Battle of the Brains

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Beautiful Marrakech, the World Finals Host City

May 4th, 2015

Next stop: Marrakech, Morocco! Get excited for the World Finals of the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest, sponsored by IBM. Each year, the ACM-ICPC invites over one hundred teams and coaches from all over the globe to compete for the World’s Smartest Trophy. This year, the 39th annual Battle of the Brains will be held in the beautiful Marrakech, Morocco – a city filled with rich culture and gorgeous sites. Is there anything better than computing with a view?

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With nearly one million citizens, Marrakech is the fourth largest city in Morocco. The red walls of the city, built in 1122-1123 AD, have given the city the nickname of the "Red City" or "Ochre City." Marrakesh grew rapidly and was soon established as a cultural, religious, and trading center. Like many Moroccan cities, Marrakech comprises an old fortified city packed with vendors and markets. In addition to Marrakech being one of the busiest cities in Africa that serves as a major economic center and tourist destination, visitors can look forward to gorgeous weather, as the average high temperature in May is 85˚F (29˚C). Be prepared, though, as daily highs can surge past 100 ˚F (37 ˚C)!

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When planning your stay in Marrakech, hopefully you can take a day or two before or after the contest to explore! Be sure to consider the many attractions that make this destination such an exceptionally diverse landmark. First, get ready to tour Jemaa el-Fnaa Square! This place is known worldwide for being the core of the city’s activity. Next on the list is the Marrakesh Souk, the largest open-air market in Morocco. There is so much more to check out like renowned gardens, stunning city walls and gates, palaces, mosques and more. 

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Whether you are interested in Marrakech’s delicious food, incredible architecture, famous markets, or really just exploring the land, we promise there is something for everyone to love. Check out a list of optional World Finals excursions here! We hope you’re as excited for the World Finals as we are! See you in Marrakech in less than two weeks!