Almost immediately after finishing our coding workshop at The Shard, we were invited by University College London’s Tech Society (UCL TechSoc) and ShePlusPlus to host an algorithmic battle at the Morgan Stanley HQ in Canary Wharf. We must be doing something right!


We decided to run our Ultimate TTT platform in the form of a competition. Leading up to the event, the Socialgorithm team worked a weekend (in exchange for some :pizza: and :beer:) to set up an improved game server, leaderboard, sample code and brand new game engines in Javascript and Python.

We were able to use the lessons learnt from our previous event to ensure the students would be even better supported this time.

Welcome!
Welcome!

Students arrived early (not something that we ever managed as students!) and got setup in teams of two to four at their battle stations.

Our mentors were on hand to help students set up their machines for the competition (including saving some students from NodeJS dependency hell). After a couple of ice-breakers, students started their algorithm implementations.

How the day progressed
How the day progressed

Speaking to a few of the students revealed that we had attracted quite a diverse background, including students from pure mathematics and liberal arts backgrounds. Thankfully we’d spent some time making our documentation accessible and they didn’t have too much trouble getting going :thumbsup:.

Students worked through lunch (kindly provided by our hosts), improving our initial player implementations and some even succeeding at implementing heuristic algorithms (Monte Carlo tree search).

As the time for the final battle approached, we could feel the tension in the room intensify as students added the final few improvements to their code.

The battle commences!
The battle commences!

The teams with algorithms that placed in the top 3 after 1000 battles with every other algorithm won a Raspberry PI kit with a ton of great accessories.

Winners and mentors
Winners and mentors

All in all, it was a fantastic day of learning, networking and fun (quoting students :relaxed:).

See you in our next event!

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