Students & YPs

ACM-International Collegiate Programming Contest World Finals Scheduled in America for First Time in 12 Years

By Dr. Richard J. Gowen

The world’s largest and most prestigious Olympic-style competition for computer programmers has selected Rapid City, South Dakota, as the site for the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC). The 2017 ACM-ICPC World Finals in Rapid City are scheduled to return to the United States for the first time in 12 years. Computing science students at 2,534 universities from over 103 countries on six continents began competing in the fall of 2016 for the opportunity to demonstrate they are among the top computer programmers. Through regional competitions involving 40,266 computer programming and computer science seniors and first-year graduate students,135 teams composed of three students have been selected to arrive in Rapid City to compete for one of four gold medals designating they are the best of the best computer programmers in the world.

The annual ACM ICPC World Finals challenges computer programmers representing their universities to apply their skills and knowledge as a team, and tests their ability to perform under time pressures. Each team has to effectively innovate through the building of software programs to solve eight or more problem statements within a five hour time frame. Strategy, mental endurance, and precision earn teams a better chance at winning the trophy, as a submission of an incorrect solution results in a time penalty.

From 20 May to 25 May 2017, the 41st Annual ACM-ICPC World Finals will be hosted by Excellence in Computer Programming (ECP), formed on behalf of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SDSM&T), the community of Rapid City, the state of South Dakota, and the computer industry in America. The resources necessary to host the ICPC World Finals are provided in part by the primary sponsor, IBM, and in part by the local host. ECP is a non-profit corporation which is dedicated to developing a new coder workforce and coder environment that will augment traditional education with individualized study, extracurricular activities, and participation in competitive programming, similar to the way that students develop creative thinking expertise in music and sports.

The 2017 ACM-ICPC World Finals will be an outstanding event to promote education in the fields of computer technology and will provide IEEE members the opportunity to compare the preparation of students in computing development from the leading universities around the world. The World Finals event will be broadcast live through the ICPC Website  The host of the 2017 ICPC in Rapid City is Dr. Richard Gowen who is the Centennial President of IEEE and Past President of the IEEE Foundation.

“The unique opportunity to host the 2017 ACM-ICPC World Finals will introduce the leaders of the global computer industry to the unique advantages of South Dakota and a new computing workforce. Our goal is that the 2017 World Finals will be the best world finals ever. It will spotlight the world’s brightest programmers who will inspire the younger generations of IT professionals.” ECP President, Dr. Richard Gowen

Excellence in Computer Programming (ECP) provides management and fund raising for the 2017 International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) World Finals to be held in Rapid City, South Dakota. 


Guest Contributor

IEEE-USA is an organizational unit of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE), created in 1973 to support the career and public policy interests of IEEE’s U.S. members. IEEE-USA is primarily supported by an annual assessment paid by U.S. IEEE Members.

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