• Dagaz: A new Beginning

    • Translation
    It runs south and circles north, circling, circling to run with its wind
    And according to its circuits the wind returns;
    All the rivers run into the sea — and the sea does not overflow,
    To the place where the rivers run, — There they continue to run;

    The book of Ecclesiastes


    In 1998, a completely unique, for its time, application was developed that allows you to reduce the process of developing an abstract board game (or puzzle) to a small text description language, vaguely reminiscent of Lisp. This project was called Zillions of Games. It created a furor among fans of board games. Currently, over 2,000 applications have been created using this technology.
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  • More than a game: Mastering Mahjong with AI and machine learning



      Microsoft researchers have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) system that has taught itself the intricacies of Mahjong and can now match the skills of some of the world’s top players.

      The complex board game of chance, bluff, and strategy was invented in China thousands of years ago and remains a passionate pastime for millions of Asians today, with many dedicated competitors playing online.

      Computers have learned to play Chess and another ancient Chinese game, Go, amid much fanfare in the past. But scientists at Microsoft Research (MSR) Asia see their achievement as far more than just a case of technology mastering yet another game.

      The researchers – who named their system Super Phoenix, or Suphx for short – developed a series of AI algorithmic breakthroughs to navigate the uncertain nature of Mahjong. With more work, these could potentially be applied in real situations to solve problems thrown up by unknown factors and random events.
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    • How to Catch a Cat with TLA+

        Many programmers struggle when using formal methods to solve problems within their programs, as those methods, while effective, can be unreasonably complex. To understand why this happens, let’s use the model checking method to solve a relatively easy puzzle:

        Conditions


        You’re in a hallway with seven doors on one side leading to seven rooms. A cat is hiding in one of these rooms. Your task is to catch the cat. Opening a door takes one step. If you guess the correct door, you catch the cat. If you do not guess the correct door, the cat runs to the next room.
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      • How a School in Puerto Rico Brings Chemistry to Life with Minecraft: Education Edition

          The San Juan Math, Science, and Technology center in Puerto Rico is using game-based learning to pave the way for a new level of engagement among their students. The institution is part of San Juan’s municipal education system and is recognized by Microsoft alongside a global community of other schools engaged in K-12 education transformation. The school decided to integrate Minecraft: Education Edition into their curriculum and have seen exciting results in STEM learning.


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        • Board game for learning the basics of electrical circuits. Why not?


            I made the “electric” designer of… cardboard. Alas, the project still remains at the prototype stage, not developing into an industrial “physical” look and is waiting for its time (and investor).


            But I decided to go further — once we started making cardboard, we’ll bring the situation to its logical conclusion — we’ll make a complete cardboard board game, but with an electric setting and a learning effect. There were a lot of options — starting from a simple “walker” and ending with Ameritrash from a zombie with electron movement and vicious short circuits and swollen capacitors.


            As a result, I decided to dwell on a logical abstract, since the schematics of electrical circuits are very suitable for it. Said and done — as a result of the first iteration, the game “Circuit” was born.

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