About the Contest
The ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) traces
its roots to a competition held at Texas A&M in 1970 hosted by the Alpha Chapter of the UPE Computer
Science Honor Society. The idea quickly gained popularity within the United States and Canada as an
innovative initiative to assist in the development of top students in the emerging field of computer
The contest evolved into a multi-tier competition with the first Finals held at the ACM Computer Science
Conference in 1977. Headquartered at Baylor University since the 1980s, the contest has expanded into a
global network of universities hosting regional competitions that advance teams to the World Finals.
Since IBM began its sponsorship of the ACM-ICPC World Finals in 1997, the contest has increased by a
factor of 7.5. Participation has grown to involve several tens of thousands of the finest students and
faculty in computing disciplines at 1,756 universities from 82 countries on six continents.
The contest fosters creativity, teamwork, and innovation in building new software programs, and enables
students to test their ability to perform under pressure. Quite simply, it is the oldest, largest, and
most prestigious programming contest in the world.
Levels of Competition:
Universities choose teams or hold local contests to select one or more teams to represent them at the
next level of competition. This selection is culled from a field of more than 300,000 students in
computing disciplines worldwide. Regional contests were held September to December 2006. Participation
in preliminary and regional contests increased by 10 percent from 5,606 to 6,099 teams, as compared to