Georgia Tech's College of Computing Team: On the Road to the Ultimate "Battle of the Brains" in Shanghai

February 22, 2005

A team of elite programmers from Georgia Tech’s College of Computing is preparing for the most prestigious computer competition in the world on April 3-7, 2005. The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) is sponsored by IBM, and will gather the world’s best and brightest collegiate programmers for an all-out "battle of the brains," in Shanghai, China. Tech’s College of Computing team is one of only nineteen U.S. student teams to make it to the World Finals, and is made up of Charlie Reiss, Topraj Gurung, and Chris Sidi with coach David Van Brackle.

In Shanghai, seventy-eight teams of three students each will be challenged to solve a series of complex, real-world programming problems" equal to a semester’s worth of computer programming curriculum "under a grueling five-hour deadline. The Contest fosters creativity, teamwork, and innovation in building new software programs, and enables students to test their ability to perform under pressure. The team that solves the most problems correctly, in the least amount of time, emerges as the international champion, earning scholarships, IBM prizes, and bragging rights to the world’s smartest "trophy."

This year, IBM will introduce these programmers to POWER parallel computing technologies during a separate challenge prior to the World Finals competition. Teams will need to create a parallel application and run it on an IBM POWER-based eServer Blue Gene Supercomputer, IBM’s "rock star of Supercomputers. "Known for their enormous speed, memory, storage capacity and number crunching capabilities, IBM POWER-based parallel supercomputers have been used to solve some of the most difficult problems in physics, engineering, biology, geology and the environment. IBM’s sponsorship is part of a company-wide effort to advance the next generation of information technology talent.

The Contest’s regional competitions this year drew over 3,150 teams from 71 countries on six continents. Georgia Tech’s Computing team not only emerged as a finalist earning a coveted spot on the World Finals roster, but Charlie, Topraj, and Chris will also attempt to bring the world champion trophy home to the U.S. for the first time since 1997. So, as the spring semester gets underway, don’t forget about your campus’ computer programming superstars! They’ll be sharpening their programming skills and packing their good luck charms as they head for Shanghai to compete in the oldest, largest, and most prestigious programming contest in the world.

Stay tuned for World Finals results or get the latest updates from

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

For more information, contact:
Joy Weaks, 404-385-2881
College of Computing
joyweaks [at] cc [dot] gatech [dot] edu