International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) traces its roots to a competition held at Texas A&M in 1970 hosted by the Alpha Chapter of the UPE Computer Science Honor Society. The idea quickly gained popularity within the United States and Canada as an innovative initiative to assist in the development of top students in the emerging field of computer science.
The contest evolved into a multi-tier competition with the first Finals held at the ACM Computer Science Conference in 1977. Headquartered at BaylorUniversity since the 1980s, the contest has expanded into a global network of universities hosting regional competitions that advance teams to the World Finals.
Since IBM became sponsor in 1997, the contest has increased by a factor of five. In fact, inclusive of the European preliminary teams, the contest has increased in just eight years by a factor of six! Participation has grown to involve several tens of thousands of the finest students and faculty in computing disciplines at over 1,582 universities from 71 countries on six continents.
The contest fosters creativity, teamwork, and innovation in building new software programs, and enables students to test their ability to perform under pressure. Quite simply, it is the oldest, largest, and most prestigious programming contest in the world.