Vol. 5 Num 62 Wed. July 28, 2004  

Tech News
NSU to host ACM International Programming Contest

The department of Computer Science & Engineering of North South University (NSU) will be hosting the annual Asia Regional ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) for the fourth time on October 8, 2004. The event, which will take place on campus grounds of NSU, will be sponsored primarily by IBM, the world's leading computer manufacturer. Any remaining expenses will be met through fund collection rendered by NSU.

Dhaka has been hosting the Asian regional contests since the year 1997, the single exception being the year 2000. In the past six years of the local hosting, three of the events were hosted by NSU and the remaining three by Bangladesh University of Engineering Technology (BUET).

Interested teams are required to register online at by September 25th for the Dhaka site event at NSU. The registration fee for local teams is Tk 3500, while foreign teams will be required to pay a fee of USD 60.

The Dhaka Site Steering Committee will be headed by Dr Hafiz G. A. Siddique, vice chancellor of NSU. Organisers at the Saturday press conference stated that nine foreign teams have already registered for the event, where the first event in Dhaka in 1997 had none. The Executive Committee for the event will judge eligibility of the contestants, where selections will be made on a per team basis and each team will consist of three students and one teacher from the same institution. A total of 80 selected teams, including foreign teams, will be selected for the competition. However, registration will be open for more than 80 teams and the final participants will be selected from a preliminary round (an internet contest also to be judged by the Executive Committee), which will be held on NSU campus on September 30th. Participants who do not have access to internet facilities are asked to reserve a space at NSU prior to September 25th to make use of the university internet. The day before the event NSU will hold an on-campus practice contest for selected teams..

A Tk 12 lakh budget is held for the event, the majority of which will be met by IBM, which has made commitments of USD 10,000 for the contest. "The remaining finance is expected to be met through registration fees, sponsorships from local IT institutions (e.g. Grameen Phone, BCS) and grants from the private banking sector of Bangladesh", states Dr Abul L. Haque, the event director.

Dr Haque believes the series of ACM-ICPC events in Dhaka has summoned tremendous interest from academicians and students and thus a healthy culture of programming contests is developing in our country. He also mentions that inter-university and national programming contests being organised these days are expected to contribute towards the development of programming skills among our nation's youth. Haque believes Bangladesh holds world class skills in programming, arguing that a majority of Bangladeshi IT students are currently working for Microsoft, Intel, and Dell, to name a few of the internationally-reputed companies.

There will be special incentive for the best all-female team, which will secure a position among the top ten teams. The Asia Regional Director will award each of the members of the all-female team with USD 100, a step to promote computer literacy among the women of the Asian region. The final round of the contest will be held in Shanghai, China, on April 2 and 3 of 2005.

Executive committee members at the press event