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ITK Students to Compete at ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ACMICPC)

Five programming teams, each composed of 3 ITK students, will compete in this year’s ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest sponsored by IBM. The teams will be accompanied by ITK Assistant Professor Ms. Mary Goodwin, who has mentored the students in their extensive preparation for this contest. ITK students will compete in the Mid-Central Region consisting of Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, and Arkansas. The top teams from the regional competition will advance to the World Finals to be held in Egypt. Globally, students from over 1,931 universities from 82 countries on six continents compete.

The contest, which is referred to as the “Battle of the Brains”, is described as follows: “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 your customer’s 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.”

We wish Ms. Goodwin and all the ITK teams the greatest success.