The International Collegiate Programming Contest is an algorithmic programming contest, where the best brains compete annually. It’s a real Olympic Games for students and postgraduates, whose teams compete in terms of speed, creativity and innovation in solving problems.
The ICPC traces its roots to 1970 when the first competition was hosted by pioneers of the Alpha Chapter of the UPE Computer Science Honor Society. The initiative spread quickly within the United States and Canada as an innovative program to raise increase ambition, problem-solving aptitude, and opportunities of the strongest students in the field of computing.
Over time, the contest evolved into a multi-tier competition with the first championship round conducted in 1977. Since then, the contest has expanded into a worldwide collaborative of universities hosting regional competitions that advance teams to the annual global championship round, the ICPC World Finals.
The International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) is the premier global programming competition conducted by and for the world’s universities. The ICPC is affiliated with the ICPC Foundation. http://icpc.foundation/
The contest fosters creativity, teamwork, and innovation in building new software programs, and enables students to test their ability to perform under pressure. The contest has raised aspirations and performance of generations of the world’s problem solvers in the computing sciences and engineering.
The ICPC features several levels of competition:
• Local Contests
• Regional Contests
• Regional Championships
• The World FinalsThe mission of the contest is to provide students from different universities with opportunities to interact with each other and to create a platform for industry, and academia to encourage and focus public attention on the next generation of computing professionals.
The contest traces its roots back to a student competition held at Texas A&M University in 1970. The idea quickly gained popularity within the United States and Canada, and since 1977, the contest has been held annually. In 1989, it expanded into a global network of universities. Nowadays, the ICPC championship attracts students from more than a hundred countries.
Every year the competition attracts more participants than the Olympic Games – in 2017 it was attended by 46,381 people from 103 countries, while only 11,544 athletes participated in all stages of the summer Olympics in Rio.
Russia has been participating in the championship since 1995. Over the last 20 years, Russian students have won 33 gold medals and have maintained a winning streak since 2012. Last year, students from Lomonosov Moscow State University became world champions in programming. Their team took first place in the ICPC World Finals in Porto, winning the final twice in a row with the same line-up of participants for the first time. Teams from MIPT and HSE took home bronze medals
The competition involves university teams of three students having completed no more than 8 semesters of STEM-related, full-time university study. Each team is provided with a computer, ten or more highly complex problems and five hours to solve them.
Every contest problem is presented in a real-life scenario. ICPC World Finals problem sets have contained problems to optimize subway schedules, model air traffic control, analyze logic circuits, optimize fence placement, track robot movements, map race courses, simulate airport luggage collection, estimate oil reserves, and so on.
After reading the scenario, participants should accurately identify the main existing problem and develop algorithms to solve it. Each incorrect solution submitted is assessed a time penalty. Teams are ranked according to the most problems solved and the least total time spent.
The contest is a multi-tiered team competition. The universities from all over the world are all assigned to a region, where regional contests are held during the year. Meanwhile, universities often hold local competitions to choose teams that will represent them in regional contests.
The highest level Regional Contests advance teams to the ICPC World Finals. Additional teams who competed in the highest level of regional contests may be invited to the ICPC World Finals as wild card teams. Teams qualify to advance to the ICPC World Finals through Regional Contests and by satisfying all rules posted in The Rules of the ICPC World Finals. Specifically:
To qualify for the ICPC World Finals, the coach and all team members must be fully registered in the ICPC Registration System BEFORE competing in ANY regional qualifying event. Incomplete registration or circumvention that leads to incomplete or false data is grounds for immediate disqualification. Only one team from a given institution may advance to the ICPC World Finals. No team member on the qualifying team may have competed as a contestant in two previous ICPC World Finals.
The coach of a qualifying team is the point-of-contact before and during ICPC World Finals activities. The coach must complete certification at the Team Certification Web Site within five (5) days of notification. Qualifying teams will be invited by email within one day of completing certification. Qualifying teams requiring visas must initiate the process of applying for visas within ten days of being issued an invitation. Teams failing to comply with any of these requirements will be ruled ineligible to compete in the ICPC World Finals. Upon completion of these requirements, a qualifying team will be advanced to the ICPC World Finals.
A team advancing to the ICPC World Finals will be comprised of the same three members as when it qualified. If a team member is unwilling, unable or unfit to compete in the ICPC World Finals, the coach must notify the ICPC Manager promptly. A team member who is unwilling or unfit to compete in the ICPC World Finals will be disqualified from further ICPC competitions. The team member may appeal disqualification to the Appeals Committee.
At on-site registration, participants must provide a picture ID (passport, drivers license, etc). Contestants must show proof of enrollment at the university during the term of the regional contest at which they qualified. A letter on university stationery with the signature of a university official accompanied by an English translation is sufficient.
Each finalist team will be provided with hotel accommodations for the coach and three contestants for four nights, arriving three days before the World Finals and departing the day after. The hotel accommodations will provide gender privacy. The teams and coaches will be treated to a full schedule of activities including a full course of complimentary food functions.
Transportation to the World Finals is the responsibility of the finalists. The ICPC encourages teams to raise funds for transportation and extracurricular activities from local sources to better strengthen community ties among academia, industry, and government.
Teams finishing in the top four positions will be awarded Gold Medals. Those teams finishing fifth through eighth place will be awarded Silver Medals. Those teams finishing ninth through twelfth place will receive Bronze Medals. Additional Bronze Medals may be awarded.
The highest scoring team is the World Champion and will receive the World Champion Cup and plaques. The other top twelve teams, the North American Champions, the Latin American Champions, the European Champions, the South Pacific Champions, the Asian Champions, and the Africa & Middle East Champions will also receive plaques.
The World Champion team will be awarded $15,000. Each of the other three Gold Medal teams will be awarded $7,500. Each Silver Medal team will be awarded $6,000. Each Bronze Medal team will be awarded $3,000.
Courtesy of the UPE Computer Science Honor Society, First Solution Award will be $1,500 and First to Solve Problem "X" will be $1,200 (for all but first problem solved).
The most successful teams from regional contests go to the Finals. In a regional contest, one university may be represented by several teams, but only one team from each university may enter the Finals.
In consultation with the World Finals Judges, the Director of Judging is responsible for determining the winners of the World Finals. Teams finishing in the top four positions will be awarded Gold Medals. Those finishing fifth through eighth place will be awarded Silver Medals. Teams in ninth through twelfth place will receive Bronze Medals. Additional Bronze Medals may be awarded. The highest scoring team is the World Champion and will receive the World Champion Cup.