On August 15, students and postdocs from the CIDAR Lab participated in the first ever BDAthlon at this year’s International Workshop on Bio-Design Automation (IWBDA). The BDAthlon is a programming competition where teams of two to three people are given a set of programming challenges that deal with the different steps of the bio-design process. They include specification and design, assembly and build, simulation and verification, standards and exchange, as well as data and storage.
The day began at 8:00am with the release of four questions. Participants were allowed to use any resources except others outside of their team to formulate solutions to each problem. Most teams spent the morning devising a plan of attack and then dispersed around lunchtime to fuel up on energy for the rest of the day’s work. The competition ended at midnight, and teams were required to submit a link to a GitHub repository where all of the code for their solutions could be found.
Competition was fierce, but in the end, the team from Newcastle was able to complete the highest percentage of questions and was awarded a cash prize of $500 for winning the competition. As an added benefit to the BDAthlon, all of the submitted solutions will be made available through the Nona Research Foundation where they can be used or improved upon for future applications.
More information about the BDAthlon including a link to this year’s questions can be found here.