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St. Petersburg State University Wins Prestigious IBM-Sponsored "Battle of the Brains"
EKATERINBURG, Russia, June 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --Three students from St. Petersburg State Universityhave emerged as World Champions of the 38th Annual World Finals of the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) sponsored by IBM (NYSE: IBM). Headquartered at Baylor University and known as the Battle of the Brains, the world's oldest and most prestigious programming competition challenged 122 university teams to solve complex real-world problems under a strict five hour deadline.
Hosted by Ural Federal University, the event activities exposed students to key emerging industry trends, such as cognitive computing and IBM's Watson. One of the most significant innovations in IBM's history, Watson is revolutionary in its ability to interact in natural language, process vast and disparate forms of big data and learn from each interaction. Exploring Watson's capabilities was a unique opportunity for the contest participants.
In a test of teamwork, speed and skill, the contest challenged students to solve the most computer programming problems in the least amount of time. Demonstrating the elite talent of its team members, St. Petersburg State University successfully solved seven problems in five hours. The World Champions return home with "The World's Smartest Trophy," as well as awards and offers of employment or internships with IBM and other leaders of the IT industry.
"As a leading technology company, IBM recognizes the importance of providing opportunities for students from around the world to discover and embrace the latest technological innovations," said Alain Azagury, Director of IBM Software Group Technical Strategy, Member of IBM Academy of Technology and Sponsorship Executive of the ACM-ICPC. "The ACM-ICPC assembles the world's best computing students and challenges them with scenarios of real world issues. We believe these students are the future leaders of our field and are committed to nurturing their development as they conclude their studies and prepare to enter the global workforce. We hope some of these remarkable problem solvers will contribute to helping us build a smarter, more efficient planet."
In addition to the contest, participants had the opportunity to explore some of the technologies made in IBM's Research and Development Labs and network with world-leading technology experts. The opportunity for students to discover Ekaterinburg, a vibrant city straddling the European and Asian continents, and interact with peers from around the world completed this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
"The ACM-ICPC is a wonderful opportunity for students from around the world to come together, collaborate, and exchange different views and experiences," said Dr. Bill Poucher, ICPC Executive Director and Baylor University Professor. "I am excited to see what these students will do with the mastery they've gained from this contest and from each other as they continue their academic and professional pursuits as ACM members."
Moscow State University, Peking University and National Taiwan University finished the competition in second, third and fourth places, all earning the coveted gold medals. The regional champions are New York University (North America Region); St. Petersburg State University (Europe Region); Alexandria University Faculty of Engineering (Africa and the Middle East Region); Instituto Militar de Engenharia (Latin America Region); Peking University (Asia Region); and University of New South Wales (South Pacific Region).
This year's top twelve teams that received medals are:
- St. Petersburg State University (Gold, World Champion)
- Moscow State University (Gold, 2nd Place)
- Peking University (Gold, 3rd Place)
- National Taiwan University (Gold, 4th Place)
- University of Warsaw (Silver, 5th Place)
- Shanghai Jiao Tong University (Silver, 6th Place)
- The University of Tokyo (Silver, 7th Place)
- University of Zagreb (Silver, 8th Place)
- St. Petersburg National Research University of IT, Mechanics and Optics (Bronze, 9th Place)
- National Research University Higher School of Economics (Bronze, 10th Place)
- Tsinghua University (Bronze, 11th Place)
- Comenius University (Bronze, 12th Place)
The 122 teams that competed in the World Finals emerged from local and regional ICPC competitions held this past fall. Initially, selection took place from a field of more than 300,000 students in computing disciplines worldwide. A record number of students advanced to the regional level, as 32,043 contestants from 2,286 universities in 94 countries on six continents competed at more than 300 sites, all with the goal of earning one of the coveted 122 invitations to Russia.
About the ACM-ICPC
Headquartered at Baylor University, the ACM-ICPC is a global competition among the world's university students, nurturing new generations of talent in the science and art of information technology. For more information about the ACM-ICPC, including downloadable high resolution photographs and videos, the complete World Finals roster and final standings, visit ICPC headquarters and ICPCNews. Additional information can be found via the "Battle of the Brains" podcast series. For IBM's insights, visit the company's University Relations page. Follow the contest on Twitter @BrainBattleICPC and @ICPCNews, #ICPC2014.
IBM is the world's largest information technology and service provider. IBM invests in high business values and strategic markets such as big data analytics, cloud computing and cognitive computing. Made with IBM, these capabilities address the needs of clients and the society. IBM software engineers around the globe work to solve real-world business issues for clients in more than 170 countries. IBM provides industry solutions in areas such as health care, finance, smarter commerce, smarter cities, energy, utility, communications, public service, transportation, manufacturing, and many others. For more information, visit www.ibm.com/software.
ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, is the world's largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field's challenges. ACM strengthens the computing profession's collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.
About Ural Federal University
Ural Federal University is one of the leading research institutions in Russia, focusing on economics, social sciences, humanities, natural sciences and mathematics. Since 2008 it bears the name of its former student, Boris Yeltsin, who in 1991 was elected the first president of the Russian Federation. The university has 18 departments which offer over 120 bachelor's and 80 master's programs. The university's enrollment is over 45,000 students, including more than 6,000 students studying information technologies and computer science. As the host of the 2014 ACM-ICPC World Finals, Ural Federal University becomes the second Russian university to host the contest, following St. Petersburg National Research University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics (ITMO), the 2013 host.
About SKB Kontur
SKB Kontur is one of the largest software developers in Russia. The company is a well-known leader in the sphere of software for EDI, technologies for accounting and business administration automation. Founded more than a quarter of a century ago, SKB Kontur continues to grow dynamically. High growth rates are based on innovations developed through its large R&D department. The company's new products are differentiated by original and simple solutions that use unique technologies. Of particular note, 13 ACM-ICPC Ural finalists work at SKB Kontur.
For the International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC)
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