About the ICPC

The ICPC is an international student team programming contest held annually by the Association for Computer Machinery (ACM).

Founded in 1947 and headquartered in New York, the ACM is the oldest and most important computer science association in the world. Among other things, it awards the annual Turing Award and supports computer science students. The competition consists of several stages. Many universities hold local contests to determine participants at the regional level. Then, universities compete in regional contests.

At the World Finals, the best teams in the world compete for the title. Switzerland is part of the Southwestern Europe region (together with Portugal, Spain, France, Italy and parts of Austria). ETH has been participating for several years with two teams. To determine them, the so-called Swiss Subregional Contest, also known as Local Contest, is organised. The VIS (Verein der Informatik Studierenden) and the Department of Computer Science are responsible for the Swiss Subregional Contest and support the winners in the Regional Contest. We coordinate our efforts with the EPFL in Lausanne (PolyProg). We hold the actual Local Contest together, using the same problems and computer system.

Yearly Contests

  • Swiss Subregional Contest
  • Regional Contest
  • World Finals

Local Contest (Swiss Subregional Contest)


  • Which programming languages are allowed?  The allowed programming languages are C, C++, Python and Java.
  • Who may participate in the Local Contest? All students (Bachelor, Master and PhD from all courses) of ETH with an interest in algorithmic programming.
  • When and where will the Local Contest be held? See the announcement on the homepage.
  • What terms and conditions apply to the Regional Contest? See Terms and Conditions.

All students of the ETH can participate in the Local Contest. The competition takes 5 hours and consists of 5 to 10 problems. The allowed programming languages are C, C++ and Java. From the best six participants who are enrolled at ETH and meet the Regional Contest eligibility requirements, two teams are formed that will represent ETH at the Regional Contest. By participating in the Local Contest you can win several prizes and even a trip if you are among six best contestants.

Note: This is a “closed-book” contest. No material is allowed, i.e., no books, cheat cheats, Internet etc. The language references for C, C++ and Java will be available (http://doc.hc2.ch).

Regional Contest

All teams from a common regional area (for us: Southwestern Europe) compete against each other. The top (or top two) team/s of our Regionals will qualify for the World Finals.

World Finals

At the world finals of the ACM ICPC (the final round of the competition), the best teams of the different regions compete against each other.


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