March 15, 2007 06:00 ET

Innovative Problem Solvers From Warsaw University Win 31st Annual ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest, Sponsored by IBM

TOKYO and ARMONK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 15, 2007 -- Students from Warsaw University in Poland are world champions, winning the 31st annual Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC), sponsored by IBM. The competition in Tokyo challenged students to solve a semester's worth of computer programming problems, modeled on real-world business challenges, in five hours. The first place team brings home IBM prizes, scholarships, and bragging rights to the "world's smartest" trophy.

Each team of three students was faced with solving 10 computer programming problems such as improving the efficiency of the baggage claim process at airports and decreasing the time it takes to load cargo ships traveling overseas.

Eighty-eight teams earned spots at the World Finals, out of 6,099 teams from 1,756 universities in 82 countries on six continents that participated in regional contests last fall. Students from all over the world qualified for this prestigious event, demonstrating the truly global nature of 21st Century computing innovation. Team participation in the contest has increased eight-fold since IBM began its sponsorship in 1997.

"In our role as the 'innovator's innovator,' we're proud to give talented students from all over the world the opportunity to come together in the spirit of competition and demonstrate the programming and problem solving skills employers are demanding around the globe," said Doug Heintzman, a Director of Strategy at IBM Software Group, and Sponsorship Executive of the ICPC. "These students will be responsible for the next great technological advancements that will profoundly impact science, business and society."

The ACM-ICPC was co-hosted by the ACM Japan Chapter and IBM Tokyo Research Laboratory. While in Japan, these students also had the opportunity to experience many of the emerging technologies they hope to play a role in creating when they begin their careers, whether it is 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 from theft.

"These superstars will extend society's ability to address challenges, strengthening and improving the world of tomorrow," said Dr. Bill Poucher, ICPC Executive Director and Baylor University Professor. "They are team players who will make a difference by enhancing the avenues we use to interact with each other."

Tsinghua University in China, St. Petersburg University of IT, Mechanics and Optics in Russia and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States finished the competition in second, third, and fourth places, respectively, and all won Gold medals.

Regional champions included: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (North America Region); Warsaw University (Europe Region); University of Cape Town (Africa and the Middle East Region); Universidad de Buenos Aires (Latin America Region); Tsinghua University (Asia Region); and University of Auckland (South Pacific Region).

This year's top twelve teams that received medals are:

-- Warsaw University (GOLD, WORLD CHAMPION)
-- Tsinghua University (GOLD, 2nd Place)
-- St. Petersburg University of IT, Mechanics and Optics (GOLD, 3rd Place)
-- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (GOLD, 4th Place)
-- Novosibirsk State University (SILVER, 5th Place)
-- Saratov State University (SILVER, 6th Place)
-- Twente University (SILVER, 7th Place)
-- Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SILVER, 8th Place)
-- University of Waterloo (BRONZE, 9th Place)
-- Moscow State University (BRONZE, 10th Place)
-- University of Auckland (BRONZE, 11th Place)
-- California Institute of Technology (BRONZE, 12th Place)
The teams were awarded medals based on the number of problems they solved in the shortest amount of time during the competition.

For more information on the ACM-ICPC, including downloadable photographs, and the complete World Finals roster and final standings, visit the contest Web site at

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