September 16, 2005 15:52 ET

IBM and the Association for Computing Machinery Announce 30th Annual International "Tech Olympics"

Start of Regional Competitions Around the World Marks Anniversary of IBM-sponsored Contest

ARMONK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- September 16, 2005 -- IBM and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) announce the kickoff of the 30th annual International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC), the largest and most prestigious computer programming contest of its kind. Beginning this week, the world's top collegiate programmers will participate in the regional competitions of this "Tech Olympics."

Over the next three months, regional competitions across the globe are expected to draw more than 5,000 university teams. Teams of three students will be challenged to use their programming skills and rely on their mental endurance to solve complex, real world problems under a grueling deadline, while vying for a spot at the Contest's World Finals to be held April 9-13, 2006 in San Antonio, Texas. Since IBM began sponsorship of the Contest in 1997, participation has grown fivefold.

Increasingly, teams are also using standards-based and open source technologies such as Java, Eclipse and Linux. These technologies used at the ACM-ICPC World Finals are being adopted at the preliminary contests. Last year, for example, 57 percent of Regional Contests offered Linux as a programming platform; 97 percent offered Java; and 47 percent offered Eclipse.

"Computer programming has changed dramatically over the last three decades, and this contest has become the arena at which the best and brightest programming students pit their skills and creativity against each other," said Douglas Heintzman, Director, Technical Strategy, IBM Software, and Sponsorship Executive of the ICPC. "This contest gives university students -- who are the technology innovators of tomorrow -- the chance to experience leading-edge programming environments, while honing skills they will need in their careers."

IBM's sponsorship of the ACM-ICPC is a part of the company's commitment to working with universities around the world to better prepare college students for IT careers. The sponsorship supports IBM's Academic Initiative, an innovative program offering a wide range of technology education benefits to meet the goals of most colleges and universities by giving schools free access to IBM software, discounted hardware, course materials, training and curriculum development to ensure the workforce is prepared for the technology jobs of tomorrow. In an increasingly competitive global economy, the IT leaders of tomorrow will be pursuing innovations which will come from a fusion of several different disciplines -- advanced business integration and analytics; hardware, software and services integrated into an open computing environment; and increasingly important technologies such as wireless and nanotechnology.

"Over the past 30 years, this competition has grown in every dimension due to the exceptional talent and drive of the world's students of computing," said Bill Poucher, ACM-ICPC Executive Director. "ACM, IBM, and universities all over the world have joined together to offer this next generation of software designers and researchers the opportunity to set a new standard of excellence using the most advanced technology the industry has to offer."

This year, the ACM-ICPC World Finals competition will return to the U.S. for the first time since 2003. Eighty talented teams will compete for awards, prizes, scholarships, and bragging rights in San Antonio, hosted by Baylor University. The ICPC has been headquartered at Baylor's main campus in Waco, Texas since 1989.

The 2005 ACM-ICPC World Finals took place in Shanghai, China last April, where the team from Shanghai Jiao Tong University emerged as the world champion. For more information on the ACM-ICPC, please visit

EDITOR'S NOTE: If you would like to interview your local collegiate ACM team(s), or are interested in joining the team during a practice, please contact Megan Shames at 215-790-4343.

For a complete schedule of regional contests worldwide, visit

About IBM

IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. IBM Software offers a wide range of middleware and operating systems for all types of computing platforms, allowing customers to take full advantage of the on demand era. The fastest way to get more information about IBM software is through the IBM Software home page at

About Linux*

Drawing on resources from across IBM and key IBM Business Partners, IBM offers a wide range of services, solutions and technologies that enable customers, large and small, to take full advantage of the new era of e-business. For more information about IBM and Linux, visit *Linux is a trademark of Linus Torvalds.

About Eclipse

Eclipse is an open platform for tool integration built by an open community of tool providers, operating under an open source paradigm, with a common public license that provides royalty-free source code and world wide redistribution rights. The eclipse platform provides tool developers with ultimate flexibility and control over their software technology. Visit to discover more!

About ACM

ACM ( is widely recognized as the premier organization for computing professionals, delivering resources that advance the computing and IT disciplines, enable professional development, and promote policies and research that benefit society. ACM hosts the computing industry's leading Digital Library and Guide to Computing Literature, and serves its 80,000 global members and the computing profession with journals and magazines, conferences, workshops, electronic forums, and its Career Resource Centre and Professional Development Centre.

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