Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha spoke highly of the ACM-ICPC World Final 2016 event, hosted by the Software Industry Promotion Agency (SIPA), Prince of Songkla University (PSU), IBM, and the city of Phuket, from 15-19 May 2016.
The event shows the advancement of Thailand as a digital country. Previously, the event was hosted by more developed countries such as the United States of America, China, Japan, and Russia, and this is the first time to be hosted in the ASEAN region, and Thailand was given the opportunity to showcase its digital capabilities.
The Prime Minister acknowledged the accomplishments of the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, SIPA, and all 128 teams from 40 countries, inclusive of two teams from Thailand, namely from Chulalongkorn University and PSU.
One of the benefits gained by Thailand from this event is the development of country’s human resources. The event inspires the next generation of computer engineers to strive at becoming world class computer engineers in the future. It promotes creativity, teamwork, and innovation, which will all lead to the advancement of the country. Thailand cannot fail to innovate, when the world is being driven by digital technology.
The second benefit for the country is the economic development. Many youngsters needed to be trained to host this international event of over 1,300 participants. The event has helped improve foreigners’ outlook on the country, motivate the new generation, and create new opportunities in the event and tourism industries, which are expected to grow further this year, bringing more capital to the country.
The event was very well received by all participants. The team from St. Petersburg State University, Russia, won the competition this year. The team from Chulalongkorn University won the First Solution Award, being the fastest team to come up with a solution to the first test.
As for PSU team, named FEDEX, it came in at the 128th place. The team was able to qualify into the finals, after a qualifying competition among 2,735 universities, with over 300,000 participants, from six continents. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, USA, will host the next year’s event.
The 40th ACM-ICPC World Finals 2016 began officially on 17th May 2016 at the Aiyara Theatre, Phuket FantaSea. Air Chief Marshal Prajin Janthong, Deputy Prime Minister, presided over the Opening Ceremony. The event was attended by many honorable guests, such as Prof. Bill Poucher, ICPC Executive Director; Assoc. Prof. Dr. Chusak Limsakul, PSU President; and Mr. Chamloen Tippayapongthada, Governor of Phuket.
The competition was hosted at Phuket Municipal Sports Stadium, Sapan Hin Sports Complex, Phuket. There were 128 teams from 40 countries and 6 continents competing, including two Thai representatives, namely Chulalongkorn University and PSU.
The ACM-ICPC World Finals 2016 is a world famous international computer programming competition. In order to reach the final round, teams must compete through three qualifying rounds, including local qualifiers, which is a competition among university students from each country; the continental round, comprising of the following regions: Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and South Pacific; and the World Finals, which is hosted once a year.
PSU has been chosen by ACM, the world’s biggest education and computer science association in the world, to host this event, as ASEAN’s first, after being hosted in other more advanced nations such as USA, Canada, China and Japan. This was a great opportunity for Thailand to showcase its information and communication technology capabilities on the world stage.
The FEDEX team from PSU, comprising of Mr. Thanapol Anantachaiwanit, Mr. Arif Waram and Mr. Napat Won-gwan-ngam, won the ACM-ICPC Southern Thailand Competition in 2015, and was one of the two Thai teams participating in the final round. The team members revealed that they were very excited to participate in the final competition. The difference between the local and world’s stage was the biggest difficulty of the tests, which raised the level of competition. After winning the local competition last year, the team was practicing with more difficult tests, and also had the help of their professors on how to tackle these tests. They also accessed a compilation of tests from previous competitions available on the website of ACM ICPC, and used a test-based training with increasing complex tests, where more mathematics was require.
FEDEX admitted that the greatest pressure they felt came from the neighboring countries’ teams, who were skillful and well-trained for this competition. In some countries, anyone who wishes to enter the competition must take a special class. . However, the FEDEX team operates only as a club, which is amateur-like level. Practicing with the tests also helps the team improve their English skills.