The ICPC (International Collegiate Programming Contest) traces its roots to a competition held at Texas A&M in 1970 hosted by the Alpha Chapter of the UPE Computer Science Honor Society. The idea quickly gained popularity within the United States and Canada as an innovative initiative to raise the aspirations, performance, and opportunity of the top students in the emerging field of computer science.
The contest evolved into a multi-tier competition with the first Finals held at the Computer Science Conference in 1977. With the headquartered at Baylor University since 1989, the contest has expanded into a global network of universities hosting regional competitions that advance teams to the ICPC World Finals.
In the past 20 years alone, ICPC participation has increased by more than 2000%. In 2017, ICPC Regional participation included 46.381 of the finest students and faculty in computing disciplines from 2.948 universities in 103 countries on six continents. A record 50.145 students and 5.073 coaches competed in ICPC and ICPC-assisted competitions in 2017, setting new records in participation.
The contest fosters creativity, teamwork, and innovation in building new software programs, and enables students to test their ability to perform under pressure. Quite simply, it is the oldest, largest, and most prestigious programming contest in the world.