The International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) is organized in different rounds that are held in a year's time. First one national contest decides which teams of each university are sent to the regional contest of north-west Europe. The teams that are also successful in the regional contest are then sent to the World Finals.
The first ICPC contest of the year is usually the Wintercontest at the end of January / beginning of February. It is for training-purposes only.
At the end of June / early July the German Collegiate Programming Contest (GCPC) is held to determine the best teams at a variety of german universities including TUM. At least two teams per university are then sent to the next round - the North Western European Regional Contest (NWERC) which is usually held at the end of november. At least two of the best teams of the NWERC are then sent to the World Finals which are usually held in the spring of the following year.
In every round (GCPC, NWERC, World Finals) the teams usually receive 8 - 10 problems. They then have 5 hours to solve as many problems as possible. The exercises contain a mix of algorithmic as well as mathematical problems of different difficulties. Deciding which problems to work on is therefore of great importance!
For more information about how to prepare for programming contests, see this site.(c) ICPC@TUM, Contact/Imprint