Dignitaries, volunteers from host Prince of Songkla University, and performers helped make the ICPC Opening Ceremony special. Located at Phuket FantaSea, a cultural theme park, contestants could ride an elephant, see white tigers up close, and shop. The night culminated with a spectacular show featuring acrobats, dancers, and performing elephants, all to the sounds of old and modern Thai music.
In addition to experiencing the local culture and bonding with other developers from around the world at the ICPC World Finals, contest sponsor IBM provides students an engaging and hands-on technology-focused event: Tech Trek.
This year’s Trek went all out. Led by Andrew Hately, IBM Distinguished Engineer and CTO of IBM Cloud Scalability and Performance, and Jason McGee, IBM Fellow, VP and CTO, IBM Cloud Platform, the team dressed in full Star Wars gear to showcase the latest technologies from IBM. Contestants learned about the latest IBM Cloud technologies, as well as facial recognition and the power of Watson and cognitive computing: unlike computers that need programming, Watson understands the world in the way that humans do.
All in all, the IBM Tech Trek offered the contestants the opportunity to get to know IBM-ers and what’s emerging in the developer field. After all, many ICPC students, with their passion and skill in computer science, will go on to truly change the world.
Courtney Coolidge is CACM's on-site blogger at ICPC.
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