06.10.2021

Triumphal code of Russian programmers

Triumphal code of Russian programmers

Russian programmers never find themselves behind the board of world recognition - it is not surprising that they are considered one of the best in the world. So, the International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) was no exception: the team of the Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod consisting of Nikolay Kalinin, Alexey Danilyuk and Valeria Ryabchikova became the absolute champion of the contest. For Lobachevsky University this victory was the first in history; the best result of the university before that was a bronze medal in competitions in 2016.

In addition to Lobachevsky University, representatives of MEPhI and ITMO University in St. Petersburg also took gold medals. The Higher School of Economics left with an honorary bronze award. At the same time, the renowned American Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) took only bronze, taking spot between the University of Bucharest and Kharkiv National University of Radio Electronics. However, there are more interesting statistics: of the 12 Contest winners, only one university was from Western Europe (Cambridge University), two from North America (in addition to MIT, the University of Illinois took the bronze medal) and one from Asia (Seoul University, which along with Russian students won gold medal). Basically, this year representatives of Eastern Europe turned out to be the best of the best.

The final of the most prestigious team competition among programmers was first hosted by Moscow (they were held from October 1 to October 6, 2021). However, this is not the first ICPC for Russia - in 2013 the competition was held in St. Petersburg. The Contest was supposed to be held in the capital of Russia in 2020, but due to the pandemic it was postponed. However, the ICPC was also under threat this year, but the Moscow authorities were able to provide the proper conditions for the international competition. Out of almost 60 thousand participants in the qualifying round of the current season, only about 119 teams from 42 countries of the world (about 1% of all applications) reached the final, among which there were 15 Russian teams. The number of participants is only increasing every year, which means that the competition is also growing. However, as statistics show, Russian programmers have been confidently holding leading positions for several years now.

Russia has been taking part in the International Collegiate Programming Contest since 1995 – for only 24 years - but it ranks second in the number of victories (titles of absolute champions). Our students have won 15 times. We follow immediately after the USA, which has 17 wins (over 36 years of participation). At the same time, the Americans took their last highest position in 1997, while the Russians have done so almost every year since 2000. This gives hope for a change of leaders in a few years. For a quarter of a century of participation in the Contest, Russian students have won 80 medals, 33 of them are gold. The record holder for the number of victories in the entire history of the competition is ITMO University (7 wins), St. Petersburg State University (4 wins) holds the second place. Such statistics make one think that St. Petersburg is not only the cultural capital of Russia, but also the programmer's one (after all, the well-known creators of VK and Telegram, the Durov brothers are also from the city on the Neva River). 

“The victory of Lobachevsky University in such prestigious competitions once again proved the high competitiveness of the national school of programming and the unsurpassed skill of our students. Looking at such cool specialists, truly virtuosos in their field, one can be sure of the excellent prospects for the development of the Russian IT industry. Moreover, the guys have every chance to adequately represent the Russian IT community on foreign sites, to participate in making important decisions in the field of IT at the international level. And the Center for Global IT Cooperation is interested in involving young and talented Russian IT specialists in these processes,” Vadim Glushchenko, Director of the Center for Global IT-Cooperation, commented on the ICPC results.