Russian Students Dominate at the Computer Programming Olympics

Russian and Chinese student teams won most of the top spots in the 41st annual ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) World Finals in May, and their lower-ranked U.S. counterparts attribute this disparity mainly to the fact the winners start learning computer programming much earlier. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology professor Larry Pyeatt says one factor in foreign programmers’ ascendancy has been cuts to U.S. computer science programs due to funding issues. Pyeatt also says on a trip to Russia earlier this year, he observed stark differences between U.S. and Russian education in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. “[Educators] start about four years earlier preparing [students] for STEM fields,” Pyeatt notes. The first-place prize went to a team from the St. Petersburg National Research University for Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics, which solved 10 problems in the shortest time period.

More info here: Salon.com, Samuel Blackstone

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