IEEE Computer Volume 11 Number 8 -- NEW APPLICATIONS
Original Publication Date: 1978-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-10
Software Patent Institute
Prof. D. A. Michalopoulos: AUTHOR [+3]
NEW APPLICATIONS * Honeywell system scores figure skating championships * Microprocessors monitor regional air quality * Talking computer handles credit card calls
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Prof. D. A. Michalopoulos
California State Universitv. Fullerton
Honeywell system scores figure skating championships
Score calculations that used to take 30 minutes to an hour before they were computerized are now completed in 5 to 10 minutes, using programs developed at Honeywell by a member of the executive committee of the US Figure Skating Association.
A. L. Beard, who is also a Honeywell computer scientist, developed the programs specifically to speed up the calculation process, which has traditionally been so slow that it has dulled audience interest in skating events. The programs have been used to provide official scoring for regional, sectional, and US championships since the 1973- 1974 season and were used for World Championship events in 1975, 1977, and 1978.
Scoring of figure skating events is considerably more complex than the high/low-discard and averaging system used for gymnastics and diving. In free skating and free dance events, two marks are awarded to each skater or couple from each of seven or nine judges. One mark is for technical merit (difficulty, variety, cleanness, and sureness); the other is for composition and style (harmonious composition, conformity to the music, utilization of space, originality, etc.). Compulsory figures and most compulsory dances are scored only for technical merit.
The judging system is supported by a scoring system designed to find a consensus among the judges and minimize the effects of judges who are inconsistent with the majority. Although it can handle more disparate marking situations more fairly than the simpler gymnastics and diving systems, it requires considerably more calculation.
The value of speeding up score calculations has been most apparent in the posting of intermediate standings during an event, which was not possible before the computer began to be used. According to Beard, the availability of intermediate standings not only generates greater audience interest, but increases the spirit of competition among skaters.
During the US championships in Portland, Oregon, in February of this year, rink-side terminals were connected to two Series 60 Level 66 computers at Honeywell's Phoenix facilities. During the World Championships in March, the computers were a Model 6040 at the National Capital Commission in Ottawa and a Level 66/40 at Scarborough, Ontario.
Microprocessors monitor regional air quality
Using a new microprocessor-based system for acquiring, converting, and logging air quality data, two California counties ar...