New awards.

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albert
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New awards.

Post by albert » Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:50 pm

I find the new awards related to kudo's a good stimulans to make nice write ups and a good addition overall to projecteuler.net.
I had no idea of how many kudo's I have earned, and not even where I had made a contribution to the discussion.

The awards deleted I don't miss much. I had no idea what a "Pythagorean problem" or a "pair of related" problems was anyway.

I have two suggestions:

First:
Order the awards by the total number of members that got this award.
This renders a sense of how valuable an award is, without revealing to much.

Second:
There is a gap between hard (highest level, centurion and last 25) and unattainable (perfection, gold metal) awards.
An intermediate would be "hardy centurion" : solved 100 consecutive problems above 100.

Keep up the good work!

Groetjes Albert

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euler
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Re: New awards.

Post by euler » Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:18 pm

Thanks for the feedback - I always find it very useful.

That's a good idea to have something intermediate, because as you said, the Gold Award is bordering unattainable for most members.

If anyone has any other suggestions regarding Awards then please post them here.
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TheEvil
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Re: New awards.

Post by TheEvil » Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:18 pm

I don't speak Latin (if I'm right centurion and some other come from Latin), but something equivalent to the previous post of Albert could be "Decenturion" (200 in Latin) for solving 200 consecutive problems. (it's more or less the same, maybe a little harder). As for me I find awards very useful, because I'm always motivated to solve problems to get new awards.

Other award could be something like "Real gamer" for solving x problems in math games like problems: 301 (Nim), 306 (paper strip), 310 (nim square), 313 (sliding), 325 (stone game), 344 (silver dollar), and a lot of others.

I think a lot of member is trying to solve problems in order (more or less), so there could be something, which helps them find easier problems with a lot higher number. Like an award for solving five problems in every row on the progress page. For example Problem 327 (View Problem), Rooms of Doom has only 500 solution, and I didn't try it for a long time, since it must be hard, but it was almost trivial.
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Re: New awards.

Post by Marcus_Andrews » Tue Mar 26, 2013 7:24 pm

I initially sent this as a PM to Euler, but he replied that it was worth posting publicly to help add to the discussion. So, here goes:

I would agree with Albert's sentiment, but I'd go as far as to say that there's a wide difficulty gap in the middle of the award distribution in general.

Without going into too much detail, most of the awards can be achieved (relatively) quickly by new solvers who tackle the first 100 problems (plus change). Even awards like Daring Dozen are easy to nab when there are many variants of the same problem such as 105+106, 108+110, 112-113, 114-117, etc early on in the problems with 3-digit problem IDs.

My main critique:
Once you've handled a decent chunk of the "easier" problems, you'll have most of the badges. However, you won't see another badge until you've essentially solved the rest of the problems, whether it's to satisfy the constraints of High Flyer/Perfection, or to gain enough experience and skill and speed for On The Ball II / State of the Art / Gold Medal, or to acquire enough Kudos for The Guru or Esteemed Journalist.

To elaborate a bit on the Kudos awards:
It's going to be difficult for a newcomer to get The Guru since many old threads do not store new posts for more than a few months at best (Kudos falls off your distribution list when your post slides off the forum, as I found with my experiment with Problem 1). But even if you try to post only in threads haven't yet hit the permanence limit, fewer people are actively reading those forums since they are midrange, and right now there aren't any badges that really target that area. As for the Esteemed Journalist award, I have one member on my Friends list who is very close to getting it, and his Kudos distribution is pretty much spread across the entire set of problems, so it's going to be one of those awards that will take (perhaps) years for newcomers to achieve. Such awards are great for veterans who've already made many posts that are now permanent, but they're unachievable for everyone else unless they get enough experience to start solving newer problems consistently and for a long time to come.

Suggestions:
I would agree that ordering awards by difficulty would be a good way to give people a better sense of what to work towards from the getgo, but I would add some awards that incentivize solving problems in the midrange. The late 100's/200's/300's need some love, too! E.g., "Solve any 20 non-consecutive problems in the 200's tier" -- something to work for that isn't overly hard, and yet gives someone an excuse to check out some otherwise neglected problems that might be totally within his/her skill level.

Why non-consecutive? My first reason is psychological: it provides a good reason to "skip around," and it's more motivating IMO to have problems filled in all over the place than it is to have a solid chunk up top with nothing but hollowness below. My second reason is because I personally feel that consecutive-solve awards have some strong downsides: All you need is one unsolved problem to ruin the chain (which is likely when the chain is sufficiently long), and sometimes this gives people an excuse to fudge it and cheat by looking up the answer online, which can be the start of a downward spiral in terms of motivation/learning, as far as I'm concerned.

