St. Petersburg University of IT, Mechanics and Optics Wins IBM-Sponsored International Collegiate Programming Contest

St. Petersburg University of IT, Mechanics and Optics Wins IBM-Sponsored International Collegiate Programming Contest

PR Newswire

RAPID CITY, S.D., May 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — A trio of students from St. Petersburg University of IT, Mechanics and Optics (ITMO) have emerged as World Champions of the 41st Annual ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) World Finals sponsored by IBM (NYSE: IBM). The contest, hosted in Rapid City by Excellence in Computer Programming, brought together the next generation of developers from 133 universities around the world, where they competed on the most elite programming level. 

Headquartered at Baylor University and known as the “Battle of the Brains,” the world’s oldest and most prestigious programming competition challenged teams, each comprised of three students, to solve a series of complex real-world problems in just five hours. Demonstrating the elite talent of its team members, St. Petersburg ITMO University successfully solved 10 problems to earn the victory. 

“IBM values this opportunity to assemble the brightest students from the world’s leading universities and share with them the technology trends that will shape the future and allow them to build new innovations fueled by cloud, cognitive and more,” said Jonas Jacobi, Vice President, IBM Developer Advocacy, Worldwide. “These students are the future leaders of our industry and we are committed to fostering their development with these critical technologies as they prepare to enter the global workforce.”

IBM has been rapidly expanding breakthrough technologies for cloud and cognitive computing that are easily accessed by developers, including quantum computing, blockchain and more. This ready foundation of transformative tools equips programmers, designers and coders with the potential to build revolutionary applications across a multitude of industries. 

“Competing at the ACM-ICPC is an experience that will impact these students throughout their lives,” said Dr. Bill Poucher, ICPC Executive Director and Baylor University Professor. “I am excited to see what these students will do with the knowledge they gained and the dauntless problem solving abilities they showcased at World Finals as they continue their academic and professional pursuits.”

University of Warsaw, Seoul National University and St. Petersburg State University finished the competition in second, third, and fourth places, all earning coveted gold medals. The regional champions are:

  • Africa and the Middle East: German University in Cairo
  • Asia: Seoul National University
  • Europe: St. Petersburg ITMO University
  • Latin America: Universidad de La Habana
  • North America: University of Waterloo
  • South Pacific: University of New South Wales

The top twelve teams received medals:

  • Gold Medalists (4): St. Petersburg ITMO University, University of Warsaw, Seoul National University, St. Petersburg State University
  • Silver Medalists (4): Moscow Institute of Physics & Technology, Tsinghua University, Peking University, Fudan University
  • Bronze Medalists (4): KAIST, Ural Federal University, KTH – Royal Institute of Technology, The University of Tokyo

The 133 World Finalists emerged from local and regional ICPC competitions this past fall. Initially, selection took place from a field of more than 300,000 students in computing disciplines worldwide. A record number of students advanced to the regional level, as 46,381 contestants from 2,948 universities in 103 countries on six continents competed at more than 480 sites, all with the goal of earning one of the coveted invitations to South Dakota.

In addition to competing in the World Finals, students were exposed to the latest technologies from IBM through speakers and interactive, on-site demos of IBM’s Cloud Platform. The combination of IBM Bluemix and IBM Watson, delivered through the IBM Cloud with extensive API support, allows developers to rapidly build cognitive applications which can run in secure, hybrid cloud environments.

About the ACM-ICPC
Headquartered at Baylor University, the ACM-ICPC is a global competition among the world’s university students, nurturing new generations of talent in the science and art of information technology. For more information about the ACM-ICPC, including downloadable high resolution photographs and videos, visit ICPC headquarters and ICPCNews. Additional information can be found via the “Battle of the Brains“ podcast series. Follow the contest on Twitter @ICPCNews and #ICPC2017. 

About ACM
ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, with more than 100,000 members, is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting computing educators, researchers, professionals, and students to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field’s challenges. ACM strengthens the computing profession’s collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking. For more information, see

About IBM
IBM is a globally integrated technology and consulting company. With operations in more than 170 countries, IBM attracts and retains some of the world’s most talented people to help solve problems and provide an edge for businesses, governments and non-profits. Innovation is at the core of IBM’s strategy. The company develops and sells software and systems hardware and a broad range of infrastructure, focusing on growth initiatives such as cognitive computing, cloud computing, big data and analytics, mobile, social business and security. For more information, visit

About Excellence in Computer Programming (ECP) 
The ECP champions a culture of excellence by integrating the capabilities of the host partners of South Dakota. Host partners who are the leaders of industry and government are providing the personnel and financial resources for the 2017 World Finals. Rapid City is the home of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SDSMT), the engineering and science research university of South Dakota. SDSMT is a research partner of the 8000-foot-deep Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF), the world’s newest laboratory for the study of neutrinos and dark matter which is located in Lead, South Dakota. ECP is a non-profit corporation dedicated to providing an environment in which people of all ages and ability levels can develop their coding expertise through individualized study, extracurricular activities, and participation in competitive programming.

