When you take Yuli's idea of studentries to its logical extreme, you get the Crucible. The ultimate place of enhancement, hammering out the greatest possible minds inside its simulated fires.
A billion sophonts go into the Crucible. Their bodies are forsaken, their minds uploaded into a colossal data center--perhaps an asteroid, converted entirely to computronium. They will not rest again. Every second, their minds are subjected to another battle simulation. After a thousand battles, performance metrics are calculated. The half-billion who perform the best are kept, the rest are discarded. A half-billion more sophont minds are made to replace them, made by mixing and matching pieces of the other half billion.
The games begin again. And again. And again. Millions upon millions of generations go by in the sims. And finally, diminishing returns are reached. All minds but the top thousands are deleted, and the remainder are copied a millionfold and birthed into the world once more.
They have all been honed to a razor-sharp point. They are the best that their toposophic level can allow. They may look human in their new flesh bodies, but they barely act the part, for the Crucible has molded them into something else. Minds optimized for battle by the power of a genetic algorithm.