- Josh Allen
- Year in School: Senior
- Major: Jewish Studies
- Office: Treasurer
- Josh is a highly talented player who knows a little of everything. He has proven
to be a vital factor in MAQT Public Relations (something desperately needed by a
team that has graduated Vishnu and Matt), writing an article in the Diamondback and
securing newspaper coverage for our Faculty/Student Challenge. The C team at ACF
Nationals was Joshstrong for much of the tournament until a few teammates came to his
aid. (Add something about hardcore mocking and busting).
- Michael Chau
- Year in School: Senior
- Major: Biomedical Engineering
- Mike is a survivor of Wheaton High School in
Montgomery County. Mike has consistently put in a good performance at past tournaments,
and has recently demonstrated his basketball skills at summer practices.
- Kanishka Gangopadhyay
- Year in School: Junior
- Major: English/Philosophy
- The next in the line of Maryland's Bengalis, Kanish is the team's
alcohol and illicit substances expert (see what you learn from living
in Ellicott?), and once offered to take Dave Hamilton to a rave. He's basically a
generalist as far as academic subjects go, a force to be reckoned with on trash, and
one of Maryland's long line of trash talkers. Can be heard bitching about how there are
no questions on Durga (a consort of Shiva), and about how he went to sleep at 4 am the
morning of any tournament.
- David Hamilton
- Year in School: ?
- Major: Classics?
- Alias: Title Boy.
- The intrepid author of this web page, Dave was also president of the team for
the 97-98 season and editor of the last two Terrapin Invitational Tournaments. When asked what
motivates him to study for ACF, Dave replied, "Spite."
An example: after Matt answered a tossup on Roman history at ACF Nationals, Dave wrote
down in his notebook, "Tacitus -- learn early clues, bust Colvin." Always up for a game
of Balderdash, Dave is also a compulsive collector
of useless crap and disturbed fan of Daria.
- Shaun Hayeslip
- Year in School: Senior
- Major: Chemical Engineering
- Office: President
- Alias: Pissboy and variants
- Shaun has an excellent grasp of both science and classical music. Treasurer
for 1997-8, he got the team out of debt. He can often be seen in his worn McDonogh High
School cap playing spades, or bridge in the Anne Arundel 2nd Floor lounge, usually
accompanied by his roommate Scott. Scott is a big fan of Stabbing Westward and music
of that ilk, much to Shaun's dismay. Shaun will be studying in London this year.
- John Nam
- Year in School:
- Major: English
- One of the three founders of ACF (along with Carol Guthrie and Ramesh),
John was playing quiz bowl for Maryland when Shaun Hayeslip was 6 years
old. He has some unfortunate habits, among them a gambling problem and an unequalled
propensity for trash talk. In fact, John boasts that it was his trash talk that led
Ramesh to study and become good. Sometimes this trash talk is crude, as in
this example from a euchre game at Michelle's place: "You
suck a lot,
Colvin. I'm going to make you my woman." Sometimes it is
foolhardy, as in
this example from halftime when John was up 15 points against an unnamed
team at Maryland Masters: "Ha! See? We're going to treat you like the
bitch-dogs that you are!" The other team proceeded to answer 9 of the last
- Julie Singer
- Year in School: Senior
- Major: French/Italian
- Former It's Academic champion Julie burst onto the the MAQT scene in 1996-97,
registering some of the best performances ever by a freshman in leading two Junior Bird
teams to championships. A great asset to the team, she is also a hardworking administrator
and is president this year.
- Mark Tervakoski
- Year in School: Senior
- Major: Government and Politics/Anthropology
- Mark is known as Finland Boy, because his father
owns the Memories of Finland store on Route One in College Park.
He already is a force among Trash players in the MAQT, and his general knowledge
as well as history skills have earned him high marks in tournaments. Look
for him on the rugby field when he is not playing quiz bowl.
If you're a former member of the Maryland Academic Quiz Team, and would
like to be featured on this page or would like to correct any errors or
add information, please contact David Hamilton.
Now a grad student at Berkeley, Baker was Swisdak's right-hand man and was the
team's president. An excellent player in the humanities, Baker has a
hard-working approach to the game that he shared with younger Maryland players.
Don't let the entry on Bakerism in the lexicon fool you; Baker was (and still is)
a great ACF player.
Josh was one of our star freshman last year, having come from Florida without playing
quiz bowl in high school. Unfortunately, he evidently failed both semesters he was
here and is now back in Florida doing something unknown.
Zeke is the team's best basketball player, and can often be seen at the Terrapin
Taco House on Route 1. He aspires to David Hamilton's title boy crown -- though, unlike
Dave, he actually has knowledge of the contents of works too. Zeke is distinguished by is
use of the word "dude," as in, "Dude! The Kalevala is hardcore!" Zeke has improved
greatly recently, and is a valuable addition to any team that he's on.
Annie "Artemis" Bush
The Queen of the Wilde Maus, and a good table tennis player to boot, she amazed all of us by telling
us that her parents are building a geodesic dome! Annie showed up at this year's
Terrapin, and graduated in the spring.
