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Updated 1:00 PM October 4, 2005




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  Goff Smith Lecture Oct. 12
Microsoft founder will begin college tour at U-M

Microsoft Chairman William (Bill) Gates has been awarded the College of Engineering's (CoE) prestigious Goff Smith Prize, and he will deliver the annual lecture of the same name at 10 a.m. Oct. 12 in Rackham Auditorium.
Bill Gates (Courtesy Microsoft)

Gates, who will kick off a three-day national college tour with his appearance at U-M, will talk to students about innovation, new opportunities, and the excitement and rewards of careers in computer science.

Tickets for students, faculty and staff will be available beginning at 9 a.m. today (Oct. 3) at the Michigan Union Ticket Office. A valid University I.D. is required. Overflow seating, which also will require a ticket, will be in the Rackham Amphitheatre and Alumni Center.

In his talk, "The Impact and Opportunity of Technology: Why Computer Science? Why Now?" Gates will show off cutting-edge technology, discuss his vision for the future and answer questions from students—reiterating his view that the world of computer science has some of the most exciting opportunities found anywhere.

According to Gates, Microsoft chief software architect, it is hard to imagine the world today without the technology people have come to rely on, but technology developers only have scratched the surface of what software and new innovations can provide.

"I'm looking forward to visiting the University of Michigan," Gates says. "The opportunities for computing to change the world have never been greater, and the ideas and excitement of today's computer science students are driving the future of innovation in our industry."

Ronald Gibala, CoE interim dean, will host the event, which will be followed by a question-and-answer period from the audience.

In an effort to interest students in computer science, Gates regularly visits the best computer science and engineering departments in the United States and Canada to discuss why careers in computer science are exciting and important. Gates will continue his tour with visits to the University of Wisconsin, Madison; the University of Waterloo, Ontario; and Columbia, Princeton and Howard universities.

About 200 high-achieving high school juniors and seniors from around the state who are interested in science and engineering also have been invited to attend as guests of the University.

The Goff Smith Prize and Lecture is the highest external honor bestowed by CoE, given for outstanding achievement in science and engineering. The award, which carries a $10,000 honorarium, was established by alumnus Smith, who retired as chairman and CEO of Amsted Industries in 1982.

Gates has indicated he will donate the prize money to a charitable cause.

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