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The 4th Samsung Collegiate Programming Cup (SCPC),
a Festival of College-Level Programmers

On July 31, the 4th Samsung Collegiate Programming Cup (SCPC) was held in the Samsung Electronics Seoul R&D Campus. The SCPC has been held every year since 2015 to promote the algorithmic skills of future software developers.

▲ Main competition hall of the SCPC

This year’s SCPC is hosted by Samsung Research, the advanced R&D hub of Samsung Electronics’ SET (end-products) Business, making it an opportunity for capable college-level software developers to meet each other and the foremost minds in Korea.

This year’s main competition again featured a group of highly talented programmers, including distinguished guests, such as last year’s winners and the observer from the 2nd year of the competition, who were then not included in the competition due to his age but returned to the competition as a university student. The fact that these participants passed the most intense preliminary stages since the beginning of SCPC, with each candidate winning their seat against 40 others, is a testimony to their skills and capabilities.

Seunghwan Cho, Executive Vice President of Samsung Research, stressed the importance of algorithm in software development through his congratulatory speech, adding, “Given that software carry highly important, infinite possibilities in our future industries, we will stand by our promise to offer our utmost support for all the participants of this competition so that they can take leadership of their dream and the field of software development in the future.”

▲ Executive Vice President Seunghwan Cho delivering his congratulatory speech during the Awards Ceremony

This year’s competition contained AI-related questions in both the preliminaries and the main round as a reflection of the ongoing developments in the software industry. Many participants agreed that the inclusion of AI-related questions made the overall competition more difficult because their solution involved optimization rather than providing accurate values in the conventional sense.

Professor Sung Ryul Kim of Konkuk University’s Department of Software, the head of the task development committee since the first SCPC, said, “Over the years, we have enjoyed an increasing amount of attention and interest from university students, with a corresponding increase in capabilities, especially in the upper levels. If we have a task that less than 5 of the participants in the first year could have solved, now we see the same task being solved by nearly 100 participants in the preliminaries.” Professor Kim also personally oversaw a Q&A session after the main competition, which answered the questions that the participants had about the tasks.

The SCPC maintained its generous awards worth KRW 100 million for its 38 high achievers this year. The 1st place recipient and the two 2nd place recipients were even awarded opportunities to visit overseas conferences.

▲ Professor Sung Ryul Kim of Konkuk University solving tasks

▲ Sangsoo Park, the 1st Place winner of this year’s SCPC, posing with EVP Seunghwan Cho

▲ 10 Vietnamese participants in the main competition

▲ Special custom-made trophies for the SCPC

▲ 38 winners of the SCPC in 2018

Mr. Nguyen Ngoc Trung of FPT University in Hanoi, Vietnam, also impressed many observers for his excellent performance during the competition, and he is set to return to Hanoi with an award.

Even though programming and algorithms appear as esoteric and arcane arts, they can be more succinctly summarized as methods that help bring our thoughts into reality in easily verifiable procedures

The SCPC also operates a website called Codeground (www.codeground.org), which was designed to promote public awareness toward algorithm. Visitors to Codeground can sign up for practice questions intended for different proficiency levels or to engage in real-time communication with other developers around the world through coding.

The SCPC welcomes all college students regardless of their nationality, age, or major. Next year’s SCPC is open for passionate and audacious college-level programmers around the world to engage with each other and grow together to achieve their dreams.