A team from St. Petersburg National Research University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics (ITMO) has come out on top of the 41st International Collegiate Programming Contest of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM ICPC), beating 133 of their peers in the finals held in Rapid City, USA on May 24, 2017.
ITMO has won the contest for the seventh times — a unique case in the world.
Coming ahead of three gold medal teams from St. Petersburg State University (SPbU), University of Warsaw and Seoul National University, Russian students Vladimir Smykalov, Ivan Belonogov and Ilya Zban managed to solve 10 problems out of 12 within a five-hour timeframe.
SPbU teams had already won the contest four times: in 2000 and in 2001, when their team included Nikolay Durov and Andrey Lopatin, who later became lead developers of the Vkontakte social network; and in 2014, when the contest was won by Egor Suvorov, Dmitry Egorov and Pavel Kunyavsky, who had been coached by Andrey Lopatin. Last year, the university was a frontrunner of the contest.
This year, as well as a year before, the SPbU team was sponsored by Victor Shaburov, founder of Looksery, a Ukrainian startup which was acquired by Snapchat in 2015.
Student teams from Russia have won the contest for six years straight now.
For the past three decades, the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest has been the most prestigious intellectual competition for young programmers in the world. Sponsored by IBM, the contest attracts each year tens of thousands of university students from a variety of countries.
The first team competition under the auspices of ACM was held at Texas A&M University in 1970. The contest evolved into its present form in 1977, with the first finals held in conjunction with the ACM Computer Science Conference.
Last year the ITMO students were recognized the best coders of the world, according to HackerRank.
Sources: ACM-ICPC, ITMO, SPbU.