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OpEd: Design Comp - Discussion - Buggy Alumni Association

OpEd: Design Comp - Discussion

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swiftsam
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OpEd: Design Comp - Discussion

Postby swiftsam » Wed Mar 25, 2009 2:28 pm

Discussion from the . Let's hear it.

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Carl Nott
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Re: OpEd: Design Comp - Discussion

Postby Carl Nott » Wed Mar 25, 2009 3:52 pm

I can only go off my experience, but design comp judges didn't want to discuss anything when I presented, didn't understand the significance of certain technological advances, gave 1st to an even older buggy presented by a 3-man team in suits with velvet-wrapped milk crates, and simply wasted my time.

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Abby
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Re: OpEd: Design Comp - Discussion

Postby Abby » Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:21 pm

This came up after Carnival last year as well. My opinion then and even more so now is that Design should be totally revamped. De-coupling it from Carnival weekend would be a good start. I'd personally like to see it in the fall. Maybe homecoming? Then what is now design could just be display, which is pretty much what it is now anyway.

My personal vision would be to do a competition where orgs present design ideas and then the winners get $ to help them build their brilliant ideas, and then the next year they come back to the judges and present the results.

The incentive would be much greater, and it would encourage/require feedback from the judges. Teams that didn't win could get feedback on why their idea didn't cut it. Teams that win could get some help through the process, if they want it. There would not have to be a set number of winners, just who gets how much money from the pool. Teams could submit a design for just a steering, or just wheels.

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mldarm
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Re: OpEd: Design Comp - Discussion

Postby mldarm » Wed Mar 25, 2009 5:16 pm

One additional reason people don't participate- back in 2000 (possibly 99), two organizations with similar steering mechanisms presented. The second organization was asked why they didn't do something that the first had done (using their name). The second org was honest enough to say something to the first, and both were pretty upset. Word of/fear of such a thing happening may have caused groups to drop out permanently.

Has anyone truly swept (mens, womens, design) since Fringe in 2000?

penguin
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Re: OpEd: Design Comp - Discussion

Postby penguin » Wed Mar 25, 2009 5:48 pm

so this comes from a person who was a fan of entering design to someone who no longer is.

over the last decade the differences in the top buggies has become smaller and smaller. which makes those differences more and more valuable to the teams. every edge is smaller and harder to develop. mainly more teams can understand some of the higher level designs and then can implement them

secrecy: things have always slipped out which makes some teams more reluctant to enter.

judging: it is clearly very subjective. ie. logically a standard trike should never place better then a reverse trike, it is clearly inferior design. but this happens often. i also agree with that the presentation has a huge amount of influence. imo the fastest one down the hill should win. what does design matter if it does not beat everyone else down the hill

waste of time: buggy is about one thing, putting out the best roll you can on raceday.

fringe winning: winning design has become a big thing for fringe, while most other teams don't give a dam.

Kurtains Warner
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Re: OpEd: Design Comp - Discussion

Postby Kurtains Warner » Wed Mar 25, 2009 5:52 pm

First Off, I never cared for Design Comp. I put all my time and effort into building our buggies because I cared about the race, Not some ppl in a room in the UC.

On to your reason to not enter design, which pretty much are the reason why I never entered our buggies,(Except for Fringe always winning, Which is about the competition and once again, i didnt care.)

Secrecy:
Probably the main readon why most orgs that dont enter. There is a reason why ppl put up tents or other barriers out at rolls. They don't want anyone to know what they are doing, or to see inside their buggies.

Quote: "But come on, really? Maybe it takes a post-college perspective, but I’m going to say that there are very few professors or professional engineers who have any interest in spending half their day collecting information about the internals of a buggy so that they can sell it on the black market."

Yeah, but pplin other orgs have nothing better to do that to try and find out what is inside the other buggies. Scoring Sheets have found their way outside of the room and into the hands of the rest of the orgs, and you would be surprised how descriptive some of the judges are about internals and designs on their sheets(But you already know this and have seen the sheeting im talking about).


Subjective contests are worthless, this is a race:
I don't want to repeat what i said earlier.
Also, I feel that design comp is another way for mechaincs to rock their jollies, since most arent athletic enough to push, and are only in the background during the race.

You an't bring up the point about the Heisman, Cy Young, or any other professional sports trophy. People only really care about them because they are another credential on a sports stars resume, which generally turns into a bigger contract/More Money.

Waste Of Time:
Again, Stated Earlier. Some Orgainzation, actually have fun and party during carnival. Have a lot of alumni that come into town and like to 'consume beverages' and hang out with the younger guys who are in their orgs now. I would much rather be at the quarters table than sitting in the gym doing nothing for 3 hours.

The main reason why I never entered design comp, if you can tell already, is I Don't Care.


The only reason for keeping design that I think is valid is Tradition. Ask anyone from SigNu about me, I love tradition. I think the main reason why buggy has is still around is because of tradition.

If you're a top buggy design org, most likely the best advice you are getting is from your old mechanics who still love buggy and are doing something similiar in industry.
-Kurtains

Vince is emo

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DangerMike
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Re: OpEd: Design Comp - Discussion

Postby DangerMike » Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:09 pm

Carl and Doh have valid criticism, which I think could both be addressed by adding some more structure to the judging period itself. The rules are pretty explicit about the procedure for the presenting organizations, but provide no guidance for the judges. Not mentioning other organizations by name might be a reasonable addition. Allowing the presenters a period to ask questions of the judges directly would make the process much more attractive. There may be other issues that need to be addressed.

By setting expectations in the rules, as opposed to something less formal, the reservations of the would-be presenters may be addressed before they even come up and allow the benefits of presenting outweigh the negatives.

If an organization doesn't want to enter, that's fine, but that doesn't mean the whole thing should be scrapped. Then again, if after trying to make it relevant and attractive there is still practically no participation, let it die. I'd imagine that it would only take a few years before someone has the idea to resurrect Design Comp, albeit in a different form that it exists now.

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swiftsam
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Re: OpEd: Design Comp - Discussion

Postby swiftsam » Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:13 pm


penguin
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Re: OpEd: Design Comp - Discussion

Postby penguin » Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:15 pm

it also has to make it through the shoot on raceday

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McCue
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Re: OpEd: Design Comp - Discussion

Postby McCue » Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:29 pm

It is extremely easy to rationalize not participating in something and saying you don't care. It is much harder, as Teddy Roosevelt once said, to be the man in the arena participating in a potentially awesome competition and getting a sweet trophy. Paraphrased, of course.

I have noticed the same organizations that do both booth and buggy tend to do design comp. I don't think this is because we have an intrinsically higher tolerance for subjective measures of our self worth. As a KDR who constantly had to fight for manpower and funds from Booth, I still thought the contest was legitimate even though I would much rather have the money in the buggy budget. Why? Because people did it, it was fun, and it was something else to win. It's the same reason we call frats who don't do buggy "worthless."

Of course there is value in a hard metric for winning, but there is more value in attempting every challenge the sport has to offer. Discounting events you don't like as being inferior or not worth it doesn't make it so. The event is worth it because it's there and it's part of carnival and you can participate in it.

Also: A trike is clearly inferior to a reverse trike? It should never place higher? Really Bird?


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