And this is a totally aesthetic suggestion: But it might help to split up the Progress page into tiers (e.g. the 1-100 tier, the 101-200 tier, etc). Kongregate, an online Flash game portal, had a similar layout at one point -- but they found that people were much more willing to stick to badge progressions when the game list was compartmentalized, since seeing one giant cluster was overwhelming to new players who would become quickly discouraged.

Now I'm getting off topic but I'll stop it here -- let me know if any of this is helpful so far!
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Re: New awards.

Post by sivakd » Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:57 am

I like the idea of having awards to private forum contributors. My suggestions are

1) Have awards for problem contributors. If I understand the process correctly, a problem is proposed to admins who then revise the description, come up with examples, set the limits etc and finally publish it a few months later. So, the final version of the problem could be quite different from the original proposal and so there may be multiple contributors in the process. But I guess it's OK to give credit to the original provider.

2) Separate the Awards section into 3 parts as awards for solving, awards for contributing useful discussions in private forum and then awards for contributing a new problem. Right now the first two are all mixed together.

3) One thing I would like to see is for the Perfection award to be dynamic. Today, once it's achieved, it remains forever. I think it should change such that all problems (except the latest) are solved. So, there is one week to not lose the award. Same can probably be applied to some of the other awards like State Of The Art.
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Lord_Farin
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Re: New awards.

Post by Lord_Farin » Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:38 pm

sivakd wrote:3) One thing I would like to see is for the Perfection award to be dynamic. Today, once it's achieved, it remains forever. I think it should change such that all problems (except the latest) are solved. So, there is one week to not lose the award. Same can probably be applied to some of the other awards like State Of The Art.
Seems like a good idea. IMO it would be good, however, to (visibly) keep track of whether a user has qualified for the award at some point in the past. Perhaps some partially translucent picture with a tooltip indicating that the user does not presently qualify for the award, but had it at some point in the past.
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euler
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Re: New awards.

Post by euler » Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:31 pm

Great suggestions! Please keep them coming.

I'm just going comment on a few ideas already proposed...

Currently the Perfection award is not publicly visible due to the way it was attracting cheats who would scour websites which published answers so that they could "solve" the problems, and then in some perverse way they saw the Perfection award as the ultimate badge of honour!?! Removing that particular award AND not displaying the number of problems solved if greater than a threshold helped to abate the issue. I am fearful that re-introducing such an award would draw the vermin back out of their rat holes. Thoughts?

We are always on the lookout for development team members (of which membership is certainly a badge of honour) but I understand that not everyone can afford the time to such a commitment, so I like the idea of giving members an award who have been involved in the development of a problem.

Perhaps we could have a couple of awards which are given by admins for different types of contribution: "Problem Shared" (one contribution), "Puzzlemaster" (five or more contributions). We would need to be careful that they don't become too subjective, but perhaps awards like "Technical Support" (not always earning Kudos but regularly involved in helping other members with programming/mathematical queries) and/or "Welcoming Party" (less technical support, but taking the time to make newer members feel welcome and pointing them in the right direction).

As Marcus pointed out I think that the mid-range problems are much neglected so some type of award which targets them would be good. How about: "Decimation I" for doing one in every ten from 100 to 199 and "Decimation II" for 200 to 400?

For some time now we've been collecting data for number of correct/incorrect submissions so if that information ever goes live I've got a few ideas realting to that. Similarly I've also been recording the average level of the member when they solved the problem. This too will lend itself to one or two nice awards.

Any comments welcome; as long as you remain constructive please don't worry about disagreeing or criticising anything I've said.
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Marcus_Andrews
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Re: New awards.

Post by Marcus_Andrews » Wed Mar 27, 2013 5:33 pm

siva:

1. I like this idea in theory, but I'm not sure it's appropriate for an award (if we're only counting problem acceptance, that is). I may be speaking from a position of total ignorance here since I have not yet gone through the process myself (although I plan to at some point), but I'd imagine that micromanaging the submission process for so many users who want the award would become a very difficult administrative task, especially considering how much time and effort goes into approving just one problem. Would there be a submission limit? Because if so, then it becomes an award that is very dependent on luck over a long time period, and if not, I think the administration might get irritated by repeated attempts. It all depends -- but I'm all for the idea if it can be executed fairly/effectively.

