Canadian University Top-Ranked in IBM-Sponsored “Battle of the Brains

Shanghai JiaoTong University, MIT, and University of Waterloo Take Top in World’s Largest Collegiate Programming Contest

HONOLULU, Hawaii, March 26, 2002 – Students from the University of Waterloo were among the top three Universities honoured in the Association for Computing (ACM) International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) — the world’s largest and most prestigious computer programming competition sponsored by IBM.

During the five-hour battle of logic, programming and mental endurance, students write, test and interact with software. The World Finals winners walk away with IBM ThinkPads(*) and software, scholarships, and bragging rights to the “world’s smartest trophy.”

Coming in closely behind MIT and Shanghai Jiao Tong University, students from the University of Waterloo were awarded medals based on the number of problems they solved during the five-hour competition.

“The ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest provides the next generation of tech talent with exposure to the software essential for  building today’s e-businesses,” said Hershel Harris, Vice president of WebSphere Server Development and Director of the IBM Toronto Laboratory. “This contest provides IBM with a great opportunity to build relationships with the student developer community.”

“I’m very proud of the team,” said Gordon Cormack, Coach, University of Waterloo. “Separated from MIT’s second place by a scant 2 penalty points, this is the 10th year in a row that the University of Waterloo has finished in the top 10. We’re thrilled with the outcome.”

This year’s ACM-ICPC World Finals competition, held in Honolulu, Hawaii, brought students together from 27 countries. Teams competed in a race against the clock to solve a semester’s worth of programming in one afternoon. Participation in the contest has tripled since IBM began sponsoring the contest five years ago.

This year’s top 10 teams in descending order are:

  1. Shanghai JiaoTong University (China)
  2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
  3. University of Waterloo (Canada)
  4. Tsingua University (China)
  5. Stanford University (United States)
  6. Saratov State University (Russia)
  7. Fudan University (China)
  8. Duke University (United States)
  9. Moscow State University (Russia)
  10. Universidad de Buenos Aires (Argentina)

To earn a coveted spot at the 2002 ACM-ICPC World Finals, more than 17,000 of the world’s top computer science/engineering students and faculty, representing more than 1,000 universities from 67 countries, competed in regional contests this past fall. The ACM Contest is one innovative way that IBM is reaching out to the next generation of IT talent to expose them to the software necessary to make e-businesses work as they embark on careers. The contest also provides students with an opportunity to distinguish themselves within the IT community, particularly important this year as college graduates face the worst job market since the early nineties.

About IBM

IBM is the world’s largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. IBM software offers the widest range of e-business infrastructure software for all types of computing platforms, allowing customers to take full advantage of the new era of e- business. The fastest way to get more information about IBM software is through the IBM home page at

About ACM

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) is a major force in advancing the skills of information technology professionals and students. ACM serves its global membership of 75,000 by delivering cutting edge technical information and transferring ideas from theory to practice. ACM hosts the computing industry’s leading Portal to Computing Literature. With its world- class journals and magazines, dynamic special interest groups, numerous conferences, workshops and electronic forums, ACM is a primary resource to the information technology field. For additional information about ACM and the ACM Portal, see

(*) Indicates a trademark of the IBM Corporation.

Editor’s Note: For more information on the ACM Programming Contest, visit the contest Web sites at or