The Fifth SCPC (Samsung Collegiate Programming Cup; hereafter, SCPC) has come to an end after a successful display of passion and competition.
This year’s SCPC once again saw the leading talents of tomorrow’s IT industry gathered in one place: Samsung Electronics Seoul R&D Campus—the venue of SCPC’s Final round on July 30, and the gathering point of passionate students who would soon be vying for the honor of the first-place winner. This year’s participant group was the strongest group to date, having passed through the most competitive preliminaries in the competition’s history.
A competition in its fifth year under the supervision of Samsung Electronics, SCPC is the largest programming competition in Korea, whose scale and interest thereto has only grown with time. Likewise, this year’s SCPC drew nearly 5,300 participants, which makes it the largest in the history of the competition to date. Since the first event in 2015, SCPC has cumulatively drawn more than 21,000 participants from all over the world and nearly 660 participants have joined the prestigious finals, making SCPC one of the premier cradles of the creative leaders of the software innovation in the future.
United in One Goal: Victory in SCPC, From Returnees to Junior Talents!
The SCPC does not put forward any requirements to its participants aside from the deep passion they should have for software engineering. As such, this year’s SCPC drew an eclectic mixture of participants from different backgrounds. In particular, this year’s competition saw the return of two second-place finishers from the previous year’s Fourth SCPC, who once again staked their claims to the first place in the competition. Some had taken part in the SCPC final rounds from the very first to the fifth itineration. One participant even managed to reach the main event from a rather unexpected background as a applied music major, once again showing the remarkable variation of SCPC’s participant group.
Although SCPC is intended for undergraduate and graduate students, one participant managed to reach the main competition as a junior member—Dit-Bul Ban, an eighth-grader who is currently attending middle school. Despite his young age, Ban had already shown his mettle among participants during the preliminaries, earning his place among the fierce final as an undisputed participant—given that all the other participants are his seniors, what a track record he has set for himself! Ban had already won the grand prize in 2017’s Korea Olympiad in Informatics (KOI) competition, a national competition hosted by the Ministry of Science and ICT of Korea for young talents of computer algorithm. He is expected to join the prestigious Seoul Science High School next year.
A Fierce Competition Put up by Top-Class Participants
At 1:00 p.m. KST, the Fifth SCPC kicked off with the congratulatory address of Senior Vice President Seungbeom Choi, the leader of the R&D Strategy Team at Samsung Research. SVP Choi welcomed the participants and offered his support for their success, adding, “The preliminaries for the SCPC 2019 was harder than ever, so all of you who made it into the main event can be said to be experts in software already.” He further stated, “I hope that you can show your programming talents to the fullest, and receive validation for the efforts you have put in until now.”
The main event started at 1:30 p.m. and lasted for four hours. Soon enough, the burning enthusiasm and passion of the participants filled the main event venue.
The task for the competition was written by a team led by Professor Sungryul Kim of Konkuk University. Professor Kim is an eminent expert of Konkuk University’s Department of Software and has served as a foundation of the competition as the leader of the task preparation team and its chairman. Professor Kim returned to the spotlight once more after the end of the main event, presiding over a Q&A session and leading the students in solving the task together.
As for his thoughts on this year’s competition, Professor Kim commented, “We released the second task for the preliminaries on a similar level with the previous year’s competition, and we saw a remarkable climb in the minimum score required for qualification.” He added, “We really feel that the skills of the participants are growing clearly each year.” Professor Kim continued, “We have seen some amazing skills from really talented students during this year’s main event as well. I find myself already looking forward to next year’s Sixth SCPC.”
After Professor Kim guided the students through the Q&A session, Executive Vice President Seunghwan Cho of Samsung Research stepped up to wrap up the event. EVP Cho began by thanking the students for their participation and enthusiasm, saying, “SCPC is a competition that allows us to gauge the skills of the upcoming generation, but more than that, it is a celebration dedicated to future developers. This competition has only been successful because of your interest in and passion for programming.” He continued, “We at Samsung Research plan to expand opportunities like the SCPC to help more students gain an interest in programming and an opportunity to take part in it.” Furthermore, he stated, “As a leading global software company,
we at Samsung Electronics will do our best to assist the next generation of talents and their training environment.”
KRW 100 Million for Winners! The Grand Finale to the Fifth SCPC
The Fifth SCPC offered a grand total of KRW 100 million in prizes to 38 winners. Sunghyeon Jo, who won first place, received a total of KRW 20 million, while Hyunsoo Kim and Jeyeon Si, both at second place, each received KRW 10 million. On top of these monetary awards, the top three winners also received a chance to join an international software conference. All 38 winners of the competition received a specially made trophy and a certificate, as well as preference points when applying for positions within Samsung Electronics in the future.
After the awarding ceremony, all participants came together onto the stage for a commemorative photograph. The passionate competition, thus, draws to a close, but not entirely, as many of the participants vowed to rekindle their passion in the next year’s Sixth SCPC.
Return with Style to the Sixth SCPC with Codeground! All tasks presented during the preliminaries and the final of the Fifth SCPC may be found in the Samsung Codeground homepage (www.codeground.org). Codeground is a programming training website established by Samsung Electronics to provide assistance toward future talents. Given that it offers an excellent opportunity to brush up on programming structure, algorithm, and other skills within programming through sample tasks, Codeground is a highly recommended resource for future programmers. Indeed, Codeground offers the full list of actual tasks presented in the past SCPCs as sample tasks as well, which will be a great place to train for the next year’s Sixth SCPC.