Hex is a challenging strategy board game for two players. To enhance students' progress in acquiring understanding and practical experience with complex machine intelligence and programming concepts we developed the Machine Intelligence Hex (MIHex) project. The associated undergraduate student assignment is about designing and implementing Hex players and evaluating them in an automated tournament of all programs developed by the class. This article surveys educational aspects of the MIHex project. Additionally, fundamental techniques for game programming as well as specific concepts for Hex board evaluation are reviewed. The MIHex game server and possibilities of tournament organisation are described. We summarise and discuss our experiences from running the MIHex project assignment over four consecutive years. The impact on student motivation and learning benefits are evaluated using questionnaires and interviews.
Computer Science Education Vol. 15, Issue 4, p. 245-273