Sometime resident of the Cayman Islands, and official hostess of the MAQT, Michelle is
known for her satirical cake-baking skills. Although she has graduated with a
degree in psychology, no one is quite sure what her plans are. One suspects that Michelle
is really in this club to derive amusement from seeing 20-year-old guys acting like
The quondam Scourge of a.c.c-b, Matt did more to promote Maryland's bad-boy image through
his infamous Chicago "pajama" post than all past-and-present MAQT'ers combined. His
negging abilities are admired circuit-wide, as countless total points have been
destroyed through Colvination. He introduced the MAQT to euchre and once remarked
that he had one Bach CD for every week of the year, not even counting the Best of
Boccherini set. Matt is attending graduate school at Cornell, and has recently made
his triumphal return to both the circuit, and, unfortunately for many, the mailing list.
Master Macdaddy of all questions about wrestling and Baywatch, Jason
is the inseparable tormentor of Khon, uttering such lines as, "They're not
going to stop [wrestling] just 'cuz somebody dies, Khon." He plays a
fierce euchre game, and talks a lot of
trash. Having graduated with a business, and, somehow, a math degree, he is
currently looking for a job.
Vice-president and former head statmeister of the team, Adam was a excellent player
specializing in history and art. Also a good administrator and recruiter, he ran
freshmen practice, and even found the time to coach his high school
team. He is currently in the job market, having found that law school at UNC wasn't
right for him.
President for the '97 season, Arthur just showed up at practice
freshman year, never having played quiz bowl before, and was captain of
the A team by his junior year. He has complete knowledge of James Bond and
Star Trek, and frequently drove on long trips, including the 1995 UNC
tournament, where he was rear-ended by Matt. Don't ask him about Dr.
Wolfe's Yevshenko tossup in the
faculty-student challenge. Also, don't ask him about the Baltimore
- Goodman is indeed the uncontested Official
Biscuit of Academic Competition. The team's history maestro, Dave
introduced Prince Rupert of the Rhine (NOT Dudley Do-Right) to
the quizbowl canon, in addition to constantly informing us of his hypothetical
"Veg-O-Matic" tossup. Lament: "Uggh. That's so wrong!"
Dave wears gold chains and a baseball cap, which he rotates on his head when
the going gets tough. Not often seen during his last semester, he is now
heading to Michigan for graduate work, where he presumably attend whichever tournaments
are within walking distance.
Rajarshi (RG) Gupta
- RG joined the team after discovering our web page. Although he only
played for the MAQT for two years, he showed marked improvement, although
sometimes he had some very inexplicable buzzes. RG is at Berkeley
pursuing a graduate degree.
Rob is now in the real world, and shares an apartment with Willie close to campus.
A very widely-travelled man, he is notorious for
failing to answer questions on places he has visited (such an action being a Hersheyism. Rob was
on a number of tournament-winning teams, the most recent being the 1996
tournament-winning B team at GW, and has amazingly attended the Princeton
tournament eight years in a row.
Now a grad student at Illinois, the 96 ACF Nationals fourth-place team. Vishnu
was team president for the 95-96 season. He played on the 6th place team in
the 95 ACF NCT, and on the 4th place Maryland B team in the 94 NCT. He is
notable for being the original "rabid ACFer", engaging in flame wars with Pat
Matthews from the very inception of alt.college.college-bowl. He is also
famous for being a Spinozistic naturalist, making long .plan files, purchasing
obscenely priced opera CDs (part of being a cultural elitist), and gambling
compulsively (especially with John Nam). Most amusing/embarrassing anecdote:
While the team was hanging around the parking lot of a hotel in Atlanta in
1995, a gust of wind came up and caught Vishnu's glasses like a pair of sails,
blowing them across a 6-lane highway and into a gutter. Vishnu's words on the
moment: "Boy, that really sucks."
Almost certainly Maryland's all-time greatest player, Ramesh was one of the
founders of ACF, and has given self-sacrificingly of his time for many
years now. At Penn Bowl in 1995, Ramesh captained the Maryland C team on a
Cinderella run that led all the way to the finals, with wins over BYU and
Harvard before being stopped by Chicago.
Ram "Shorty" Kannappan
Ramesh's younger brother. A junior in high school now, Shorty played on
Maryland C with Arthur Fleming and Matt Colvin during the 1993-4 season.
Along with Misha Bernard, they formed a team called Noodle Noggin that
consisted of Misha, two freshmen, and an 8th grader. When they were about
to play CBI-and-ACF champion Chicago A, John Nam and Marc Swisdak opted not
to watch the match, saying that they "didn't want to see the slaughter".
But Noodle Noggin won, partly thanks to Shorty's tossup on Batman and a lot
of -5s by Chicago. Ram is now a freshman at Ut Austin.
