Bill Gates surprises students as "stand in" professor

Oct. 12, 2005

Photo of Bill Gates entering classroom

When UW-Madison graduate student Aneesh Karve opened the classroom door and welcomed a "guest lecturer" into Computer Science 302, Introduction to Programming, the undergraduates got a thrill of a lifetime. In walked Bill Gates, Microsoft chairman and chief software architect and tech-industry avatar.

Photos: Jeff Miller

An archived webcast of Gates' open forum presentation is available for viewing.

Microsoft chairman and chief software architect Bill Gates visited UW-Madison today (Wednesday, Oct. 12) as part of his 2005 College Tour, designed to promote greater youth involvement in technology careers.

Gates' busy afternoon included making a surprise visit as a "guest lecturer" for a computer science class, which was filmed by mtvU, a 24-hour college network. Not surprising, however, was his overall message - the exciting opportunities for today's students as they enter fields related to technology.

Later in the afternoon, Gates was scheduled to discuss "The Impact and Opportunity of Technology: Why Computer Science? Why Now?" at a student forum. A video stream of his talk will be available Friday, Oct. 14.

UW-Madison is one of five universities selected for Gates' tour.

Photo of Bill Gates talking to class

Gates shared real-life reflections on the promise of the technology industry.

Photo of student asking question of Bill Gates

After fielding questions from UW-Madison undergraduates in a computer science class, Gates set out for his remaining busy afternoon on campus. His schedule included an open forum, during which he was introducing new breakthrough technologies to his captivated audience—more than 200 students who have a strong interest in technology or biology careers.

Photo of Gates entering lecture hall for his speech

Gates is welcomed by more than 200 undergraduates as he makes his way to the front of an audience at a student forum held Oct. 12 at Weeks Hall. As part of his 2005 College Tour, Gates talked about breakthrough computer technologies that will influence the current college generation and stayed for a question-and-answer session.