University of Latvia students excel in “Battle of the Brains”

A University of Latvia team of computer programming students finished in a tie for 18th place with MIT and Princeton University in last month’s 2012 IBM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ACM ICPC).

More than 8,500 teams participated from 2,219 universities worldwide. Eduards Kalinicenko, Jevgenijs Vihrovs and Normunds Vilcins competed on the Latvian team. Kaļiņicenko is a 19 year old freshman from the Faculty of Computing. Vihrovs is a 21 year old junior from the same faculty. Vilcins, 21, is studying at the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics.

“We are proud of our accomplishments, and we feel we will continue to perform exceptionally well in the future as the University of Latvia has some of the best computer programming minds in the world,” said Professor Guntis Arnicans, the University of Latvia team’s coach.  “We also are proud of the fact that only one team from the European Union bettered our results.”

The International Collegiate Programming Contest (ACM ICPC) is the oldest and the most prestigious computer programming competition in the world.  The tournament is also known as the “Battle of the Brains.”  The contest draws worldwide attention and even best-selling New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman highlights the competition in his latest book, That Used To Be Us.

Robert Blumberg is a Latvian-American lawyer living in Chicago.

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