2. I would agree that some organization in general would be a good idea -- separating the forum awards from the problem-solving awards and then ranking everything by rarity and/or difficulty, perhaps.

3. I respectfully disagree on this one, though. I don't personally see the utility in having Awards like State of the Art / Perfection being removed automatically after some given amount of time. Solving the most recent 25 problems (let alone solving all them) at any particular moment in time is not an easy thing to pull off, and so to have those awards disappear every week render a profile indistinguishable from one that never achieved them in the first place. Granted, the counter-argument is a legitimate one -- that it's easier to solve X problems than it is to solve X + N problems -- but I think that there is a sufficiently large number of difficult problems right now (over 400) such that solving all of them is worthy of an award that shouldn't disappear for simply being inactive for a couple weeks. We already have an Eulerian table to reward people who keep up. The Perfection award is not public anyway, so I see no harm in granting it permanently to anyone who achieves 100% at any point.
euler wrote: Currently the Perfection award is not publicly visible due to the way it was attracting cheats who would scour websites which published answers so that they could "solve" the problems, and then in some perverse way they saw the Perfection award as the ultimate badge of honour!?! Removing that particular award AND not displaying the number of problems solved if greater than a threshold helped to abate the issue. I am fearful that re-introducing such an award would draw the vermin back out of their rat holes. Thoughts?
A compromise might be only making the list visible to people who themselves have the award. That way the "public incentive problem" is still handled the way it was before/now, and people who've earned the award get to see some interesting data that doesn't harm anything. You can always figure out who has the award, over time, by crossreferencing http://projecteuler.net/problems_analysis with the recent problem's Fastest Solvers table, but it'd still be nice to see the data dynamically laid out. It would also make it easier to spot people who probably shouldn't be there.
euler wrote:How about: "Decimation I" for doing one in every ten from 100 to 199 and "Decimation II" for 200 to 400?
I think these would be great!
euler wrote: For some time now we've been collecting data for number of correct/incorrect submissions so if that information ever goes live I've got a few ideas realting to that. Similarly I've also been recording the average level of the member when they solved the problem. This too will lend itself to one or two nice awards.
This sounds good, too. :D
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euler
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Re: New awards.

Post by euler » Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:27 pm

Thanks for all the feedback/suggestions. I've just added the following News item relating to this discussion and changes I've made:
Thursday 28 March 2013: Progress / Awards Update

Some changes have been made to the Progress page. In particular the Awards have been separated into "Problem Solving Awards" and "Forum Post Awards". The Progress page also shows which threads you have made posts in along with any kudos you might have earned in that thread.

A few more Awards have been added to encourage mid-range problems to be targeted: Decimation I (solve 1 in 10 from 101 to 199); Decimation II (solve 1 in 10 from 201 to 299); Ultimate Decimator (solve 1 in 10 from 1 to 400).

Also a couple of posting Awards have been made for making posts which are permanent (archived): Hello World! (made you first permanent post); Chatterbox (made 50 permanent posts). Please note that all Awards relating to posts only remain as long as posts remain. If your post is removed then you will lose that Award. Of course, it can be earned again once you hit the threshold.
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sivakd
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Re: New awards.

Post by sivakd » Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:17 pm

Nice! Can the problems in the second table be sorted first by number of kudos and then the problem id?
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Re: New awards.

Post by euler » Fri Mar 29, 2013 3:34 am

The only issue would be that some members will start using that table to remind themselves which threads they have made posts in and/or finding a quick link back to a particular problem thread. For that reason I suspect that the majority will find it more intuitive/useful to have it sorted by problem_id rather than kudos.
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sivakd
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Re: New awards.

Post by sivakd » Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:04 am

I thought that may not be an issue because if you see the distribution for most users. My own data is 205 problems have posts (didn't realize till now that I have posted so many), with just 13 kudos (so I need to improve the quality of my posts) and they are distributed as 3, 2, 2, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1. By sorting by kudos first, it's easy to spot which posts got kudos but given that they are very few, majority of the ordering is still preserved.

Perhaps Marcus can chime in with a decent size of both private posts as well as kudos on which view makes it easy for him.
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Re: New awards.

Post by TheEvil » Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:32 am

To siva: The quality of your posts are good enough, I almost always read them, but if there is no aim of giving kudos, I didn't use them so far. Now I returned some of my favourite problems (the harder ones I solved), and gave kudos. And when you give a kudo, the site jumps to the top, and I always lose, where I was. If that problem could be solved, that would make life much easier.

