On May 17th 2012, the University of Warsaw hosted the 36th annual 2012 ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ACM ICPC). This year’s Contest final round consisted of 122 teams from 80 countries competing for the title of the most creative programming specialists. The two Belarusian teams participating in the Contest received silver and bronze medals, landing among the top 15 of the highly competitive, international programming teams.
Each team, consisting of 3 students and 1 coach, had a meager five hours to solve 12 real-world complex programming problems. The Belarusian State University team received the Silver medal, placing 5th, while the Belarusian State University of Informatics and Radioelectronics team received the Bronze medal, finishing 12th.
The team from the St. Petersburg National Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics Research University claimed the first place. The winners will receive stipends and potential internships from IBM, the major sponsor of the Contest since 1997. In addition to Russia, among the other medalists were universities from Poland and China. The US team from Harvard University placed 7th.
Since founding of the Contest in 1970 (originally in Texas), the annual “Battle of the Brains” has witnessed exponential growth. The year 2009 witnessed almost 22,000 participants—a total of 7109 teams from 88 countries – competing for the gold medal. This year the number of participating students increased to over 30,000. Placing at the competition is therefore an enormous honor and an opportunity to showcase their programming skills to the whole world.
Belarusian students have generally done really well in this competition, occupying high ranks in the past. In 2004 the Belarusian State University (BSU) team won the gold medal, while in 2008 another BSU team received the bronze medal. This is the first year that both Belarusian teams, from two universities, placed in the top 15.