IBM and ACM-ICPC Announce Global 'Battle of the Brains' Software Competition

Encouraging Students to Create Smarter Software

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SAN ANTONIO, Texas - 12 Oct 2009: Student computer programmers from universities around the world will battle for a spot to attend the World Finals of the 34th annual Association for Computer Machinery (ACM) International Collegiate Contest (ICPC), sponsored by IBM (NYSE: IBM) . Referred to as the Battle of the Brains, this competition challenges students to solve real-world problems using open technology and advanced computing methods under a grueling five-hour deadline.

 Regional bouts will begin in the United States on October 18 and continue through December, sweeping from continent to continent. Only 100 three-person teams will advance to the World Finals on February 5, 2010 hosted by Harbin Engineering University in Harbin, China. 

Aligned with the theme of a Smarter Planet, an IBM initiative aimed at infusing intelligence into the fabric of society and technology, the ICPC encourages students to create smarter software to make the planet more efficient and intelligent. 

"The world faces many daunting problems such as pandemic diseases, climate change, water pollution, food safety, finite energy resources, as well as issues with urban management and mass transportation," said Doug Heintzman, director of strategy for IBM Software Group and sponsorship executive of the ICPC. "At IBM we believe we have a responsibility to help develop the next generation of technology leaders, help them to understand and tackle these complex business issues." 

The Battle of the Brains is the largest and most prestigious computing competition in the world, with more than tens of thousands of students from universities in approximately 90 countries on six continents participating. Since IBM began sponsoring the contest in 1997, participation has grown from 1,100 to more than 7,100 teams. 

"The ACM-ICPC affords students the opportunity to showcase their talents and gain exposure among top recruiters," said Dr. Bill Poucher, ICPC Executive Director and Baylor University Professor. "The contest is also a forum for advancing technology in an effort to better accommodate the growing needs of the future, as expressed in IBM's Smarter Planet initiative. At the same time, the competition is a chance for students of similar interests to exchange ideas and peer educate." 

IBM's sponsorship of the Battle of the Brains is one of IBM's many university programs which blend together both technology and business leadership skills. IBM works with 250 universities throughout the world that offer degrees in Service Science, Management and Engineering (SSME), an emerging academic discipline. 

Previously, the 2009 ACM-ICPC World Finals took place in Stockholm, Sweden, where a team from St. Petersburg University of Information Technology, Mechanics and Optics in Russia emerged as the world champion for the second year in a row. 

For more information about the contest and to listen to the ACM ICPC pod cast, visit or follow along on Twitter at

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.

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