Students at Kim Il Sung University in the DPRK had seven straight wins in the Codechef challenge, an international internet programming contest, held in Juche 109 (2020). Their coach is Dr. Sin Chang Hyon of the Mathematics Faculty of the university.
Into an Uncharted Territory
Sin was deeply interested in mathematics from his childhood. The world of math full of various numbers, codes and formulas seemed very mysterious for him. He cut a brilliant figure in math during his middle-school days, when he went into the rankings in a national mathematical competition (category for students from middle-schools No. 1).
He was enrolled in Kim Il Sung University in April Juche 88 (1999). In his days at the university he delved into the unknown, mysterious world of math, in the course of which he wrote a paper on improving the stability of telematics which was a crystallization of his innovative thinking and strenuous efforts. He did not rest on his laurels, but made redoubled efforts to attain a higher target.
He found a solution to the pending question of Kloosterman sum which was necessary for the research into weight distribution of cyclic codes. A treatise on it was carried in the “Proceedings of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences” for 2011, drawing the attention of the academic world.
Later, he paid attention to the pending issues in the graph theory and in 2020 published a paper titled, “On the number of Laplacian eigenvalues of trees less than the average degree” in the SCI-class international journal Discrete Mathematics.
For Training Talented Personnel
After graduating from the university, he started his career as a lecturer in charge of the ICPC (International Collegiate Programming Contest) club. He tried his best for his students. Thanks to his devoted help, his students won the silver trophy in 2017 and a Gold in 2019 in the ICPC Asia Regional Contest.
In order to prepare them to be qualified for the Codechef challenge, he guided them individually and intensified extracurricular teaching by applying methods which suited their characters and psychological features. He also improved the methods, principles and contents of his guidance based on his in-depth study and analysis of the latest sci-tech data, thus greatly helping them to further improve their algorithm designing capabilities.
As a result, his students could attend the Codechef challenge every year since 2017. Choe Un Song, Kim Song Bok and Mun Hak Bom entered the contest held in June 2020. The most difficult of all was the challenge problem related to discrete optimization as it required high intellectual faculties and programming techniques. Because there was no correct answer to it, the rankings were decided according to who approached to optimum solution as close as possible. The Korean students solved all the problems and won the first place in the contests in a row.
“It is by no means an easy task to find the correct answer in an uncharted, mysterious territory of math. What is important is to be fully aware that each of the competitors represents their country’s level of sci-tech development. This awareness gives them novel ideas and constitutes a key to victory,” says Sin Chang Hyon.