repeats. How many minutes will it take the workers to finish painting the fence? · 3 years, 7 months ago

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Hey, I wrote that problem! Is it being featured right now? :D · 3 years, 7 months ago

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And if it is: Hey, don't take help! · 3 years, 7 months ago

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And if it is : Why posting it here? · 3 years, 7 months ago

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