This should be an easy one, I think it’s quite well known, and I remember a few details; however, googling didn’t turn anything up.
So, there’s an expedition to some distant planet by means of a generation ship (I think); at least, there are children born on the spaceship, which are being tutored by an intelligent computer system—if I remember correctly, the ship was sent on its path, with the children being born such that they are grown up and have the skills necessary in order to fulfill the ship’s mission by the time they arrive. The children’s names are derived from the greek alphabet in order of their birth—alpha, beth, and so on.
There is some sophisticated VR technology on the ship, kind of a bed or tube that you can lie down in, which then connects to your central nervous system and directly stimulates it to create the necessary impressions. At one point, they discover that you can create a kind of ‘hive-mind’ by wiring several of these things together, and a splinter group lives as such a mind for a while.
One scene I remember is that there is some kind of math test, but several of the children don’t finish, or finish by cheating—one reprograms her computer, another discovers a problem that’s more interesting to her, which she then spends hours trying to solve, and so on.