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Computer Science Superstars Meet for Battle of Brains

Shortages of Technical Talent put Collegiate Competition in Spotlight

SOMERS, N.Y - 22 Jan 1998: -- Organizers of the 22nd Annual ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest, sponsored by IBM, announced today the names of college teams* who will advance to the contest's World Finals in Atlanta, February 27-28, 1998. Approximately 3,750 of the world's brightest students representing 700 universities in 40 countries competed in 1997, with only the top 162 students qualifying for next month's finals.

ACM's announcement of finalists follows last week's Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) conference in California, where industry leaders discussed the critical economic need for skilled technology workers. According to industry reports, up to 400,000 jobs requiring computer software skills are still open. As part of the conference the U.S. government announced several training initiatives to increase the number of technology workers. IBM's sponsorship of the competition is one way the global information technology company hopes to increase interest in the computer sciences at the collegiate level.

Since 1970, ACM has organized the contest to challenge and inspire students in the computer sciences. For the next five years as sponsor, IBM will help expand the contest through its global presence. This past year marked the first time schools in Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Japan competed, in part due to IBM's efforts.

The contest pits teams of three students against a host of complex, real-world problems, which they must solve in a set amount of time. Students rely on their programming savvy - skills, creativity, and teamwork - to solve problems as they race against the clock in the five-hour battle of logic, strategy and mental endurance. Teams that solved the most problems in the fewest attempts and the least amount of time qualified for the World Finals.

Regional contests were held around the world from September through December of 1997, with 54 teams earning the right to compete in Atlanta. Last year's champion - Harvey Mudd College - will return to defend their title. Schools in the U.S. and Canada which will participate in the World Finals in Atlanta are (in alphabetical order):

California Institute of Technology Stanford University
Case Western Reserve University of Alberta
Christopher Newport University University of Arkansas - Fayetteville
Duke University University of California - Berkeley
Florida Institute of Technology University of Central Florida
Harding University University of Dayton
Harvey Mudd College University of Miami
Indiana University of Pennsylvania University of Minnesota - Morris
Massachusetts Institute of Technology University of Missouri - Rolla
McGill University University of Texas - Arlington
Oklahoma State University University of Texas - Austin
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology University of the Pacific
South Dakota State University Virginia Tech
University of Waterloo

International teams (26 total) include representation from universities in Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, Sweden, and Taiwan.

About ACM

For 50 years, the ACM Association for Computing has been a major force in advancing the skills of information technology professionals and students throughout the world. Established in 1970, the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest is the oldest and largest programming competition for the world's universities and colleges. The contest, sponsored by IBM, fosters creativity, teamwork, and innovation in building new software. For more information about the ACM Programming Contest, visit the Web site at http://www.acm.org/contest.

About IBM

IBM, the world's largest software provider, creates, develops and manufactures the industry's most advanced information technologies, including computer systems, software, networking systems, storage devices and microelectronics. IBM offers complete information about the company, its products, services and technologies through the World Wide Web. Information about IBM software is available on the IBM Software home page at http://www.software.ibm.com. For information on IBM's employment opportunities students can go to http://www.cybrblu.ibm.com.

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* The entire list of universities, students and coaches advancing to Atlanta is located on ACM's web site.

Contact(s) information

John Crowe
IBM
512-838-9636
jdcrowe@us.ibm.com

Jennifer Bofinger
The Tierney Group
215-732-4100 x235
jbofinger@btierney.com

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