College of Computing Students Compete in the 30th Annual International 'Battle of the Brains'

April 10, 2006

ATLANTA (April 11, 2006)--Students from the College of Computing at Georgia Tech are among the most talented in computing from all corners of the globe in San Antonio this week for the 30th annual World Finals of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC). Charlie Reiss, Chris Sidi, and James Robinson (IE), along with coach David Van Brackle are representing Georgia Tech at the world's most prestigious university competition in computing sciences and engineering.

More than 5,600 teams representing 1,733 universities from 84 countries on 6 continents participated in regional contests held last fall. Georgia Tech was one of the top 83 teams to qualify for positions at the 2006 ACM-ICPC World Finals championships. Charles, Chris, and James will be challenged to solve eight or more highly complex, real-world programming problems -- a semester's worth of curriculum -- under a grueling five-hour deadline. Programmers must tackle problems such as determining the best travel routes to minimize traffic and ensure cost-effectiveness, or developing a network strategy to determine the optimal placement of cell phone service towers to cover as many customers as possible. The team solving the most problems correctly in the least amount of time will emerge as ICPC champions, earning scholarships as well as awards from IBM.

IBM's sponsorship of the ACM-ICPC is an important component of the company's many academic initiatives, designed to stimulate open-source programming skills to develop a more competitive IT workforce capable of driving global innovation and economic growth. Contest participation has skyrocketed seven-fold since IBM began its sponsorship of the World Finals in 1997.

"This event offers collegiate programmers the opportunity to become familiar with Java, Linux, Eclipse and other open computing platforms being adopted by industries around the world," said Doug Heintzman, a Director of Strategy at IBM Software Group, and Sponsorship Executive of the ICPC. "Open source and open standards are driving the next great innovations in the industry, and this Contest challenges students who will be responsible for that innovation for decades to come."

As part of IBM's continuing commitment to IT education, the company provides academic institutions with free technology and software, as well as consulting on how to keep curricula current with the ever-changing industry.

"The ICPC World Finals is a wonderful platform for generating awareness of computing and problem-solving in our high tech world," said Dr. Bill Poucher, ICPC Executive Director and Baylor University Professor. "Through IBM's sponsorship and generous support, students have an opportunity to investigate and experience new technologies in the world of programming, resulting in the emergence of stronger, more gifted superstars. The World Finals helps us to shine the spotlight on these future IT leaders." The ICPC has been headquartered at Baylor's main campus in Waco, Texas, since 1989.

In 2006, 22 North American teams, including 17 from the U.S., will compete in the World Finals, along with 3 teams from Africa/Middle East, 7 from Latin America, 22 from Europe and Russia, and 29 from the Asia/South Pacific region. CoC students from Georgia Tech were also among the April 2005 ACM-ICPC World Finals which took place in Shanghai, China.

The 2006 ACM-ICPC World Finals, sponsored by IBM, is being held at the Hilton Palacio del Rio in San Antonio, Texas. For more information, visit the contest Web site.

For a complete schedule of regional contests worldwide, click here.

About the Georgia Tech ACM Student Chapter

Founded in 1947, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) promotes and increases knowledge of science, design, development, construction, languages and applications of modern computing. The ACM is the society for computing professionals. The Georgia Tech Student Chapter (GTACM) is the primary student organization for computer science majors. Activities include organized corporate and faculty presentations and other events, which benefit both undergraduate and graduate students. GTACM also provides an avenue for students to develop corporate leadership skills.

About ACM

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) is a major force in advancing the skills of information technology professionals and students. ACM serves its global membership of 75,000 by delivering cutting edge technical information and transferring ideas from theory to practice. ACM hosts the computing industry's leading Portal to Computing Literature. With its journals and magazines, special interest groups, conferences, workshops, electronic forums and Career Resource Centre, ACM is a primary resource to the information technology field. For more information, see http://www.acm.org/.