Students From Fifty Colleges and Universities Worldwide Match Computer Programming Prowess in 21st Annual ACM Contest Finals

REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 24, 1997 — “One of the greatest moments in my life”
is how Mark Dettinger, a student at the Universitat Ulm, Germany, described the instant he learned his team qualified for the 1997 finals in the 21 st Intercollegiate Programming Contest, March 2 in San Jose, Calif. Dettinger’s team will join 49 others from around the world in a test of computing programming talent and a race against time to solve real-life programming challenges in the competition, sponsored by Microsoft Corporation in collaboration with the Association for Computing (ACM). The competition will be held from 10 am-3 pm in Hall One of the San Jose Convention Center.

The ACM Intercollegiate Programming Contest, the oldest and largest programming competition for the world’s universities and colleges, showcases top collegiate programming talent. Students from universities in Brazil and Indonesia will be competing in the finals for the first time this year, along with three teams from Russia.

As part of its continuing commitment to supporting higher education, Microsoft will award educational scholarships totaling $31,500 to the top six teams. In addition to the scholarships, Microsoft will donate $60,000 in software and $12 million in software licenses to participating schools.

“Providing university students and faculty with access to the latest tools and technology and the chance to use it to create solutions to real-life challenges is an important role for Microsoft,”
said Susanne Peterson, academic program manager at Microsoft.
“By supporting this competition, we are making an investment in the next generation of the software development and computing industry.”

Considered among the top collegiate computer science competitions in the world, the annual contest encompasses two levels of competition. To qualify for the finals, teams competed in regional contests from late October through early December. In San Jose, the top teams from each region will compete in a five-hour battle to solve as many real-life-programming problems as possible. The contest is an intense intellectual exercise with the teams all working in one large room, keeping an eye on each another as they work fast and furiously to work out the problems, check their work and submit their solutions to the judges. Teams that solve the most problems in the fewest attempts at the finals will earn the titles of overall champion, and North American, European and Asia/Pacific champions.

“Microsoft technology sets the stage, the world’s universities provide the talent and the ACM creates the challenge,”
said Bill Poucher, ACM contest director and professor of computer science, Baylor University, Waco, Texas.

“You see the thrill of victory and the agony of the defeat right there at the finals,”
said Jo Perry, chief judge for the computer competition and a lecturer in computer science at North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N.C.
“It is just done in their heads, not on their feet.”

Kristine Rudin has been a contest competitor, a coach and is now the regional director for the Pacific Northwest.
“It has been a big help to the regions to have Microsoft sponsoring the contest,”
said Rudin, an associate faculty member in computer science at Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Wash.
“Consistency of software is critical to a level playing field. Microsoft’s donations have helped us to standardize the software that the students use to compete.”

software donation of $60,000 and an estimated $12 million in software licenses will be divided among the more than 1,000 schools that competed in the regional contests. The top six teams in the final competition will share the $31,500 in educational scholarships.

Rudin said,
“The contest gives students a chance to test themselves against their peers in the whole computing field. They say, ‘Gee whiz, I know I am pretty good in my school, but how do I rate against the people that I am going to be competing against for jobs?'”

For more information about the ACM Programming Contest and Microsoft’s sponsorship of this event, visit the Web site at ( . For more information on Microsoft’s other programs and products for colleges and universities, check out Microsoft’s Academic Cooperative Web site at (

The ACM is a major force in advancing the skills of information technology professionals and students. ACM serves its global membership by delivering cutting-edge technical information and transferring ideas from theory to practice. With its world-class journals, magazines and books; dynamic special interest groups; numerous conferences; workshops and electronic forums, the ACM is a primary source to the information technology field. The contest is behind held during the ACM ’97 Conference and Exposition,
“The Next Fifty Years of Computing,”
showcasing the possible uses of information technologies in the future.

Microsoft is committed to providing practical solutions to the complex challenges colleges and universities face in implementing and integrating technology – in the classroom, in administration, and even beyond the campus – and to preparing information technology professionals and students for success in the workplace and for lifelong learning.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use; each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft is either a registered trademark or trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. Other product and/or company names mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft please check out the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. To receive Microsoft press releases by fax, please call

1-800-859-5915 within the U.S. or 201-333-0314 internationally.

Contacts: Lisa Wolfe/[email protected] and Lisa Collins/[email protected] at Marcy Monyek and Associates, 312-263-2135 or Christopher Morgan/[email protected] at Association for Computing (ACM) , 617-262-2044.

Teams from the following colleges and universities are scheduled to compete in the finals of the 1997
ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest, sponsored by Microsoft:

Bucharest University

California Institute of Technology

Carleton College

Carnegie-Mellon University

Chinese University of Hong Kong

Columbia University

Comenius University

Czech Technical University Prague

Duke University

Florida State University

Gustavus Adolphus College

Harvard University

Harvey Mudd College


Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology

Macalester College

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Moscow State University

National Sun Yat-Sen University

National Taiwan University

New Mexico State University

Northwest Missouri State University


University of Bucharest

Princeton University

Sam Houston State University

Shanghai Jiao Ton University

Shanghai University

St. Petersburg Institute for Fine Mechanics and Optics

St. Petersburg State University

Stanford University

Swarthmore College

Texas Tech University

Umea University

Universidad Juarez Autonoma de Tabasco

University of Bina Nusantara

University of Calgary

University of Central Florida

University of Louisville

University of Massachusetts at Amherst

University of Miami

University of Michigan

University of Missouri-Rolla

University of Queensland

University of Texas at Arlington

University of Twente

University of Ulm

University of Washington

University of Waterloo

Warsaw University, Poland

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