Last Updated : 13, Aug, 2004
SuperCon 2004 10th Anniversary
Explanation on SuperCon,
Supercomputer Programming Contest at Tokyo Institute of Technology
I. General
Supercomputer Programming Contest (SuperCon, in short) is a programming contest for high school students using a supercomputer system at Tokyo Institute of Technology. SuperCon was introduced in 1995 to commemorate the introduction of a supercomputer at Tokyo Institute of Technology. It aims at providing high school students an opportunity to have hand-on experience of supercomputer and to enjoy its characteristics.

Although named "contest", the professors and graduate students at Tokyo Tech provide intellectual assistance and support for several days in order to develop the program. During contest it is expected that students learn state-of-art technology and critical thinking. This also creates environment to exchange views and ideas among students, through which students get to know each other. SuperCon has been providing a forum for Japanese students who love computers and programming. For the 10th anniversary of this contest, we would like to extend this forum to neighboring nations in Asia by inviting teams from those countries.

II. Procedures (plan)
* Items 1 and 2 are only for Japanese participants. Foreign teams are invited based on recommendation.
* Dates are still tentative.

1. Call for participants: announcement of the contest and distribution of a problem for preliminary competition (by mail and/or internet: the first week of June).

2. Deadline of responses (the end of June) and selection of invited teams.

3. Announcement of invited teams and a problem (only outline) of the contest (the first week of July). (The problem details will be given at the beginning of the contest.)

4. Contest: - registration at Tokyo Tech (August 1),
- opening (August 2),
- lectures (August 2 afternoon),
- programming (August 3~6)

5. Announcement of the winners, Award ceremony (August 7)

The problem for the preliminary competition is to select approximately 10 Japanese teams for the (final) contest. Teams are expected to create the program. Each program and its explanation are evaluated for its algorithm designing and programming skills. (Notes: This applies only for Japanese teams. Foreign teams are invited based on recommendation.)

At the contest, teams will create a program for solving a given problem. The objective of the contest is to produce the best program to meet the evaluation criteria, making maximum use of Tokyo Tech's supercomputer capacity.

III. Characteristics of SuperCon
1. Project-based Contest
Unlike regular programming contests, there is no rigid time limit. Teams can spend several days to work on the problem. During the contest, teams are able to receive feedback and advice including ways to debug programs. Such an environment requires additional efforts besides technical knowledge and skills. Past experiences show that creation of program requires participants high level of concentration and thus, a team with high spirit and energy had an opportunity to win the contest. (Notes: programming period is planned 4 days in 2004, whereas it has been 3 days at the last several

2. Group Participation
A team should consist of 2-3 participants. It is generally recognized that programming is better suited for single person but we consider working in groups as an important aspect. In practice, some groups assign different roles to each member, and in other groups, each member first works independently and gradually build on each other' s work. Our experience supports the idea that working in a team promotes active exchange of information in and among groups. This is how we wish to advocate group
participation to the competition.

3. Well thought-out Problems
We feel that problems assigned are of high quality. Each problem is discussed and polished among experts and researchers of information field of Tokyo Institute of Technology. We consider participants' technical knowledge and ability to design algorithm to assign the problem in interesting and manageable manner. We are often amazed by the clever solution.

Past Problems
1995: Subset sum problem (from the knapsack cryptography).
96: Scheduling problem
97: Cycle on a triangle billiard
98: Tiling problem
99: A problem from life game
00: Pipe connecting puzzle
01: N body problem
02: Protein folding
03: Max. amino family

4. MPI Trial

IV. Plan for the 10th Contest in 2004
For the 10th annual contest in 2004, we plan to invite teams from neighboring Asian nations. We expect to have about 15 teams in total.

Why Asian Nations?
First, it is considered a great opportunity for both Japanese and non-Japaneseparticipants to communicate and work together. For example, Thailand is
known for its nation-wide programming competition, involving several hundreds high school students. It is certainly stimulating to communicate and exchange information and experiences with such excellent members from different countries in Asia. It is also expected to promote the importance of information education. The previous Japanese participants indicate that the number of high school students with strong interest in programming is limited. It is our interest to show the public some Asian nations consider information education as part of national policies.

Our Pupose
Please note that, although we invite teams from various countries, this contest is not intended to be a country-to-country competition. Rather, fostering the individual abilities of students, as well as international friendship amongst the students, will be emphasized.

* Related to this, we ask the respective countries to conduct intra-country selection in this spirit, i.e., not to derive fierce competition but rather to foster friendship among the participants.

Facilities and Staff Members
1. Opening and closing ceremonies as well as lectures will be carried out on Tokyo Tech main campus.
2. A place to exercise programming is reserved.
3. Tutors will be selected among Tokyo Tech's graduate students. We plan that international graduate students from participating countries will serve as international tutors.
4. Transportation and accommodation: Reservations for transportations and accommodations should be done by individual teams. Tokyo Tech will provide some information/advice to help foreign participants.

Financial Support
We plan to partially support airfare and local expenses for foreign teams; max. 100,000yen per student (max. three) and one accompanying person.

Tokyo Tech will not be liable for any personal injuries or financial damages incurred by the participants during the contest and the associated travel thereof. It is highly recommended that participants seek travel insurance on their own during the travel. By all means will do our best to make each team's stay pleasant.


Global Scientific Information and Computing Center
Global Scientific Information and Computing Center,Tokyo Institute Of Technology