“The empires of the future are the empires of the mind,” said Sir Winston Churchill at Harvard University in 1943. He frequently spoke of humanity’s minds in descriptions of the future and this is such an important point. It is our brains that give us both the vision for what we want the future to be and the capacity to make that future.

Please consider the above and join me in congratulating the St. Petersburg Institute of Fine Mechanics and Optics for their May 2012 victory of the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest.  This contest, known as the “Battle of the Brains” in global computer programming, is a multi-tiered competitive programming competition among all the world’s universities that operates under the auspices of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and is supported by Baylor university (see ACM-ICPC’s site here).

This contest has its roots in a competition started in 1970 at Texas A&M as a way of fostering creativity  teamwork and innovation. Students tackle real world problems and race against the clock in competitions designed to show the best programming teams.  This really is a battle of the brains.

Along with our hearty congratulations to St. Petersburg Institute of Fine Mechanics and Optics for their first place win, we should also congratulate the 2nd, 3rd and 4th place winners of this contest,  University of WarsawMoscow Institute of Physics and Technology, and Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Congrats to all!

There was a time when the US dominated this award. But here is the list of winners since 1991

Years
YearCountryInstitution
2012 RussiaSaint Petersburg State University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics
2011 ChinaZhejiang University
2010 ChinaShanghai Jiao Tong University
2009 RussiaSaint Petersburg State University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics
2008 RussiaSaint Petersburg State University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics
2007 PolandUniversity of Warsaw
2006 RussiaSaratov State University
2005 ChinaShanghai Jiao Tong University
2004 RussiaSaint Petersburg State University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics
2003 PolandUniversity of Warsaw
2002 ChinaShanghai Jiao Tong University
2001 RussiaSt. Petersburg State University
2000 RussiaSt. Petersburg State University
1999 CanadaUniversity of Waterloo
1998 Czech RepublicCharles University
1997 United StatesHarvey Mudd College
1996 United StatesUniversity of California, Berkeley
1995 GermanyAlbert-Ludwigs-Universität
1994 CanadaUniversity of Waterloo
1993 United StatesHarvard University
1992 AustraliaUniversity of Melbourne
1991 United StatesStanford University

 

I think I should end this post here and let you dwell on the significance of the above.