Computer Programmers from Shanghai Jiaotong University in China Are World Champions

Winners of the 29th Annual ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest, Sponsored By IBM

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SHANGHAI, China & SOMERS, N.Y - 06 Apr 2005: April 6, 2005 -- Students from host school Shanghai Jiaotong University in Shanghai, China, took first place in the Association for Computing Machinery's (ACM) International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC), sponsored by IBM. The international "battle of the brains," in Shanghai, China, challenged students to tackle a semester's worth of computer programming curriculum under a grueling five-hour deadline, in a battle of logic, strategy, and mental endurance. The ACM-ICPC World Finals champions walk away with IBM prizes, scholarships, and bragging rights to the world's "smartest trophy."

Shanghai Jiaotong University was the only team to correctly solve eight of the ten problems in this year's Contest. Moscow State University, St. Petersburg Institute of Fine Mechanics and Optics, and University of Waterloo finished the competition in second, third, and fourth places, respectively, and all won Gold medals.

Regional champions are: University of Waterloo, Canada (North America); Moscow State University, Russia (Europe); University of Cape Town, South Africa, (Africa and the Middle East); Instituto Tecnologico de Aeronautica, Brazil (Latin America); Shanghai Jiaotong University, China (Asia); and University of New South Wales, Australia (South Pacific).

"The ACM-ICPC shines the spotlight on the best and brightest problem solvers from campuses spanning the globe," said Dr. Gabby Silberman, Program Director, IBM Centers for Advanced Studies, Hawthorne, N.Y. "At the World Finals, these programmers were exposed to IBM's most advanced technologies, giving them a competitive edge as they launch careers in information technology."

This year, 78 teams earned coveted spots on the World Finals roster, out of more than 4,100 teams from 71 countries who competed in regional contests worldwide. During the Contest, students were united through the common language of code as they competed in a race against the clock to solve ten complex, real world programming problems. Team participation in the Contest has increased five-fold since IBM began sponsorship in 1997.

"The ACM is thrilled to partner with industry leader IBM to challenge these students to achieve extraordinary levels of problem solving," says Dr. Bill Poucher, ICPC Executive Director and Baylor University Professor. "The future of the IT industry is in the hands of these young innovators."

This year's top twelve teams that received medals are:

-- Shanghai Jiaotong University (GOLD, WORLD CHAMPION)

-- Moscow State University (GOLD, 2nd Place)

-- St. Petersburg Institute of Fine Mechanics and Optics (GOLD, 3rd Place)

-- University of Waterloo (GOLD, 4th Place)

-- University of Wroclaw (SILVER, 5th Place)

-- Fudan University (SILVER, 6th Place)

-- KTH - Royal Institute of Technology (SILVER, 7th Place)

-- Norwegian University of Science & Technology (SILVER, 8th Place)

-- Izhevsk State Technical University (BRONZE, 9th Place)

-- POLITEHNICA University Bucharest (BRONZE, 10th Place)

-- Peking University (BRONZE, 11th Place)

-- The University of Hong Kong (BRONZE, 12th Place)

The three-person teams were awarded medals based on the number of problems they solved in the shortest time during the competition.

In an exciting tournament style challenge prior to the World Finals competition, students were introduced to IBM's Blue Gene/L, the fastest supercomputer in the world, which runs on the company's Power processing technology. Teams created a parallel application on an IBM POWER-based platform, a technology used by universities, government agencies, research organizations and commercial enterprises to solve some of the most complex problems in physics, engineering, biology, geology and the environment. Silberman added, "Today, there is significant focus on the development of software that will run on parallel supercomputers. The Parallel Challenge was a great way to introduce these concepts in a fun and competitive game environment."

The ACM sponsorship is part of IBM's commitment to working with universities around the world in order to better prepare college students for IT careers. The sponsorship supports IBM's Academic Initiative, which offers benefits to partnering colleges and universities in support of technology education on a worldwide scale. The Academic Initiative helps to ensure that universities have the most up-to-date curricula that are relevant to the career aspirations of their students.

ACM and IBM also announced the 2006 ICPC World Finals will be returning to the United States and will be held in San Antonio, TX, hosted by Baylor University.

Editor's Note: For more information on the ACM Programming Contest, including downloadable photographs, and the complete World Finals standings, visit the contest Web site at http://icpc.baylor.edu/icpc/Finals.

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