The first programming contest for student teams was organized by ACM at the University of Texas in 1970. The championship took its current form in 1977 when its finals were held for the first time as a part of an annual ACM informatics conference.
ICPC was held annually since then and starting in 1989 its main organizer has been Baylor University (Texas, USA). During the years companies such as Apple, AT&T and Microsoft became ACM ICPC sponsors. In 1997 IBM, however, became and still continues to be the general sponsor of the contest.
From 1977 to 1989 ACM ICPC participants were mostly from USA and Canada. Though in 1990 personal computers became more widely available and the competition’s geographical reach extended a lot bigger.
Nowadays ACM ICPC has participants from all over the world and the number of participating teams continues to increase by 10-20% each year.
Russia and ACM ICPC
Russian Universities heard about ACM ICPC for the first time in autumn of 1993 when East European region was formed in contest geography. Back then only one Russian team (from SPb SU) entered the contest and it’s first result was not bad: three of six problems solved and 5th place among 22 participating teams gained.
In 1996 a new Northeastern European region was formed. It included Russia, Belarus, Baltic countries, Caucasus, Middle Asia and Kazakhstan. The Northeastern European Regional Contest covers the widest territory of all regional contests.The St.Petersburg National Research University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics (SPb NRU ITMO) was chosen for the NEERC venue.
Since Russian teams joined the ICPC, they won the championship 8 times. The record-holder is SPb NRU ITMO, whose teams became champions five times. It is very unusual for ICPC because the contest rules state that no person can enter ICPC World Finals more than two times.
Not only have teams from Moscow and St.Petersburg been regular participants in the World Finals, but also teams from Saratov, Barnaul, Izhevsk, Ekaterinburg and other Russian cities.
As a result, the world community has recognized Russia’s successes in programming, and in 2014, Russia will host the ICPC Finals for the second time.