IBM and the Association for Computing Machinery Kick off Worldwide College "Battle of the Brains"

Student Programmers to Hone Problem-Solving Skills Using Open Source Platforms

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ARMONK, NY - 26 Sep 2006: IBM (NYSE: IBM) and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) today announced the start of international regional competitions leading up to the 31st annual International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC).

At universities around the world, teams of three students each will participate in the Contest's regional competitions from September through December, attempting to solve real-world computer programming problems under a grueling five-hour deadline. This year's regional competitions are expected to include more than 6,000 teams from 84 countries on six continents. Eighty-five teams will advance to the World Finals taking place in March 2007.

Also known as the "Battle of the Brains," the ICPC has grown to be the largest and most prestigious computer competition of its kind. Since IBM began sponsorship of the Contest in 1997, participation has grown seven-fold.

The Contest exposes the brightest college and university information technology students around the globe to open source technologies being adopted by innovative businesses and organizations. Contest sponsor, IBM, is at the forefront of driving and using open standards. IBM is continually growing its portfolio of emerging technologies and identifying where tomorrow's technology skills are needed. IBM works with leading academic researchers and talented students internationally, many of whom eventually contribute to IBM research and development solutions. With IT skills shortages around the world and the rapid pace of change in the technology industry, innovation and collaboration at the university level are essential.

"Future innovation and value creation in our industry will come from the creativity of the next generation of engineers and computer scientists," said Douglas Heintzman, Director of Strategy, IBM Software Group and Sponsorship Executive of the ICPC. "It is vital that we promote and focus on the pursuit of excellence in the field of information technology. IBM's commitment to the ICPC is an important investment in the future."

IBM's sponsorship of the ACM-ICPC is just one of the company's many university-facing programs focusing on open standards skills. The IBM Academic Initiative is another, offering colleges and universities a wide range of technology benefits including free access to IBM software, discounted hardware, course materials, training and curriculum development to better educate millions of students for a more competitive IT workforce.

"The ICPC attracts incredibly bright young men and women who will shape the future of computing," said Dr. Bill Poucher, ICPC Executive Director and Baylor University Professor. "The partnership between ACM, IBM and colleges and universities around the world has grown to be a force in advancing education and innovation in computer science and engineering."

The 2006 ACM-ICPC World Finals took place in San Antonio, Texas, last April, where the team from Saratov State University in Russia emerged as the world champion.

EDITOR'S NOTE: If you would like to interview IBM representatives and participants in the contest, please contact Natalie Giuliante at (215) 790-4371.

For a complete schedule of regional contests worldwide, visit

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