Monday, January 21, 2008

Day 2 (December 13th) - Opening Ceremony and Practice Session

The day started early, as we were all awake by 6am while the sky outside is still dark (just like 5am in Jakarta). The hotel serve breakfast on 7am, thus making us having to eat quickly and walk fast to the Bugis MRT station. The destined Buona Vista MRT station is several stops away from there, thus requiring about half an hour of MRT ride. The other team along with the coaches departed late, thus we proceed on our own to the National University of Singapore (NUS) by bus.

For the first time ever, we felt grateful to be left behind by a bus, because I found out later that the bus (number 95) we almost took was actually headed for the opposite direction. We then took the right bus and arrived in NUS safely, although quite late because the opening ceremony was about to begin and we haven't finished registration. I immediately recognized our student assistant, Sofia Tania (a student of NUS from Indonesia, former member of TOFI, we met a couple of times before), who seemed to be worried about us since we arrived late, and there are only three of us.

We did the registration and waited for the other team (+coaches) who arrived some 15 to 30minutes after we arrived, just right before the opening ceremony started. The organizer then asked us to go inside for the ceremony first and do our registration things later on.

The opening ceremony started with a lion dance show (barongsai). There was actually too little space in the lecture theater for the show but it was nice anyway. Opening speeches follow afterwards : Mr. Khankhali (acting dean of computer science - if I'm not mistaken), Mr. C.J. Hwang (Asian ICPC regional director).

(Mr. Khankhali)


(Mr. C.J. Hwang)

A coffee break was scheduled after that, during which we completed our registration process and met several teams from Indonesia as well as several Indonesians competing for NTU and NUS. We also took some time to take a picture of all ex-TOKI (Indonesian IOI team) members although we missed some people.

There was so many Indonesians in this contest, among whom are Ardian K.P. (NTU), Felix Halim (NUS), Sonny Budiman Sasaka (NTU), Brian Marshal (ITB), Roberto E.A. (ITB), and many more. It was so significant that you can hear Indonesian language (bahasa) being spoken nearly everywhere in the contest venue.

The break was followed by a technical lecture from IBM (about the Rational Unified Process), and also from Lenovo (about Thinkpads). The representative from Lenovo announced that the winner of this contest will be awarded with a 3000 dollars-worth Lenovo Thinkpad for each team member (which means 3 pieces altogether for the team). Because of that, I think everyone got motivation boost for the contest itself. After the lunch, there was also a short presentation about post-graduate study programs in the School of Computing of NUS, which is quite interesting.

The practice sessions runs as planned, nothing much happened. Felix Halim did not get accepted for the second practice problem (which should be considered quite easy) and we did not know why (probably the judge want to try WA response? :P ). The printing process was not as pleasant as expected, because we have to put our team name manually in the header of each file we want to print. We decided that for the actual contest, all files and headers will be created at the very beginning (by Kenny) therefore we do not need to create it again every time we print.

After the practice session ended, we took quite some time negotiating where to go next. Tania proposed that we can go to the Bras Basah area which have stores selling used books. We therefore go for the City Hall MRT station and walk from there. Ms. Yenlina and Ms. Agustina decided to go shopping and parted from the students (+Suhendry, actually). By reading the maps and do a little bit of guessing, we reached the stores efficiently. I did not find any interesting book though, therefore did not buy any book.

We then walked to the Bugis area, to the exit of its MRT station where we were supposed to meet with our lecturers. They got lost after exiting the MRT station and did not found us. Since nearly everyone were exhausted, I decided to go with Tania to look for the two missing persons. We did not find them, and found out later that actually they were not that far away from our search-start-node (did not find them because one of the sign - a Starbucks cafe was obstructed by a two-story public bus).

Our dinner was had in Yoshinoya in Bugis Junction (adjacent to the MRT station), after which we shopped for some foods (chocolate - boosters and some bread for breakfast). We then returned to SummerView hotel (the other team to Fort Canning) and Suhendry decided to come with us to talk about some strategy for the contest.

Continue to Day 3

-Andrian Kurniady

(All photos are copyrighted, please ask for permission before reproducing)