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IBM and Association for Computing Machinery Announce Global "Battle of the Brains" Software Competition


Three-person teams from universities around the world will mix creativity with information technology (IT) as they begin their quest to earn coveted spots among the elite at the 32nd annual Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC), sponsored by IBM (NYSE: IBM). Also known as the “Battle of the Brains,” the competition challenges students to solve real-world computer programming problems under a grueling, five-hour deadline.

Regional bouts run from September through December, with only 90 teams from around the globe reaching the World Finals on April 6-10, 2008 in Banff Springs, Alberta, Canada.
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 82 countries on six continents. Since IBM began sponsoring the Contest in 1997, participation has grown from 1,100 to 6,100 teams.

“The next generation of leaders in our industry will need strong foundations in both technology and business in order to affect positive change in society,” said Doug Heintzman, Director of Strategy, IBM Software Group and Sponsorship Executive. “That’s why IBM is so passionate about working with universities. We understand how important it is to help students develop these skills to succeed at the next level. This competition embodies all those ideals.”

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.

IBM’s sponsorship of the Battle of the Brains 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.

“This competition demands that competitors master their intellect, creativity, and skills,” said Dr. 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 unleash their natural talents to become master thinkers who can innovate solutions to make a difference in people’s lives, solving the problems people face today and will face tomorrow. That’s why we take raising the bar for the future of computer science and engineering very seriously.”

The 2007 ACM-ICPC World Finals took place in Tokyo, Japan last March, where the team from Warsaw University in Poland emerged as the world champion.


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