11/05/2019 11:40:08

‘Russian universities have the best performance record in the world,’ ICPC Foundation Executive Director and ICPC Executive Director Bill Poucher

Credit: Stas Krasilnikov / TASS Russian News Agency

On Oct. 30, Russian news agency Tass held a press conference dedicated to the announcement of the International Collegiate Programming Contest World Finals, which will be hosted by Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology in Moscow for the first time in June 2020. Konstantin Noskov, Russia’s Minister of Digital Development, Communications, and Mass Media said it will be the best global programming contest in the ICPC history.

The minister noted that the organizing committee of the ICPC World Finals is chaired by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, which shows the amount of attention drawn to programmers and to the challenges they are facing under the global digital agenda. The committee also features Noskov himself as Vice Chair, along with Science and Higher Education Minister Mikhail Kotyukov, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, and ICPC Foundation Executive Director an ICPC Executive Director Bill Poucher.

Noskov remarked that since 2000, Russian teams have won the ICPC 14 times. The country has been on a winning streak since 2012.

“The ICPC World Finals themselves are the essential event for us, but we will have a number of other Digital Week events revolving around the World Finals,” Konstantin Noskov went on. “They are the IT Forum, a platform for dialogue on information technology issues; IT Expo, an exhibition of achievements presenting the latest developments in the field of innovation; Hack Day, the showdown of the year pitting offensive and defensive hackers against each other in a simulated attack on a city’s infrastructure; Hackathon, a marathon for programmer teams solving applied tasks; and IT Camp, a series of educational events and workshops.”

Eduard Lysenko, Moscow Government Minister and the head of the city’s Department of Information Technologies, talked about the venues of the event and its mission: “Tapping into information technology is essential for managing a metropolis with a 12-million population. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin recognizes the importance of IT solutions and uses them to analyze the situation in the city. He has consistently supported the initiative to hold the ICPC in Moscow. The event will take place in the Manege, a major historic site, following an opening ceremony in Zaryadye Park, a venue familiar to everyone living in the capital. Information technologies will certainly not replace fundamental science, yet they are indispensable for developing the economy, medicine, urban services, and other industries. So we see the mission of the contest as promoting contemporary information technology and the opportunities offered by digital solutions.”

“Russian universities have the best performance record in the world over the last 20 years. The whole country is involved in the process of international digital development, providing the olympic support to young talents,” said ICPC Foundation President and ICPC Executive Director Bill Poucher.

MIPT Rector Nikolay Kudryavtsev mentioned that the ICPC World Finals are backed by Moscow’s leading universities: “This event received a lot of attention at the Rectors Council meeting yesterday. Numerous people from the universities’ management teams will be volunteering to provide their support. Digital technology is going to change our world very soon. This industry requires highly qualified professionals. Our programmers consistently deliver great results, with the country always featured among the 10 best teams of the contest. I’m sure next year the Russian teams will also perform outstandingly.”

“For MegaFon, ICPC is more than sport, since it develops digital competences. The contest experience of the participants can determine their future, push them to realize their potential. The contest also creates an environment where young people learn to work in a team, which is one of the main competences sought by employers nowadays,” said Valentina Vatrak, the Corporate Development and Human Resources Director at MegaFon.

“On behalf of the Russian R&D center of Huawei, I want to say that it is a great honor for our company to contribute to the organization of an event as large and important for the IT industry as ICPC. Among Huawei’s priorities are supporting young talents, contributing to the development and fulfillment of top-notch IT specialists, and creating favorable employment conditions across business and research for the benefit of the Russian and global economy,” added Kirill Kolpakov, the Director for Public Relations and Communications at Huawei’s Research Institute in Russia. Huawei is a global partner of the 2020 ICPC World Finals in Moscow.

“The notion of being an ICPC partner is very natural for Raiffeisenbank. Over the past two years our IT specialists staff has tripled, largely due to the growing number of developers and testers. Banks in general tend to develop toward being IT companies with a banking license. It is becoming apparent that in 10-15 years’ time, the proportion of IT staff may exceed 50%. Our bank also emphasizes young specialist engagement and launches numerous development programs, workshops, and internships,” said Vladimir Khimanych, who heads the HR department at Raiffeisenbank.

“The International Collegiate Programming Contest is a prime opportunity for students to show their knowledge, skills, and potential. We certainly keep track of the Russian students’ performance. They are regular winners and runners-up at ICPC. Any employer, and our company is not an exception in this, is willing to hire specialists of that level. Some of them are already on our staff, and they have proved themselves to be the best,” added Sergey Chernyshev, the Deputy CEO of Yandex for HR and Education. Yandex is a partner of the 2020 ICPC World Finals in Moscow.

The MIPT Vice Rector for International Programs and Digital Innovation, Alexey Maleev, is the Director of the 2020 ICPC World Finals in Moscow. He believes that the event will push the development of Russia’s IT industry: “This exceptionally high-profile competition has secured the support of the Presidential Grants Foundation, which allocated the largest grant in history for competitive programming development in the Russian regions and for holding the ICPC World Finals ceremonies. It is possible that, after serious preparation, some of the school and university students will grow to be programming stars of international caliber.”

Among those participating in the press conference were Nikolay Antonov, the head of the State Education Policy Implementation Office of the Moscow Department of Education and Science; Jeff Donahoo, the Deputy Executive Director of ICPC and Executive Director of the 2020 World Finals; Roman Elizarov, Kotlin developer at JetBrains and ICPC Northern Eurasia Chief Judge and ICPC Live Director; Andrey Chertok, a Managing Director at Sberbank and the Head of the bank’s Data Analysis Center; Kirill Shiryaev, the Head of HR Marketing at Kaspersky Lab; and Ekaterina Konkova, the Head of PR at Acer.

The Russian capital will welcome the best 135 teams from universities around the world for the ICPC 2020 World Finals. The event will be an international platform bridging the communities of programmers, academics, modern technology consumers, and industry partners in the field of digital economy, cementing Russia as a major player in global digital transformation. The global partners of the 2020 ICPC World Finals in Moscow are Huawei and JetBrains; the local partners are MegaFon, Raiffeisenbank, and Yandex.


For reference

The International Collegiate Programming Contest dates back to 1977. About 50,000 students from over 3,000 universities participate in the contest’s qualifying rounds held all over the world. To date, Russia has hosted the 2013 World Finals in St. Petersburg and the 2014 World Finals in Yekaterinburg.

Over 20 years, the Russian contestants have earned 33 ICPC gold medals. They have been on a winning streak for the past eight years. The long-awaited ICPC 2020 World Finals will take place in the Russian capital June 21-26, 2020, and will become a platform for over 1,500 delegates from 50 countries to compete and communicate.

The 2019-20 competition season has already started in Russia. The Moscow Programming Contest — a local qualifier held October 6, 2019 — has been recognized by the national record registry as the largest programming competition in Russia, with 2,284 participants. The ICPC quarterfinals held October 26, 2019 determined which 28 Moscow teams will take part in the next stage of the contest.

The Northern Eurasia Programming Contest, which is a semifinals-level event, will be held November 29 - December 1, 2019, at ITMO University in St. Petersburg among teams from Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. The best of the best will compete in the ultimate World Finals in Moscow June 25, 2020.

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