This year marks the 20th anniversary of IBM sponsorship of the Association for Computing Machinery’s (ACM) International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC). The ACM-ICPC is the oldest and most prestigious global programming competition in the world. Over the last four decades the ICPC has raised aspirations and performance of generations of the world’s problem solvers in the computing sciences and engineering.
Over the years, the contest has evolved into a multi-tier competition with the first Finals held at the ACM Computer Science Conference in 1977. Operating under the auspices of ACM and headquartered at Baylor University since 1989, the contest has expanded into a global network of universities hosting regional competitions that advance teams to the ACM-ICPC World Finals.
The annual event is comprised of several levels of competition:
- Local Contests – Universities hold local contests to select one or more teams to represent them at the next level of competition. Selection takes place from a field of over 300,000 students in computing disciplines worldwide.
- Regional Contests – This year, 46,381 contestants from 2,948 universities in 103 countries competed to advance to the 2017 World Finals.
- World Finals – This year, 133 World Finalist teams will compete for awards, prizes, and bragging rights. The teams will race against the clock as they aim to solve 12 problems, an entire semester’s worth of content, in five hours.
In the last 20 years, participation in the ICPC has increased by more than 1800%. IBM’s goal as lead sponsor is to celebrate the world’s best computing students and expose them to key technology trends, such as cloud and cognitive computing, and to prepare them and get them excited about pursuing a career in programming. On-site at World Finals, students are exposed to the latest technologies from IBM through speakers and interactive demos. For example, this year students will have the opportunity to interact with IBM’s Watson robot and Raspberry Pi IoT foosball table.
As one of the fastest-growing cloud and cognitive companies, IBM is a thriving and exciting place to work. We look forward to showcasing our leading, global technologies among this elite talent. This year, the ICPC student participants have the opportunity to meet with current IBM professionals to learn about industry trends and discuss professional opportunities. We’re in a golden age of programming, and the skills needed to succeed at the ICPC – creativity, teamwork and innovation – are right on point with what’s happening in our industry.