A virtual survival competition, “CodeGuru Xtreme” – an annual computerized version of the reality TV game show “Survivor” – was recently held at the Davidson Institute of Science Education. This year, eight teams reached the semifinals. The challenge is for teams to write a program to survive on a virtual island against their competitors. To this end, each team is required to program sophisticated strategies to attack and destroy the opponents’ programs and, at the same time, to avoid attacks on its own. Additional challenges, such as “smart bombs” and “zombies,” are programmed into the game by the creators of the competition. The last team to survive is the winner.
The competition, which tests the participants’ capabilities in logical thinking, problem solving, originality, creativity and flexibility, takes place over several rounds, enabling the participants to learn the strengths and weaknesses of the opposing teams. This allows them to make alterations to their own programs.
First prize – a scholarship covering half the tuition expenses of a bachelor’s degree in computer science at IDC Herzliya and a monetary prize from the Israel Security Agency – was awarded to a team from Rashish High School and Ahad Ha’am High School, both in Petach Tikva. Two additional competitors, Natan Yellin from Ostrovsky High School, Raanana, and Or Barzilai from Rishonim High School, Herzliya, who came in second and third, respectively, received prize money.
CodeGuru Xtreme is the initiative of Weizmann Institute’s Young@Science, high-tech companies Aladdin and IBM, IDC Herzliya, the IDF Intelligence Corps Unit 8200 Alumni Association and the IDF Computer Services Directorate.