Russian Programmers Become World Champions, Beating Harvard and MIT

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Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ

20th May, 2016


The team from St. Petersburg State University won the student world championship for programming at the Association for Computing machinery (ACM-ICPC), reported the website of the University. In addition, the MIPT team claimed 4th place at the championship and won a gold medal, and three Russian Universities — ITMO, NNSU and UNN — also became winners.

“Our students — Igor Pyshkin, Alexey Gordeyev, and Stanislav Ershov — under the leadership of Andrey Lopatin solved several difficult tasks in the shortest time and produced the best results,” stated the message.

Representatives of St. Petersburg University surpassed rivals from Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Moscow University, and St. Petersburg University ITMO, whose team took second place.

The University’s students have already won the world Championships in 2000, 2001, and 2014. University ITMO (University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics) became the absolute champion of ACM ICPC in 2004, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013, and 2015.

MIPT, in turn, won, for the second time in its history, gold and first programmers medals – the programmers from Dolgoprudny won it at the championships in Warsaw.

“We have been actively engaged in olympiads on programming at MIPT at about the same time as the launch of educational programs in Computer Science in 2011. Since then, we regularly participate in the finals of ACM ICPC. The final of this championship has a hundred of the strongest teams, and hundreds of the strongest universities in the field. Just joining them is very prestigious for many,” says Alexey Maleev, Director of the Development Centre of IT Education in MIPT.

Over the past three decades, the ICPC has been the most prestigious competition for intellectual young programmers in the world. The competition is held under the auspices of the international Association of Computing Machinery ACM, with the support of IBM.

According to the rules of the competition, members of each team include three students. They are given one computer and a set of math problems. The winning team is solves the biggest number of problems, and in the case of a tie of correct answers — the winning time solved them in less time.

The first team programming contest under the auspices of the ACM was held at the University of Texas in 1970. The current format of the championship was adopted in 1977, when its first final was held in the framework of the annual conference of the ACM on computer science.

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