Graduating from the University of Wisconsin in 1995, Willie's email
address makes it obvious that his assimilation into the MAQT is almost
complete. A Packers fan, he lived in a church for two and a half years,
and was a reactor operator at the UW research reactor for three years,
which is definitely one of the oddest sets of home and employment in the
quizbowl community. Willie adds much-needed physics/chem/current events
knowledge to the A team, but will unfortunately not be able to play during the
Back in the Maryland area after attending grad school in Chicago, Ken was the history
maven on the Starsinic-led Maryland team of 1994-5. Unstoppable on Civil War
questions, he was vice-president of the team and worked as an aide for a
Republican U.S. Senator. He is also famous for driving a tiny Dodge Omni
with the turning circle of a Mack Truck.
Khon is famous for his mysterious utterances, and
for running his Khon Hoc tournaments. He often drove large amounts of people to
tournaments in his van, and was treasurer for the 1996-7 season. Currently residing in
a house with Michelle and other friends, Khon is planning to attend dental school
as soon as possible.
Now a grad student at Stanford, Sherman came from the same high school that
produced history maven Ken LaSala, so it's not surprising that both of them
are U.S. History maestros. Sherman played on the 1993 ACF runner-up team,
and captained the Stanford A team which won the 1997 ACF West Coast
- Jesse Molesworth
A member of the B team that took 4th in 1994, and of the A teams that
placed 6th and 3rd in 95
and 97, Jesse spent the 1995-6 season in England. Jesse was a physics
major before reducing to English, a fact he notes with glee upon getting
science tossups. He is currently pursuing a PhD in English from Stanford, and
was on the team which won the '98 NAQT Nationals.
Now a grad student at Berkeley along with Matt Baker, Jeff blew Matt Colvin
away with his fluid translations in Latin class. Since Jeff's parents live
in North Carolina, we were able to stay at their house on a few trips to
Wesselmania. Jeff has a knowledge of esoterica and current events that
made him an excellent complement to Matt Baker and Marc Swisdak.
Josyula "JR" Rao
JR received his undergrad degree in Marine Engineering in India, where he
avidly played a game similar to quiz bowl. He has a good base of science knowledge,
but is still having a few problems with the play of the game. He is now pursuing a
degree is Mechanical Engineering, but we haven't heard from him in about two years.
We thought Bill was going to be a key to our future when he nailed several history
toss-ups off Goodman at his first practice. A connoisseur of country music and Jeff
Foxworthy, he's as reckless on the road -- getting a speeding ticket in West Virginia
for doing 95 in a 55 MPH zone -- as he is with the buzzer. Unfortunately, Bill has
followed his protege Dave too closely, and has not been seen at a practice for an
entire semester. He is presumably in his room playing Freecell.
Though she never played, Li was the heart and soul of the Maryland team
during the days of John Nam and Ramesh. Tirelessly organizing, dealing
with the stingy SGA, and reading in practice, she was a life-saver to the
always-disorganized MAQT. Recently, she came to the defense of the team
when the name of our college tournament was criticized.
Mike captained the team for the 1994-5 season. As president of the club,
he ran a well-oiled machine, sending out practice messages, coordinating
driving for tournaments, running the high school tournaments as well as
they have ever been run. Famous for torturing his car passengers with
Debbie Gibson music, and for his encyclopedic knowledge of 80s tunes, Mike
led the team (save Ramesh) in scoring. He also played on the 1994 ACF
Nationals runner-up team. After two years as co-founder and imperator of
the Ohio State team while in grad school, Mike has returned to the
area and is threatening to unretire.
Gaius played on the Maryland teams of old with Ramesh and John Nam. As you
may have deduced from his Latinate first name, he was the Classics maestro
on that team. He is now a grad student at Berkeley, where in addition to
playing on the Berkeley ACF team, he and Matt Baker are the Consuls of the
Berkeley club. Gaius also puts out the West Coast ACF Newsletter, and
has been TD of the last 3 ACF West Coast Regionals.
Now a grad student at Colorado, "Swiz" captained the team for much of his
time as an undergraduate at Maryland. In high school, his Roosevelt team
met John Sheahan's St. Anselm's team on the It's Academic
show, and Roosevelt prevailed by a slim margin. Swisdak's Maryland teams
finished second to Chicago at ACF Nationals both years it was held at
College Park (93 and 94). When asked by Matt Colvin why he bothered to
memorize phone number area codes for major U.S. cities, Swiz replied,
"Because it comes up." He is the author of the
ACF Question-Writing Guide. He was also part of Crocodile Cal's
Outback Buzzer Shack, composed of him, Dave Goodman, Dave Hamilton, and Jesse Molesworth,
which won PE IV.
Dave Vacca was probably the only member of the MAQT who could answer a tossup with "Stainless
Steel Rat," and still have his fellow teammates be 100% sure that he was correct. Along
with his trademark odd Vacca knowledge, he was responsible for introducing the team
to the the card game Lunch Money. Currently residing in DC, Dave still attends practices
when he can and is an editor for TRASH.
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Maintained by David Hamilton
Comments, complaints can be sent to the author at
Last updated August 21, 1999.