News Releases

Mines, Rapid City being considered as World Finals site
Release Date Friday, September 27, 2013

RAPID CITY, S.D. (Sept. 27, 2013) – Rapid City and the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology are being considered as a destination site for what is known as the Olympics of computer science.

The world finals of the International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) typically draws more than 1,000 university students and faculty members from throughout the world. 

A School of Mines student team qualified for the event and traveled to St. Petersburg, Russia, this summer, the fifth team from the School of Mines to attend the world finals. Additionally, longtime Mines computer programming coaches Toni Logar, Ph.D., and Ed Corwin, Ph.D., were honored by ICPC organizers in Russia. 

Logar and Corwin have been instrumental in Rapid City being considered as a finalist for the 2016 or 2017 event, according to Lisa Storms, sales and serving director for the RC Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, who has helped organize a packed itinerary for the site selection team which arrived in the area Thursday evening from Baylor University.  

The team will spend the next three days at tourist sites within the Black Hills, including attending the Governor’s Buffalo Roundup today, as well as Rapid City facilities and convention sites for the event itself. They will also meet with key stakeholders. Among those scheduled to meet with the site analysis team are Melody Schopp of the state Department of Education; Mel Ustad, of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development; Jim Hagen, state tourism secretary; Linda Rabe, president of the Rapid City Chamber of Commerce; Michelle Lintz, executive director of the Rapid City Convention and Visitor’s Bureau; Mines alumnus and former faculty member and technology business owner Qusi Al Haj of Sen. Jon Thune’s office; Rapid City Mayor Sam Kooiker and School of Mines President Heather Wilson, D.Phil. 

“The opportunity to host such a prestigious group would be amazing, not only for the city of Rapid City but the state. We look forward to the opportunity to work with the School of Mines and doing everything we can to be awarded the World Finals,” Storms said. 

She credited Logar and Corwin for persuading decision-makers to consider the School of Mines and Rapid City. “Without their enthusiasm, persistence and connections we wouldn’t be here at this time. The School of Mines has some very prestigious people not only locally but worldwide.”

Logar said she believes key factors in the consideration of Rapid City include the university's “track record with the event and the unique nature of Rapid City as a quintessentially American location with a rich Native American heritage.” 

She hopes the site analysis team will make a decision by the end of the visit. 


About SDSM&T

Founded in 1885, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is a science and engineering research university located in Rapid City, S.D., offering bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. The university enrolls 2,640 students from 45 states and 37 countries, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1. The average starting salary for graduates is $62,400 with a 98 percent placement rate. Find us online at, on Facebook at and on Twitter at