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SuperCon 2021 — Supercomputing Contest held online for high school students

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Published: November 19, 2021

Tokyo Tech, Osaka University, and the RIKEN Center for Computational Science (R-CCS) hosted the 2021 Supercomputing Contest (SuperCon) for high school and technical college students from August 23 to 27, 2021.

In the past, SuperCon involved teams of two to three students who participated in the preliminary round in June and then the finals in August, either at Tokyo Tech's Global Scientific Information and Computing Center (GSIC) or at Osaka University's Cybermedia Center (CMC). The 2020 finals had to be canceled completely due to the spread of COVID-19, but this prompted the two university hosts and R-CCS to replace it with the Fugaku Supercomputing Challenge.

Building on this successful trial of Fugaku in the 2020 student contest, the three hosts again decided to provide participants with access to the world's fastest supercomputer in SuperCon 2021.

SuperCon 2021 finals

The SuperCon 2021 finals focused on the use of mathematical models to predict and analyze trends involving infectious diseases. Basic mathematical models often consider society as one large group, but the real world is made up of companies, schools, age-based communities, and other smaller groups who are in close contact with each other. Once someone in a group is infected, transmission often occurs quickly within that group. Transmission between one group and another, however, is not as clear. Furthermore, transmission between groups that are directly connected occurs relatively quickly, but transmission among indirectly connected groups should take longer. These connections are often difficult to understand. Against this background, participants were asked to try to infer how population groups are connected by using available information on the transmission of infectious diseases.

Participants receiving explanation of Kermack–McKendrick SIR model

Participants receiving explanation of Kermack–McKendrick SIR model

Participants receiving explanation of Kermack–McKendrick SIR model

Awards ceremony for winners

On the final day of the contest, greetings and congratulatory words were offered by Osaka University's Executive Vice President for Research Takao Onoye, Tokyo Tech President Kazuya Masu, and other special guests. CMC's Professor Macoto Kikuchi, chairman of the SuperCon executive committee, also provided an outline of the contest and judging criteria before the winners were announced.

Final day opening remarks by Osaka University's EVP for Research Onoye
Final day opening remarks by Osaka University's EVP for Research Onoye

Greeting by Tokyo Tech President Masu
Greeting by Tokyo Tech President Masu

This year's winners were Team Citrus from Nada Senior High School, followed by Team NPC from N High School and Team Novice, also from Nada Senior High School. Team Citrus was also announced as the recipient of the Institute Prize from the Institute of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineers, and Information Processing Society of Japan.

SuperCon 2021 results

Ranking

Team

School

1

Citrus

Nada Senior High School

2

NPC

N High School

3

Novice

Nada Senior High School

Congratulatory words from R-CCS Director Satoshi Matsuoka
Congratulatory words from R-CCS Director Satoshi Matsuoka

After the announcement of winners and awards ceremony, SuperCon executive committee members spent over an hour speaking with the contest participants about the ingenious ideas that had emerged during the four-day contest.

Congratulations to the winners and all those who participated in SuperCon 2021!

Contact

SuperCon 2021 Committee

Email sc21query@gsic.titech.ac.jp

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