ACM’s International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC), sponsored by IBM, challenges students to solve real-world problems using open technology and advanced computing methods in a very short time period. Last year’s competition attracted tens of thousands of students on 7,100 teams from universities in about 90 countries. “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,” says IBM’s Doug Heintzman, ICPC’s sponsorship executive. “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.” ICPC executive director Bill Poucher, a professor at Baylor University, says the contest gives students the opportunity to demonstrate their talents and present themselves to top recruiters. “The contest is also a forum for advancing technology in an effort to better accommodate the growing needs of the future,” Poucher says. “At the same time, the competition is a chance for students of similar interests to exchange ideas and peer educate.” Following the regional contests currently underway, finalists will attend the World Finals, which will take place in February 2010 in Harbin, China, hosted by Harbin Engineering University.
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