ICPC is the most prestigious team programming competition in the world. Initially, only North American universities participated in them, but since 1989 they have been held on an international scale.
The last edition of the competition was unusual. Although the regional qualifiers took place in the fall of 2019, the Moscow world finals have a year of pandemic delay (October 1-6, 2021). Despite sanitary restrictions, 119 teams from all over the world took part in it. For 5 hours, teams of three solved complex algorithmic problems, and the final results were determined first by the number of solved tasks and second – by time.
Russia triumphed in the competition for the 9th time in a row, with two other teams from this country in the top four, traditionally awarded with gold medals. Nizhny Novgorod State University won first place, as the only one correctly solving 12 problems out of 15. Seoul National University from South Korea won second place, St. Petersburg ITMO University third place, and Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology the fourth (11 solutions each).
Poland was represented in the world finals by the University of Wrocław, the University of Warsaw and Jagiellonian University. This time the team from Wrocław turned out to be the best among them, winning the silver medal for the fifth place (11 solutions), the highest in the history of this university. It was composed of: Adam Zyzik, Jarosław Kwiecień and Anadi Agrawal. The supervisor of the team has been prof. Krzysztof Loryś, and in Moscow, he was supported by his two former charges: Paweł Gawrychowski, silver medalist in ICPC 2005, and Bartłomiej Dudek, bronze medalist in ICPC 2017.
The University of Warsaw took 14th place (9), and the Jagiellonian University – 36th (6). They did not win the medals because only the 12 best teams were awarded them (gold for 1-4 places, silver for 5-8 and bronze for 9-12). However, the promotion to the world finals itself was a huge success, considering that almost 59,000 students participated in the qualifying rounds. They represented 3.4 thousand universities from 104 countries around the world.
Poland in ICPC
Polish universities have been successful in ICPC for years. Although the University of Wrocław performed the best this year, the University of Warsaw can boast the most significant successes. First, it was victorious twice in 2003 and 2007. Second, it is the only one in the world to qualify for the ICPC finals continuously since its first start in the regional qualifiers in 1994. The University of Warsaw took part in finals 26 times, winning five gold, six silver and four bronze medals. It is the merit of prof. Jan Madey, who has been looking after the University of Warsaw team since 1994, and prof. Krzysztof Diks, who has been supporting him since 1998.
Against these results, the successes of other Polish universities look much more modest. The Jagiellonian University advanced to the finals 11 times, winning one gold and two bronze medals. The University of Wrocław also went to the finals 11 times with three silver and one bronze. In the ICPC World Finals of the previous edition, in 2019 in Porto (Portugal), Poland won two medals, which happened only for the fourth time in history. The University of Warsaw received a gold medal for 4th place and the University of Wrocław a silver medal for 6th place.