The ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) is organized and conducted yearly by the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM). Started in the 1970s as a local contest somewhere in Texas and then having grown exponentially in the number of participating universities each year. In 2002/2003, 3850 teams from 1329 universities in 68 countries competed for the bragging rights of being the World's Programming Champions.
The ACM programming contest provides college students an opportunity to demonstrate and sharpen their problem solving and computing skills. Besides the fun of competing (and hopefully winning), the contest also provides an excellent opportunity for listening to well-known speakers and making international contacts in computing science.
The contest is a two-tiered competition among teams of students representing institutions of higher education. The winning teams of the regional contests advance to the contest world finals, which is usually hold annually around April.