ICFP Programming Contest
The ICFP Programming Contest is an international programming competition held annually around June or July since 1998, with results announced at the International Conference on Functional Programming.
Teams may be of any size and any programming language(s) may be used. There is also no entry fee. Participants have 72 hours to complete and submit their entry over the Internet. There is often also a 24-hour lightning division.
The winners reserve "bragging rights" to claim that their language is "the programming tool of choice for discriminating hackers". As such, one of the competition's goals is to showcase the capabilities of the contestants' favourite programming languages and tools. Previous first prize winners have used Haskell, OCaml, C++, Cilk, Java and F#.
Past tasks 
|1998||Massachusetts Institute of Technology||Write a program that plays pousse, an odd variant of tic-tac-toe. Contestant programs were entered into a tournament to determine the first- and second-place program.|
|1999||Harvard University||Size-optimize case statements (the contest task spoke about text-based adventure games, but in fact the task was to size-optimize the description of such a game).|
|2000||Cornell University||Implement a ray tracer using a Postscript-like syntax.|
|2001||INRIA Rocquencourt||Size-optimize an HTML-like markup language by removing unnecessary whitespace and tags, and so on.|
|2002||OGI School of Science and Engineering||Implement robots playing a Sokoban-like game one against each other.|
|2003||Chalmers University||Implement robots driving a car as fast as possible through different racing tracks.|
|2004||University of Pennsylvania||Design an ant colony that will bring the most food particles back to its anthill, while fending off ants of another species. The contest entry would output a state-machine description of the ant: in principle, entries could have been written by hand. Later the task was adapted into Ant Wars, a strategy and programming game where each participant is a species of ant. The participant then, in a language called Antomata, program a finite state machine to function as the brain of each ant. The ant brain then control the ant to find and collect food to bring to the home ant hill, to fend off attackers or making trails of pheromones.|
|2005||PLT group||Implement "bots" for a "Cops & Robbers" game: contestants have to write the control program that guides a Robber-Bot through a quiet urban neighborhood on a mission to rob every bank without getting caught, and the control program for a Cop-Bot dedicated to stopping it.|
|2006||Carnegie Mellon University||Implement a virtual machine that runs an operating system (called UMIX) provided by the judges, and crack it using new programming languages with unconventional syntax and semantics, such as 2D and a version of BASIC using Roman numerals. Many puzzles were tiny versions or parodies of previous contests.|
|2007||Utrecht University||Implement a 2-stage virtual machine that executes a DNA-like string to produce an image. Then, given an input string for this machine, find a prefix that when added to this string yields an image as close as possible to the given target image.|
|2008||Portland State University and the University of Chicago||Provide a Mars rover control system that will guide it to a home base while avoiding obstacles and enemies.|
|2009||University of Kansas||Control a satellite to move between specified orbits and rendezvous with other satellites.|
|2010||Leipzig University of Applied Science, Germany||International Car and Fuel Production.|
|2011||Tohoku University, Japan||Program a computer with 256 "slots" to outlast its opponent in terms of slots remaining at the end of the match. Submissions include executables that are entered into a two-phase tournament.|
|2012||University of St Andrews, Scotland||Program an AI for a Boulder Dash-like game.|
Prizes have a modest cash value, primarily aimed at helping the winners to attend the conference, where the prizes are awarded and the judges make the following declarations:
- First prize
- [Language 1] is the programming tool of choice for discriminating hackers.
- Second prize
- [Language 2] is a fine programming tool for many applications.
- Third prize
- [Language 3] is also not too shabby.
- Winner of the lightning division
- [Language L] is very suitable for rapid prototyping.
- Judges' prize
- [Team X] are an extremely cool bunch of hackers.
Where a winning entry involves several languages, the winners are asked to nominate one or two. The languages named in the judges' declarations have been:
|Year||First Prize||Second Prize||Third Prize||Lightning|
|2004||Haskell||Haskell and C++||Java and C++|
|2010||C++, Haskell, Python||Sage|
|2011||F#||Shell and C++|
See also 
References and notes 
- "ICFP Programming Contest Scoreboard". Retrieved 23 September 2012.
- Antomata - The Language of Ant Wars
- Final results of the ICFP'99 Programming Contest
- The contests in 1999 and 2002 had a lightning division, but without a separate prize. The winners of that division were awarded Judges' prizes.
- The Third Annual ICFP Programming Contest
- The Fourth ICFP Programming Contest
- The Seventh Antual ICFP Programming Contest
- The Eighth Annual ICFP Programming Contest
- 2D was a toy language invented for the 2006 contest. The winning team used C++, Haskell, Python, Bash, and 2D.
- The 2007 contest had a lightning division, but since there was no clear leader after 24 hours the judges decided not to choose a winner.
- ICFP 2008 Programming Contest Results
- http://www.vimeo.com/6613815 - accessed September 23, 2009
- ICFP 2010 Programming Contest (video)
- ICFP Programming Contest 2012
- ICFP Programming Contest 2012
Perennial Teams 
- The Al-Gore-Rhythms (aka The Doug Boat)
- The Caml Riders
- Frictionless Bananas
- DylanHackers 2005 report
- O Caml, My Caml
- Team Smartass
- Sir Bedevere the Wise
- Most current contest site
- 1998 contest site
- Mirror of 1998 contest task
- (Partial) mirror of the 1999 contest site
- 2000 contest site
- 2001 contest site
- 2002 contest site
- 2003 contest site
- 2004 contest site
- 2005 contest site
- 2006 contest site
- 2007 contest site
- 2008 contest site
- 2009 contest site
- 2010 contest site
- 2011 contest site
- ICFP Programming Contest History (Ward Cunningham's Wiki)
- Programming geeks fight to the finish (CNET)
- Fiction-filled computer code mystery peppered with 'ancient' puzzles (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
- Video of 2006 contest results
- Video of 2007 contest results
- Video of 2008 contest results
- 2007 contest written report
Ant War game
- http://www.ant-wars.net/ - Homepage
- http://sourceforge.net/projects/formicidae/ - The project at sourceforge.net
- http://alliance.seas.upenn.edu/~plclub/cgi-bin/contest/ The official page for the task at the 2004 ICFP Programming Contest