Only 28% of the world’s researchers are women (UN, Cracking the code: Girls’ and women’s education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) report).

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Such considerable inequality doesn’t happen by chance. ICPC Foundation has been serving underserved communities, raising aspirations, improving performance, and bringing people together through its initiatives and events for over 40 years to narrow the gap.

The ICPC Algo Queen Initiative is a vivid example of community outreach, development, and determination to stream the world’s brightest mathematical minds into a productive world of algorithms and computer science.

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Algo Queen 2023

“The ICPC Foundation is delighted to announce and endorse the ICPC Algo Queen Girls Programming Cup, conducted by Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham University, Amritapuri, Kerala, India. Designed primarily for girls, ICPC Algo Queen will offer workshops and competitive programming opportunities designed to rapidly develop coding skills and algorithmic problem-solving prowess, which is essential for community development now. Thanks go to sponsor IBM Quantum and ICPC Asia West Deputy Director, Maheshwara Chaitanya, for his dedication to bringing ICPC Algo Queen to life,” Dr. William Poucher, ICPC Foundation President, and ICPC Executive Director said.

Ranked in the 5th position in the country by the government, Amrita University is a multi-disciplinary, research-intensive, private university, educating a vibrant student population of over 24,000 by 1700+ strong faculty. Accredited with the highest possible ‘A++’ grade by NAAC, Amrita offers more than 250 UG, PG, and Ph.D. programs in Engineering, Management, and Medical Sciences including Ayurveda, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Agriculture Sciences, Arts & Humanities, and Social & Behavioral Sciences. With seven campuses at Amaravati, Amritapuri, Bengaluru, Chennai, Coimbatore, Kochi, and Mysuru and a new upcoming campus at NCR Delhi (Faridabad) and spread over 1200+ acres with 100 lacs square feet of built-up space, Amrita is one of India’s top-ranked private university. Amrita has been hosting the world’s prestigious and largest collegiate programming contest, the ICPC for the past 15 years. Now, Amrita wishes to contribute in education by providing free training to the girl students across the country.

Launched in 2024, ICPC Algo Queen, sponsored by IBM Quantum, aims to encourage female students from grades 8 to 12 to participate in coding competitions after training them not only in competitive coding, but in quantum computing. Educational sessions, workshops, multi-tier competitions, and career advisement events will be organized weekly, allowing students to participate flexibly, meet community leaders, improve their algorithmic skills, learn how to program quantum computers, and earn credentials from ICPC’s top-level international events.

“We need more girls to be part of the technological revolution, especially in competitive programming and coding. This matters for human rights, inclusion, and sustainable development. We need to understand early on which obstacles keep girls away from STEM and how we can encourage them to overcome them,” Professor Maheshwara Chaitanya from Amrita University said.

Started locally in the Asia West region, this initiative will join a series of ICPC Global activities and be open to participants from other regions of the world.

IBM Quantum, an industry leader in quantum computing, believes quantum education should be accessible and inclusive, and is working to reduce barriers of entry for students around the world. Throughout the 2024-2023 ICPC Algo Queen season, IBM Quantum will conduct the Quantum Explorers program, a gamified approach to learning quantum, comprising of engaging study materials, seminars, achievements to unlock, and career advice. Participants will gain a general understanding of quantum computing, some of its applications such as quantum machine learning and quantum optimization, and program real quantum computers. IBM is happy to welcome the Algo Queen registrants to participate in Quantum Explorers.


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