Battle of the Brains crowns world champions

Posted by Emory Kale

Los Angeles (CA) - It’s referred to as the Battle of the Brains, a challenge for the world’s top 100 university teams to use open standard technology in designing software that solves real-world problems. Each team of three students faced 11 programming conundrums, with varying degrees of difficulty. St. Petersburg State University of IT, Mechanics and Optics solved nine of the problems to return home with the “world’s smartest” trophy. It remains unclear how the winning group would handle itself when faced with a barrage of wedgies, purple nurples, and wet willies.

Students from the St. Petersburg State University of IT, Mechanics and Optics were crowned the 2009 ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPM) World Champions in the Stockholm Concert Hall where the Nobel Prizes are presented every year. Sponsored by IBM, the competition took place today at KTH, the Royal Institute of Technology.

The teams were awarded medals based on the number of problems they solved correctly in the shortest amount of time. If you feel up to the challenge, you can find the problems listed here. St. Petersburg State University of IT, Mechanics and Optics solved nine of the problems. We are not sure how much dancing and jubilation accompanied them but it must have been one heck of a party. After all, this was the second time in a row that St. Petes, as they are affectionately known around here, has won the competition.
 
"Serious problems call for great minds and solutions demand a can-do spirit," said Dr. Bill Poucher, ICPC executive director and professor of the Baylor University, headquarters of the ACM ICPC. "They are athletes of innovation. They don't just measure up. They push the limits and have fun doing it. They pave the way to a smarter planet."

Tsinghua University in China, St. Petersburg State University in Russia, and Saratov State University in Russia finished the competition in second, third, and fourth places and all won Gold medals.

The regional champions are Massachusetts Institute of Technology (North America Region); St. Petersburg State University of IT, Mechanics and Optics (Europe Region); German University in Cairo (Africa and the Middle East Region); Universidad de Buenos Aires - FCEN (Latin America Region); Tsinghua University (Asia Region); and University Melbourne (South Pacific Region).

This year's top twelve teams that received medals are:

- St. Petersburg State University of IT, Mechanics and Optics, (GOLD, WORLD CHAMPION)
- Tsinghua University, (GOLD, 2nd Place)
- St. Petersburg State University, (GOLD, 3rd Place)
- Saratov State University, (GOLD, 4th Place)
- University of Oxford, (SILVER, 5th Place)
- Zhejiang University, (SILVER, 6th Place)
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology, (SILVER, 7th Place)
- Altai State Technical University, (SILVER, 8th Place)
- University of Warsaw, (BRONZE, 9th Place)
- University of Waterloo, (BRONZE, 10th Place)
- I. Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, (BRONZE, 11th Place)
- Carnegie Mellon University, (BRONZE, 12th Place)

The 100 teams in the World Finals in Stockholm were selected from 7109 teams of 1838 universities from 88 countries on six continents. Since 1997, the IBM-sponsored ICPC has grown 800% in size.