IBM Sponsors Collegiate Programming Contest To Advance Next Generation Computer Talent

Worldwide "Battle Of The Brains" Challenges More Than 14,000 College Students From 70 Countries

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SOMERS, NY - 17 Oct 2001: As part of IBM's ongoing efforts to develop and recruit the next generation of I/T talent, IBM is sponsoring a global contest that gathers more than 14,000 of the world's brightest college programmers for an all-out "battle of the brains." The 26th annual ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest challenges students to tackle a semester's worth of computer programming in one afternoon.

The contest challenges students, working in three-person teams, to rely on their programming skills and creativity during a five-hour battle of logic, strategy and mental endurance. Students solve complex problems using both traditional and new programming languages, including C, C++, Java* and Pascal. The winning team will walk away with IBM ThinkPads ** and software, scholarships, and bragging rights to the world's "smartest trophy."

Student participation in the contest has grown 273 percent since IBM began sponsoring the contest nearly five years ago, from 3,750 students in 1997 to 14,000 this year.

Regional contests taking place around the globe will draw 2,800 teams from 70 countries during preliminary rounds. Sixty-four teams will be selected to compete at the 2002 World Finals, to be held March 20-24 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

"The ACM Contest provides IBM with a great opportunity to meet top computer science talent and educators from around the world," said John Swainson, general manager, Application and Integration Middleware, IBM Software. "This sponsorship demonstrates IBM's commitment to advance the next generation of computer programmers and to support educators with the same goal."

"The ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) is the world's premier academic competition in the computing sciences and engineering," says Dr. Bill Poucher, Baylor University Professor and ICPC Executive Director. "IBM's commitment and support have fueled growth, extending the challenge to tens of thousands of students and faculty worldwide."

As part of IBM's continuing commitment to education, it will be working more closely with team coaches to provide technology and software to universities, as well as to learn more about how professors keep their curriculum current in today's ever-changing environment. IBM's VisualAge** development tools will be used by students in the World Finals competition.

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