HARBIN, China, Jan. 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The world's elite computer programmers will travel to Harbin, China next week to compete in the oldest, most prestigious computer programming contest in the World. Affectionately known as the "Battle of the Brains," the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC), sponsored by IBM (NYSE: IBM) will take place February 1-5, 2010. Harbin Engineering University (HEU) will host the event during the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival.
The 34th annual World Finals of the IBM-sponsored ACM ICPC challenges students to solve real-world problems using open technology and advanced computing methods under a grueling five-hour deadline. More than one hundred three-person teams from universities around the globe prepare for months in hopes of claiming the "World's Smartest Trophy." Students will solve more than a semester's worth of curriculum during the competition. The team that solves the most problems correctly in the least time will emerge as champions, earning scholarships, bragging rights, and prizes from IBM, including great visibility with potential employers, like IBM itself.
"Our world faces substantial economic, social, and environmental challenges, and it is clear that there are tremendous opportunities and new technologies on the horizon. Even more, we need a highly skilled, integrated workforce of innovative problem solvers," said Doug Heintzman, Director of Strategy at IBM Software Group, and ICPC Sponsorship Executive. "The ICPC brings together the energy of academia and business, challenging the best and brightest university students in the world, while also providing students the opportunity to master their critical thinking, problem solving, and collaboration skills, and preparing them to become tomorrow's world technology leaders."
As part of the contest material, students will become increasingly familiar with IBM's Smarter Planet initiative, its mission to create a more efficient world, through approaches that include the development of smarter solutions for climate change, water pollution, food safety, energy consumption and urban management. The computing skills will be applied to create the various components of a Smarter Planet.
More than 7,109 teams representing 1,838 universities from almost 90 countries competed in the fall Regionals competition this year, compared to 840 teams in 1997 when IBM first sponsored the competition. St. Petersburg University of Information Technology, Mechanics & Optics, the 2008 and 2009 World Finals champions, will return to the 2010 Finals. To view the full list of teams, visit the ICPC website.
"Every year I am amazed at the talent, drive, and accomplishment of students competing in the ACM-ICPC," said Dr. Bill Poucher, ICPC Executive Director and Baylor University Professor "Bringing the best of the best together at the 2010 World Finals will raise their aspirations and the world's prospects of building a Smarter Planet."
The 34th World Finals of the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) brings together the top 103 three-person teams from universities around the globe to build systems to solve a dozen problems modeled after real-world business challenges such as cracking complex password codes or re-architecting space plans. These problems are designed to challenge the students' problem-solving savvy and business acumen - key skills sought after by global employers in the new information technology (IT) workforce.
To enhance the learning experience for ICPC participants, IBM has numerous opportunities for the students to learn about how technology is helping the world become more interconnected, instrumented and intelligent. Through technology demonstrations, seminars and collaboration with IBM's researchers, students will learn about using automated technologies to reduce a city's traffic congestion and emission; preventing service failures in railcars and other vehicles; tracking food to ensure its safety and freshness; and adopting electronic records to the complex healthcare processes. The contest helps students of the world think of societal issues beyond their on campus majors such as computing, mathematics and physics.
IBM's sponsorship in cooperation with leading IT Society ACM, ICPC World Headquarters at Baylor University, and 2010 World Finals Host Harbin Engineering University is just one of the company's many university-focused programs concentrating on open standards skills. For example, the IBM Academic Initiative offers colleges and universities a wide range of technology benefits including free access to IBM software, discounted hardware, course materials, training and curriculum development to better educate millions of students for a more competitive IT workforce.
In addition, during IBM's Extreme Blue global internship program, interns develop technology-based business plans for new products or services that address existing market challenges. Since 1999, more than 360 patent disclosures have been submitted from the Extreme Blue participants worldwide. Underscoring the high caliber of IBM's internship program participants, to date 31 of the United States applicants to Extreme Blue have identified themselves as ICPC contestants.
ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery www.acm.org, is the world's largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field's challenges. ACM strengthens the computing profession's collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.