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Annual ACM Student Programming Contest Off and Running

Student computer programmers from universities around the world once again challenge each other at the 33rd annual ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC), sponsored by IBM. Known as the "Battle of the Brains," the competition challenges students to solve real-world problems using open technology and advanced computing methods under a grueling, five-hour deadline.

Regional bouts kick off on September 13 in the South Pacific region and run through January, sweeping from continent to continent. Only 100 three-person teams will advance to the World Finals on April 22, 2009 hosted by KTH-Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden.

The Battle of the Brains has grown to be the largest and most prestigious computer competition of its kind. It is expected to include tens of thousands of students from universities in 83 countries on six continents. Since IBM began sponsoring the Contest in 1997, participation has grown from 1,100 to 6,100 teams.

"This contest is about fostering the next generation of industry leaders in information technology and promoting strong foundations in both technology and business," said Doug Heintzman, director of strategy, IBM Software Group and sponsorship executive. "IBM understands the importance of investing in the bright young minds for the future of our industry and our world. In a global economy, talent needs to be able to respond to complex business challenges."

The contest exposes information technology students to open standard and open source technologies being adopted by businesses and organizations around the globe.

"The ACM-ICPC is the driving force in university life that develops the zeal to solve problems and innovate on a global stage," said Bill Poucher, ICPC Executive Director and Baylor University Professor. "With the support of IBM, ACM, and the UPE Honor Society, we're challenging students to deliver the transforming technologies of the future. I had the pleasure of visiting a training camp at Petrozavodsk State University where top teams were having a blast outperforming students in conventional settings by a factor of seven."

The 2008 ACM-ICPC World Finals took place in Banff Springs, Alberta, Canada, where a team from St. Petersburg University of Information Technology, Mechanics and Optics in Russia emerged as the world champion.

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