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International Collegiate Programming Contest Spotlights Big Data Analytics

U.S. Students Compete Regionally for Spot in World Finals

SAN ANTONIO, Nov. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Tens of thousands of students from universities across the globe are vying to earn a coveted spot at the World Finals of the 37th annual Association for Computer Machinery (ACM) International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC), sponsored by IBM (NYSE: IBM).  

Known as the Battle of the Brains, the IBM-Sponsored ACM-ICPC challenges university students to solve complex real-world problems using advanced computing methods under a grueling five-hour deadline. In five hours, these students will complete an entire semester's worth of computer programming. This year, the contest also exposes students to key emerging industry trends and capabilities, such as applying analytics technology to big data, a major economic growth engine and development opportunity for students.

Every day around the world, 2.5 quintillion bytes of big data are created from a variety of sources ranging social media posts and cell phone signals to digital photos and videos. New opportunities and predictive insights can be established by applying trusted analytics technology, impacting many industries in a plethora of ways. For example, with analytics technology for big data, doctors can diagnose a patient based on unique relative backgrounds; manufacturers can optimize their assembly lines; retailers can ensure the right products are available at the right time and location; and food services will know the freshness of the food they deliver.

"At IBM we recognize the importance and urgency in nurturing the next generation of technology leaders," said Doug Heintzman, director of strategy for IBM Software Group and sponsorship executive of the ICPC. "The purpose of this contest is to celebrate exceptional computer science expertise, promote the pursuit of science and technology education, expose students to real world business issues and leading edge research, and help prepare them for the competitive and global workforce. Every year we aggressively recruit top talent from this group of students and it is our fervent hope that some of these extraordinary young people will decide to pursue prosperous and productive careers with IBM."

Regional qualifying contests are already underway in the United States and will continue through December. Following the regional rounds, only 18 to 20 United States universities will be a part of the 115 elite three-person teams from around the world to advance to the World Finals. The final contest will take place June 30 through July 4, 2013, and will be hosted by the St. Petersburg National Research University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics in St. Petersburg, Russia.    

"While the Finals of the ACM-ICPC may only last a few hours, its impact on these students will last a lifetime," said Dr. Bill Poucher, ICPC Executive Director and Baylor University Professor of Computer Science. "These students are dauntless problem solvers. We aim to inspire them to raise the bar for global technological innovation as they move into their careers with top industry recruiters like IBM."

Considered the largest and most prestigious computer programming competition in the world, the Battle of the Brains reaches tens of thousands of students from more than 2,000 universities in 88 countries on six continents. Since IBM began sponsoring the contest in 1997, participation has grown more than 1,000 percent. During the 2011-2012 contest, more than 25,000 students participated in the regionals portion alone.

IBM's sponsorship of the Battle of the Brains is one of IBM's many university programs which blend both technology and business leadership skills. IBM works with universities throughout the world that offer degrees in Service Science, Management and Engineering (SSME), an emerging academic discipline that strives to enrich both business and engineering curriculum.

The 2012 World Finals were held in Warsaw, Poland.  Students from St. Petersburg National Research University ITMO captured the championship.

More than 400 schools from the United States are participating in regional qualifying contests. A complete list of schools can be found at

For more information about the contest, visit and, or follow along on Twitter at, #ICPC2013. 

For more information about IBM, visit and

About ACM

ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, 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.

Media Contact:
Chas Kurtz
Tierney Communications
(215) 790-4386
[email protected]


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