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IBM R&D Labs in Israel News

CodeGuru tags teen talent

IBM-sponsored challenge encourages excellence among young computer enthusiasts


  CodeGuru 2010 participants

The 11th annual CodeGuru challenge was recently held at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya, Israel. Dozens of teens participated in the competition, sponsored by IBM together with the Israeli Prime Minister's Office, StartUpSeeds, the Efi Arazi School for Computer Sciences in IDC, and Israeli security agencies such as the IDF's Teleprocessing Branch and Intelligence Corps.

Encouraging excellence in budding computer scientists is clearly a goal worth attaining, but it's not always obvious how to achieve it. Competitions like CodeGuru and CodeGuru Extreme really help push these kids to do their best, explained IBM researcher Oded Margalit, who has been involved in CodeGuru since the competition's inception in 2000.


  Oded Margalit

The Haifa Research Lab machine learning researcher is in charge of organizing CodeGuru and helps write the questions for the competition, which is open to 15 to 18 year old Israeli students. "It's really interesting to see how these truly smart kids solve problems in innovative ways," he said. A former On Demand Community volunteer of the year, Oded explained that CodeGuru really fits well into IBM's vision for community involvement. In addition, several CodeGuru grads are currently working or have worked in the past in IBM.


  CodeGuru 2010 competition

CodeGuru questions teens on general knowledge, computers, and some programming skills and concepts, Oded noted, while CodeGuru Extreme is more focused, with a stronger emphasis on programming skills and assembly language. The next competition, CodeGuru Extreme, is scheduled for August 2010.

"The program doesn't just find talented kids – I really believe it helps make them," he said. Because of the competition, Oded explained, many of the participants learn things they didn't know before. Instead of just playing on the computer, kids are inspired to learn things for the CodeGuru competition.

Want to meet the CodeGuru winners or learn more about the competition and participants? Come to the awards ceremony on May 16, 2010 at IBM Israel in Petach Tikva or contact Oded Margalit.

CodeGuru and the Queen lip dub

CodeGuru is marked by innovative, sometimes off-the wall questions. One of this year's questions was to find CodeGuru in the lip dub below from Eurekamp 2010, another event in Israel sponsored by IBM for innovative thinkers. Can you match wits with the CodeGuru teens and figure it out?