Blue Pi Thinking from the University of York

The University of York asked if we could send someone up to judge a Raspberry Pi contest they’d been running for people joining the Computer Science department over the summer break. Our very own Dr Gordon Hollingworth is a York alumnus, so we sent him to revisit his old stomping grounds (in one of his collection of stylish Raspberry Pi t-shirts – you can buy your own at the Swag Store).

Freshers were given a Raspberry Pi when they won a place at the university back in August, and had been spending the time before arriving in York working on two challenges. Blue Pi Thinking challenged them to come up with the most creative use of the Pi they could think of; and BattlePi had them programming their Pis to beat all other entrants in a class-wide Battleships competition.

Gordon mailed me from his phone while he was there:

“I’m amazed by the quantity and quality of entries and the way they’re working together to improve their code as they go through the Battle Pi part of the contest…  I sat down with one guy who was trying to find out why his code had crashed in the middle of a game, and then while describing it to his opponent he suddenly saw the problem! (I obviously explained at this point why people do code reviews!)”

Here’s some video from the day. We’re incredibly impressed at what people were producing; we hope that some of the participants will find time to write their projects up and share them with us.

The eagle-eyed will spot Liam Fraser, one of our earliest and most helpful supporters, in one of the shots. Liam moved to Cambridge after his A levels and spent last year as a gap year working for our hosts, Mythic Beasts, on the back of his work on the Pi; he’s been maintaining our downloads server too. He’s now headed off to study at York. We’ll miss him while he’s away – we hope you enjoy your time at university, Liam!

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