St. Petersburg State University Wins IBM-Sponsored International Collegiate Programming Contest

St. Petersburg State University Wins
IBM-Sponsored International Collegiate Programming Contest

The World’s Brightest Computing Students Met in Phuket to Compete in the “Battle of the Brains” 

PHUKET, THAILAND – May 19, 2016 – A trio of students from St. Petersburg State University have emerged as World Champions of the 40th Annual ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) World Finals sponsored by IBM (NYSE: IBM). The contest, hosted at Prince of Songkla University in Phuket, brought together over 1400 of the next generation of developers from 40 countries, where they competed on the most elite level of programming, as well as interacted and built with IBM’s advanced set of developer tools and APIs on IBM Cloud.

Headquartered at Baylor University and known as the “Battle of the Brains,” the world’s oldest and most prestigious programming competition challenged 128 university teams, each comprised of three students, to solve a series of complex real-world problems in just five hours. Demonstrating the elite talent of its team members, St. Petersburg State University successfully solved 11 problems to earn the victory.

2016 ACM ICPC World Finals, Phuket, Thailand (photo by Randy Piland)

2016 ACM ICPC World Finals, Phuket, Thailand (photo by Randy Piland)

“IBM values this opportunity to assemble the brightest students from the world’s leading universities and share with them the technology trends that will shape the future, such as tools that allow them to build new innovations fueled by cloud, cognitive, unstructured data and more,” said Gerald Lane, ACM-ICPC Sponsorship Executive and Director, IBM Open Technologies & IP. “These students are the future leaders of our industry and we are committed to fostering their development with these critical technologies as they prepare to enter the global workforce.”

IBM is continuing to build the world’s fastest, most accessible on-ramp to cloud for developers, the global population of which is expected to reach 25 million by 2020 (Evans Data). By sponsoring the ACM ICPC World Finals, IBM enabled contestants to learn about the most advanced cloud toolbox available. IBM has been rapidly expanding breakthrough technologies easily accessed by developers through its cloud, including quantum computing, blockchain and cognitive. This ready foundation of transformative tools equips programmers, designers and coders with the potential to build revolutionary apps across a multitude of industries.

“The ACM-ICPC’s impact on these students’ productivity and opportunity lasts a lifetime,” said Dr. Bill Poucher, ICPC Executive Director and Baylor University Professor. “I am excited to see what these students will do with the dauntless problem solving abilities they showcased at World Finals, as well as they knowledge they gained, as they continue their academic and professional pursuits.”

Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Harvard University and Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology finished the competition in second, third, and fourth places, all earning coveted gold medals. The regional champions are:


  • Cairo University – Faculty of Computers and Information (Africa and the Middle East)
  • Shanghai Jiao Tong University (Asia)
  • St. Petersburg State University (Europe)
  • Universidad Nacional de Rosario (Latin America)
  • Harvard University (North America)
  • University of New South Wales (South Pacific)


The top twelve teams received medals:

  • St. Petersburg State University (GOLD, 2016 WORLD CHAMPION)
  • Shanghai Jiao Tong University (GOLD, 2nd Place)
  • Harvard University (GOLD, 3rd Place)
  • Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (GOLD, 4th Place)
  • University of Warsaw (SILVER, 5th Place)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (SILVER, 6th Place)
  • St. Petersburg ITMO University (SILVER, 7th Place)
  • Ural Federal University (SILVER, 8th Place)
  • University of Wroclaw (BRONZE, 9th Place)
  • Nizhny Novgorod State University (BRONZE, 10th Place)
  • Lviv National University (BRONZE, 11th Place)
  • Fudan University (BRONZE, 12th Place)


The 128 World Finalists emerged from local and regional ICPC competitions this past fall. Initially, selection took place from a field of more than 300,000 students in computing disciplines worldwide. A record number of students advanced to the regional level, as 40,266 contestants from 2,736 universities in 102 countries on six continents competed at more than 480 sites, all with the goal of earning one of the coveted invitations to Phuket.

In addition to competing in the World Finals, students were exposed to the latest technologies from IBM through speakers and interactive, on-site demos of IBM’s Cloud Platform, Bluemix, and IBM Watson. The combination of Bluemix and Watson, delivered through the IBM Cloud with extensive API support, allows developers to rapidly build cognitive apps which can run in secure, hybrid cloud environments.

About the ACM-ICPC
Headquartered at Baylor University, the ACM-ICPC is a global competition among the world’s university students, nurturing new generations of talent in the science and art of information technology. For more information about the ACM-ICPC, including downloadable high resolution photographs and videos, visit ICPC headquarters and ICPCNews. Additional information can be found via the “Battle of the Brains” podcast series. Follow the contest on Twitter @ICPCNews and #ICPC2016.

About ACM
ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, with more than 100,000 members, is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting computing educators, researchers, professionals, and students to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field’s challenges. ACM strengthens the computing profession’s collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking. For more information, see

About IBM
IBM is a globally integrated technology and consulting company. With operations in more than 170 countries, IBM attracts and retains some of the world’s most talented people to help solve problems and provide an edge for businesses, governments and non-profits. Innovation is at the core of IBM’s strategy. The company develops and sells software and systems hardware and a broad range of infrastructure, focusing on growth initiatives such as cognitive computing, cloud computing, big data and analytics, mobile, social business and security. For more information, visit