About awards:
I remember, when I was near 50% of problems solved, how motivated I was to solve problems, and after I reached that, I stopped for some time. If there would be dynamic milestones, it would be great to maintain people's interest. Or an award like "The Last Hundred" or "The Last Century", which is hard but not as hard as high flyer.
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euler
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Re: New awards.

Post by euler » Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:17 am

TheEvil wrote:And when you give a kudo, the site jumps to the top, and I always lose, where I was. If that problem could be solved, that would make life much easier.
You should have mentioned that earlier. It should have jumped back to the post to which you awarded Kudos but there was a tiny bug in the script. It's been fixed now.

Admittedly I'm not working through the problems myself so I don't know what it feels like. But with reference to milestones we also have Levels which provide short-term targets: "Just another __ problems and I'll have made it to the next Level."

Could you elaborate on dynamic milestones?
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Re: New awards.

Post by LarryBlake » Fri Mar 29, 2013 12:23 pm

Echoing what everyone else said. I saw the new awards last week and thought that they would disadvantage newcomers: if someone is years behind the earliest solvers, he is unlikely to get a permanent post or any kudos. I almost sent a message, then didn't. I really like this week's changes, though.

I was pleased to see that I had some of the "decimator" awards. It was actually one of my goals at one point to avoid large gaps in the "Progress" page. (I have two such gaps in the upper 300s that are going to be a problem. Well, now it's a goal.)

Keep up the good work!
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TheEvil
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Re: New awards.

Post by TheEvil » Fri Mar 29, 2013 1:00 pm

euler wrote:Could you elaborate on dynamic milestones?
You are right with the levels, have the same purpose. That makes my suggestion unneccessary. On the other hand I don't understand your quoted sentence. I looked up elaborate in the dictionary, but found nothing that has anything to do with your sentence.
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Re: New awards.

Post by AVN » Fri Mar 29, 2013 1:11 pm

TheEvil wrote:
euler wrote:Could you elaborate on dynamic milestones?
You are right with the levels, have the same purpose. That makes my suggestion unneccessary. On the other hand I don't understand your quoted sentence. I looked up elaborate in the dictionary, but found nothing that has anything to do with your sentence.
I'll try to explain "elaborate". It's something like :
- Give more details about your idea/proposal.
- Tell more about it.
- Please explain your idea/proposal in a better/different way.

Hope this helps.

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Re: New awards.

Post by TheEvil » Fri Mar 29, 2013 1:26 pm

That sounds more likely to hear. The dictionary gave me to work out my idea (in this case it would mean to give a working code), but it seemed very unlikely.

One way of doing this is probably to extend bar on the progress page under the line "Solved x out of 420 problems", with some vertical lines showing 10%, 20%, ... 90%. Since I forgot about the levels system, it seems an unnecessary thing anyway.
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Re: New awards.

Post by LarryBlake » Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:21 pm

One other suggestion: there are awards for posting and kudos on the private (after solving) forum. What about this forum? Should we encourage people who help clarify and give (not too revealing) hints?

Or is it too hard to measure "helpful" and "not too revealing"?
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Re: New awards.

Post by euler » Fri Mar 29, 2013 6:51 pm

@TheEvil: Sorry. When everyone speaks such good English I often forget that for many it is necessary to translate and my use of less common verbs hardly helps. That particular word can be quite confusing because it can be used as a noun: "That's quite an elaborate plan" (sophisticated and well worked out), or as a verb, which AVN was kind to explain. Thanks for "elaborating" AVN!

@LarryBlake: Among my long ramblings on the first page I said,
euler wrote:Perhaps we could have a couple of awards which are given by admins for different types of contribution: "Problem Shared" (one contribution), "Puzzlemaster" (five or more contributions). We would need to be careful that they don't become too subjective, but perhaps awards like "Technical Support" (not always earning Kudos but regularly involved in helping other members with programming/mathematical queries) and/or "Welcoming Party" (less technical support, but taking the time to make newer members feel welcome and pointing them in the right direction).
In principle I like the idea of awarding those who are generous with their time and expertise in helping other members, both here and on the main website, but I can see it causing more offence than gratitude. Especially because it would be handled manually which means that admins might miss how helpful one member is compared to another. Plus it adds extra work to the already hard working team in monitoring and responding. However, I'll keep it on the back burner because I think it is a very worthwhile notion.
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