March 01, 2007 11:10 ET

College Coders to Compete in Tokyo at IBM-Sponsored ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest

"Battle of the Brains" Develops Future Innovation Leaders

ARMONK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 1, 2007 -- The most promising young innovators studying information technology (IT) from around the globe will gather on March 12-16, 2007 in Tokyo for the 31st annual World Finals of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC), sponsored by IBM. While in Japan, participating teams will experience some of the most promising emerging technologies made in IBM's Tokyo Research Laboratory.

Coming from countries as diverse as Vietnam, Iran, South Africa and Kazakhstan, the contestants who have qualified for this prestigious competition illustrate the global nature of 21st Century top talent in computing innovation. In all, 6,099 teams representing 1,756 universities from 82 countries on six continents participated in regional contests held last fall.

The United States has the largest number of teams participating in the finals, from 20 universities, while Asia-Pacific provides the broadest regional contingent with 31 teams, led by 12 from China. Japan has three university teams participating. Russia offers nine of Europe's 20 teams. Brazil is sending four of Latin America's 10 entries. Together, the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China account for nearly 30 percent of the contest finalists.

Teams will be faced with solving eight or more highly complex computer programming problems, modeled on real-world business challenges, in only five hours. This is equal to a semester's worth of curriculum. The team solving the most problems correctly in the least amount of time will emerge as ICPC champions, earning scholarships, bragging rights and prizes from IBM.

IBM's sponsorship of the ACM-ICPC is an important component of the company's many academic initiatives that provide resources to foster the next generation of innovators. The competition encourages open-standards and open-source programming skills, which are increasingly in demand by employers as tools for collaborative innovation worldwide.

IBM encourages university innovation through a variety of outreach programs that range from consultation on curricula development and open intellectual property, to teaching in the classroom through the IBM Transition to Teaching Program which is building a cadre of well-trained math and science teachers with IBM-honed experience to help develop the next generation of technical leaders in grades kindergarten through 12. IBM deploys over 2,000 University Ambassadors worldwide who lecture on campus and provide mentoring to students. In addition, IBM provides a broad range of open standards-based offerings and no charge benefits to faculty and students, including the latest technologies in open source and IBM software, remote access to hardware, course materials, training and other resources, and distributes Shared University Research awards that enable professors to focus their research on issues of mutual interest to IBM and universities worldwide.

"This contest gives computer science students around the world the opportunity to hone their problem-solving skills using open standards, with platforms such as Linux and Eclipse," said Doug Heintzman, a director of strategy, IBM Software Group, and Sponsorship Executive of the ICPC. "Over the past year, the Internet has evolved into a fascinating world owned by individuals. People use open standards to watch video they post and read blogs and wikis they write, participating in a collaborative social network that transcends physical boundaries. This World Finals contest challenges students who will be responsible for creating similar, and better, innovations for decades to come."

During the event, Dr. Paul Horn, senior vice president, IBM Research and Sandra Kearney, director of 3-D Internet and Virtual Business, IBM will discuss and demonstrate a new wave of emerging technologies incubating within IBM's global research laboratory network -- the kinds of innovations that contestants dream of pioneering one day. Whether designing an instant translation device to enable people of different languages to overcome language barriers, helping commuters get to work faster through burgeoning mass transit systems, or protecting consumers' digital identities from theft, IBM Labs are developing technologies that change the way the world works and lives.

"In the first decade of IBM sponsorship, ICPC participation has skyrocketed eight-fold," said Dr. William Poucher, Professor of Computer Science at Baylor University and Executive Director of the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest. "Together, we shine the spotlight on tomorrow's superstars. Their energy, fresh ideas and talent are the fabric of the technology-rich, socially-connected society of the future." The ICPC has been headquartered at Baylor's main campus in Waco, Texas, since 1989.

The April 2006 ACM-ICPC World Finals took place in San Antonio, Texas, where Saratov State University from Russia won the world championship.

The 2007 ACM-ICPC World Finals will be co-hosted by the ACM Japan Chapter and the IBM Tokyo Research Laboratory. For more information on the ACM-ICPC including a full list of participating universities, visit the contest Web site at

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