Media Contact – North America:
Courtney Thomas, Tierney Communications
+1 (203) 952-2876 

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Leading Global Blockchain Firm ConsenSys Launches its Academy with a Developer Challenge


Leading Global Blockchain Firm ConsenSys Launches its Academy with a Developer Challenge

Highly Selective & Immersive “2017 Challenge” Open to Developers Worldwide

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, May 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ – Global blockchain specialist firm ConsenSys, the largest blockchain venture studio on the planet, is announcing the launch of its ConsenSys Academy with the 2017 Challenge, a highly selective and immersive experience.

With its smart contract capabilities and Turing complete language, Ethereum is quickly becoming the de facto blockchain of choice for enterprises, governments, and developers of decentralized applications (dApps), in both private, permissioned contexts, and on the public Ethereum world computer. ConsenSys is focused primarily on Ethereum building dApps, developer tools, and enterprise solutions.

Open to professional and student developers worldwide, ConsenSys Academy’s 2017 Challenge will help prepare blockchain developers for one of the fastest growing fields in technology, and provide them the opportunity to work full-time on applications that are disrupting industries across the globe with its real-world solutions.

Applicants who pass the Coding Test Screen will be admitted to ConsenSys Academy’s all-expenses paid 10-week training program. The program, held from August 1st through October 8th, starts with nine weeks of immersive online courses. The curriculum will give its enrollees access to:

  • Hands-on coding experience working on live projects for ConsenSys’s leading clients
  • Mentorship from thought leaders and foremost experts in the blockchain space
  • Collaborative experiences with other blockchain enthusiasts

At the end of the online portion of the course, participants will be flown to Dubai — quickly becoming a hub for blockchain innovation — for a final round of on-site finals followed by a graduation ceremony hosted by the Dubai Future Foundation. In Dubai, students will get the exclusive opportunity to work side by side with leading ConsenSys developers on real-life projects.  

In March 2017, ConsenSys was appointed by the Smart Dubai Office (SDO) as Blockchain City Advisor. This effort is a key execution of the Dubai Blockchain Strategy 2020 announced in October 2016 by the Dubai Future Foundation and the SDO. Dubai’s aim is to be the world’s first blockchain powered city and it continues to attract leading experts and talent around the world to help fulfill this goal.

Those who complete the 2017 Challenge receive not only a ConsenSys-certified graduation certificate, but will also be considered as candidates to join ConsenSys’ talented and groundbreaking team for immediate hire.  

Applications for ConsenSys Academy’s 2017 Challenge are open now through July 1st 2017.  For more information, please visit:   

About ConsenSys Academy

ConsenSys Academy is ConsenSys’ answer to the global blockchain developer shortage. The market for blockchain is projected to grow to over 2.3 billion by 2021, and the technology is already in high demand, making smart contracts, encryption, and decentralized, peer-to-peer systems some of the most prized skills worldwide. With intensive programs focused on Ethereum, faculty of globally recognized experts, and extensive network, the highly selective ConsenSys Academy is dedicated to training a generation of blockchain leaders. For more information please visit

About ConsenSys

ConsenSys is a venture production studio and custom software development consultancy building decentralized applications (DApps), enterprise solutions and developer tools for blockchain ecosystems, focused primarily on Ethereum. Powered by smart contracts and secured through encryption, our applications provide the benefits of transparency, auditability, and immutability that are unique to blockchain-based solutions. For more information please go to

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SOURCE ConsenSys

OU In Collaboration With MidFirst Bank Launches Financial Education Program For Incoming Students


OU In Collaboration With MidFirst Bank Launches Financial Education Program For Incoming Students

PR Newswire

NORMAN, Okla., May 24, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — To help incoming students understand and prepare for the financial impact of a college education, the University of Oklahoma has announced an innovative, personalized financial education program called MoneyCoach. In collaboration with MidFirst Bank, the program has been designed to help students build lifelong money management skills.

MidFirst Bank Logo

“We are deeply committed to ensuring that a quality college education is accessible to and affordable for all,” said OU President David L. Boren. “We have kept OU tuition among the very lowest in the Big 12. This important service and educational resource for students and families is yet another way that OU is serving as a model for American higher education.”

Paying for college is broadly understood to be a challenge for students and families. Accordingly, governments, individuals, organizations and foundations are often introducing new programs to address this challenge. MoneyCoach aims to help all students, including first-generation college students and families who may not be familiar with the vast array of strategies available to pay for college, develop a financial plan and explore opportunities.

Through the program, each incoming student will be paired with a personal MoneyCoach to help them and their families understand the costs associated with their education at OU and develop a plan to cover those expenses.

“MidFirst Bank has a rich tradition of providing financial education and resources to the communities it serves. We are excited about the opportunity to work with OU and its MoneyCoach program and look forward to contributing to the positive influence this will have on the lives of OU students,” said Leigh Singleton, director of financial education at MidFirst Bank.

To prepare for a meeting with their MoneyCoach, students are able to use the new web-based Financial Success Plan app, developed by OU in collaboration with Norman-based technology company NextThought LLC. The app allows students to calculate scholarships, grants, financial support from family, work income and other forms of financial support available for covering college expenses.

In addition to the personalized, one-to-one coaching, financial education workshops will be available that will complement counseling and other financial resources available through the program. Throughout their time at OU, students can reach out to their MoneyCoach for assistance with money management issues that may arise.


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SOURCE MidFirst Bank