2012 ICPC World Finals

We have recently arrived in Warsaw, Poland for the 2012 ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest.

Warsaw is a city with a lot of history. It was once mostly destroyed, but has since been rebuilt. Today Warsaw is a beautiful city with more than 1.7 million people.


Here is some background information on the contest as well as some great stats!

About the Contest

The contest pits teams of three university students against eight or more complex, real-world problems, with a grueling five-hour deadline. Huddled around a single computer, competitors race against the clock in a battle of logic, strategy and mental endurance.

Teammates collaborate to rank the difficulty of the problems, deduce the requirements, design test beds, and build software systems that solve the problems under the intense scrutiny of expert judges. For a well-versed computer science student, some of the problems require precision only. Others require a knowledge and understanding of advanced algorithms. Still others are simply too hard to solve – except, of course, for the world’s brightest problem-solvers.

Judging is relentlessly strict. The students are given a problem statement – not a requirements document. They are given an example of test data, but they do not have access to the judges’ test data and acceptance criteria.

Each incorrect solution submitted is assessed a time penalty. You don’t want to waste time when you are dealing with the supreme court of computing. The team that solves the most problems in the fewest attempts in the least cumulative time is declared the winner.

This year, ICPC participation included more than 30,000 of the finest students and faculty in computing disciplines from more than 2,200 universities from 85 countries on six continents.

 Competition Levels

The annual event is comprised of several levels of competition:

  • Local Contests – Universities choose teams or hold local contests to select one or more teams to represent them at the next level of competition. Selection takes place from a field of more than 300,000 students in computing disciplines worldwide.
  • Regional Contests (September to December 2011) – This year 25,016 contestants competed at more than 300 sites. Another 28,015 students competed in the ICPC and ICPC assisted contests combined.
  • World Finals (May 14-18, 2012, Warsaw, Poland) – Hosted by the University of Warsaw, 112 world finalist teams will compete for awards, prizes and bragging rights. These teams represent the best of the great universities on six continents – the cream of the crop.

To learn more about the ICPC, please visit http://icpc.baylor.edu.

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