USACM for Technology Press StatementDownload PDF
Association for Computing Machinery
Advancing Computing as a Science & Profession
Contact: Virginia Gold
ACM PRESIDENT SEES NEED FOR POLICIES THAT ATTRACT STUDENTS TO
Patterson Cites Continuing Global Competition At Programming Contest
New York, NY -- April 13, 2006 - David Patterson, president of ACM (the Association for
Computing Machinery), the largest membership organization of computer educators, researchers,
and professionals, said the results of the 2006 ACM International Collegiate Programming
Contest (ICPC) indicate that the best computer programmers from top-ranked U.S. universities
continue to struggle against stiff global competition.
The international competition took place this week at Baylor University in San Antonio, TX,
with 80 teams competing in the final round. The competition pitted more than 5,600 teams
representing 1,733 universities from 84 countries against each other. The five top winners
included programming teams from Saratov State University (Russia); Altai State Technical
University (Russia); University of Twente (The Netherlands); Shanghai Jiao Tong University
(China); and Warsaw University (Poland).
The only U.S. university to finish in the top 20 was Massachusetts Institute of Technology at
number 7. In addition, Princeton University clocked in at 28, followed by DePaul University at
29. Final results are available at http://icpc.baylor.edu/icpc/
In a statement issued today in response to the results, Patterson pointed to the urgent need to
attract talented students to the Information Technology field, and to prepare them for the
growing demand for IT jobs in the U.S. He cited improvements in the computer science
curriculum and teacher preparation, as well as increased investment in basic research and
development if the U.S. hopes to keep its technological edge in the global economy.
"On the 30th anniversary of ACM's association with this international competition, the results
show that educational policy and R&D investment are more important than ever for countries to
stay competitive," said Patterson, professor of computer science at the University of California,
Berkeley, and founding director of the recently announced Reliable, Adaptive and Distributed
Systems Laboratory (RAD Lab) at Berkeley.
Patterson challenged the widespread impression that IT jobs have declined in North America due
to globalization and economic forces. This perception is viewed as a major factor in
discouraging many students from entering the computer science field. He cited ACM's recent
study, "Globalization and Offshoring of Software," http://www.acm.org/globalizationreport/
which identified the critical need for policies designed to improve a country's ability to attract,
educate and retain the best Information Technology talent, and to foster innovation to remain
Patterson also noted that despite a significant increase in offshoring over the past five years,
more IT jobs are available today in the U.S. than at the height of the dot com boom. In addition,
he said the growing demand for computer skills makes it imperative that the U.S. attract the best
and the brightest to the computing field.
ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery http://www.acm.org, is an educational and scientific
society uniting the world's computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue,
share resources and address the field's challenges. ACM strengthens the 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.