Bill Gates Harvard Commencement Address 2007 | Summary and Q&A

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May 20, 2013
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Harvard University
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Bill Gates Harvard Commencement Address 2007

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Summary

Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft and philanthropist, delivered a commencement speech at Harvard University. He discussed his journey from dropping out of Harvard to becoming one of the most influential people in the world. Gates emphasized the importance of addressing global inequities and using technology to make a positive impact.

Questions & Answers

Q: Who is Bill Gates?

Bill Gates is the co-founder of Microsoft and one of the most influential people in the world. He is also a philanthropist and has made significant donations through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Q: What did Time magazine recognize Bill Gates for?

Time magazine recognized Bill Gates as one of the hundred most influential people of the 20th century. He was also named one of the hundred most influential people in 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007.

Q: What was Bill Gates' experience at Harvard?

Bill Gates enrolled at Harvard in 1973 but dropped out after two years to focus on Microsoft, a company he co-founded with his friend Paul Allen in 1975. He was interested in computer science and had a talent for programming.

Q: How did Bill Gates meet his future business partner?

While at Harvard, Bill Gates met his future business partner, Steve Balmer, during intense poker games at Radcliffe. They both had a keen interest in computer science and eventually went on to co-found Microsoft together.

Q: What did Bill Gates accomplish during his time at Harvard?

During his time at Harvard, Bill Gates developed a version of the programming language Basic for the first microcomputer. He also co-authored and published a paper on algorithms with computer scientist Christos Papadimitriou.

Q: What philanthropic endeavors has Bill Gates been involved in?

Since 2000, Bill Gates has focused on various philanthropic endeavors through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He has made extraordinary donations to charitable organizations and scientific research programs around the world.

Q: What did Bill Gates talk about in his commencement speech?

Bill Gates discussed his journey from dropping out of Harvard to becoming a philanthropist. He emphasized the importance of addressing global inequities and using technology to make a positive impact on issues like poverty and disease.

Q: How did Bill Gates describe his experience at Harvard?

Bill Gates described his experience at Harvard as fascinating and intellectually stimulating. He enjoyed sitting in on lots of classes and living in the dorms. Despite his reputation for napping during exams, he scored remarkably well.

Q: What regret did Bill Gates have about his time at Harvard?

Bill Gates expressed regret over leaving Harvard without a real awareness of the social and economic inequities in the world. He felt that he didn't fully understand the extent of educational disparities and global poverty until later in life.

Q: What message did Bill Gates give to the graduates?

Bill Gates urged the graduates to use their education and privileges to make a difference in the world. He encouraged them to focus on addressing the world's greatest inequities, such as poverty and disease, and use technology to find innovative solutions.

Takeaways

In his commencement speech at Harvard, Bill Gates emphasized the importance of addressing global inequities and using technology to make a positive impact. He shared his own journey from dropping out of Harvard to becoming a philanthropist and encouraged the graduates to use their education and privileges to improve lives. Gates emphasized that complexity should not deter them and urged them to take on big inequities and become activists. He believed that by utilizing the power of technology and working together, the world can achieve remarkable progress in reducing poverty and disease.

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