Computer Sciences Dept.

ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest


This page contains some links to help you become familiar with and prepared for the contest.

The ACM ICPC Web Site

This is the official website of the contest, and is a must visit for those new to the contest. The contest is fully explained, and a little digging into the History and Regional sections will yield problems sets from past Finals and Regional Contests. Problems from the regional contests tend to be easier than those from the World Finals.

The ACM North Central North America Regional Web Site

This is the official website for our regional contest. The regional contest is hosted at a number of satellite sites around the region. In recent years we have been participating at the Epic site in Verona.

The number of teams in a given region that are allowed to advance to the world finals is partly determined by the number of teams participating in that particular region. Historically, three teams from our region have advanced to the world finals. These are the top teams from the regional competition with the restriction that from any given institution at most one team can continue. Since we started participating in 2001, our top team has always been able to advance to the world finals.


A social network kind-of website offering a platform to organize, run, and discuss ICPC-like programming contests. The site has been very active in recent years.


One of the best programming competition sites. International competitions are hosted by the site approximately every other week. The problems avoid some of the challenges of ICPC (e.g. I/O issues), but provide more practice in other areas (e.g. developing good test cases). Two links of particular note at the site are:

  • Problem set analyses which often provide solutions (or at least hints) for the problems in the archive; and
  • Algorithm tutorials which provide nice introductions to many algorithmic or mathematical topics that commonly arise in contest problems.

UVa Online Judge

A programming contest site with problems similar to those of the ACM-ICPC, including many past problem sets and an online judging program. We will draw many of our practice problems from here. Some useful related links are:

ICPC Live Problem Archive

This site provides an online judge for many actual ICPC problems from 2000 and later, both from regionals around the world, and from the world finals themselves. Problems are grouped both geographically and by year.

USA Computing Olympiad

The USACO prepares US students for the International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI). Their training pages provide instruction and practice problems to improve programming and problem-solving skills that are also useful for the ICPC.

Project Euler

A good set of mathematical problems with varying levels of difficulty. Some can be solved by hand, most require a computer. The format is quite different from the sites above; submissions consist not of programs to solve the problem, but a single 10 digit number that is the answer to a particular instance of the problem.

Other Popular Programming Competitions

In recent years several ICPC-like programming competitions and hackathons have emerged. Here is a list of popular ones, both past and present, including some sponsored by local companies.

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