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A Conversation with Bill Gates


Please note that seating is first-come, first-served. Please use your gatech e-mail address.

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A Conversation with Bill Gates

Event Date: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - 6:00pm - Thursday, February 27, 2014 - 7:00pm
Location: Clough Commons 152 and 144
Link: Mr. Gates' Personal Web Page
Category: Seminar/Lecture
Contact Info: John Miller: johntmill@gatech.edu
Bill Gates will be addressing Georgia Tech students for 5-10 minutes, and then opening the floor for questions. Mr. Gates will be delivering his talk and answers via videoconferencing. The focus of the event will be to discuss the importance of computer science and technology in driving progress and innovation to make the world better. Seating is limited. Please arrive 15-30 minutes prior to the event. Post your questions below! View the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSsXTx7VIPQ


  • See video





What do you think is the most important mindset that has helped you be successful over the years?


Future of Computing


Over the past decade or so, we've seen a hard focus on chip performance; First through increasing clock frequency, and then through multicore parallelism. In the HPC arena this is somewhat echoed, most recently Titan taking the lead in the Top 500. When do you think we'll see the focus shift from better chip performance to better memory performance?


Declining Number of American Engineers

Mr Gates--

America faces a growing issue regarding the decreasing number of students choosing to study Engineering or Computer Science. Additionally, there is the subsequent problem that many top performing students majoring in these fields go into nontraditional engineering fields and are swept away into high-paying consulting/financial based jobs upon graduation where they will not be able to put their skills into application.

The effects of these trends are many: record high unemployment and underemployment rates for recent grads with non-technical based degrees, a nation with a decreasing number of American-born engineers/computer scientists relative to China and India, and--ultimately--a decrease in the caliber of the American engineer.

What can the United States do—from a policy and/or industry based view—to increase the “coolness” of keeping high performing students in engineering roles as well as growing the number of engineering graduates in our nation?

Relationship with Microsoft

How well connected are you with Microsoft right now. Do you still give advice/design products or if not, how is your life as a Microsoft's customer?
(Did Ballmer call you and ask if he can reinvent Windows before starting Windows 8?)

Technology and education

Having been in school for most of my life and having lived in 3 continents, I have had the chance to experience different education paradigms. Across all these philosophies, the quality of teachers stood out as one factor that influenced my education the most.
Unfortunately good teachers are not always easy to come by. Even though on-line learning tools are great they are not a great primary learning tool, especially for people with attention deficit.
How do you envision the role of technology in primary and secondary education inside and outside the united states?
How do you think technology can improve the training of instructors and improve education?


What would you say is your one biggest failure?

How to support underprivileged nations

In an increasingly globalized society, what is the need for a more robust international social contract? In what ways can privileged nations and peoples gather wealth and motivation to promote the standard of living in deprived locations around the world? Is it a responsibility to prioritize the quality of living for global citizens, and how can we alter the current perspective to focus on the depth and reality of more serious problems than those specific to developed nations?

USA are losing talents

Did you already have the opportunity to talk to politicians about the USA losing so many talents, especially for the IT industry, because of an inappropriate policy on visas?

(I am a MS student in Computer Science about to graduate. Several companies willing to hire me changed their mind because of the visa concern)

Interaction techniques for the next Windows

I would like to hear your thoughts about the next Windows. Particularly, I am interested in knowing what kind of interaction techniques is Microsoft looking into that are really feasible to be considered for commercial use. I myself being a Masters student with HCI as specialization, am really interested to get your thoughts on this.

Thanks and Regards,
Yash Kshirsagar

Your TIme Capsule

What would you put in a time capsule to be opened 100 years from now?

Caitlyn S.
EE major

Xbox 720

What can you tell us about Microsoft's upcoming video game system, the Xbox 720?

Of all of your many

Of all of your many accomplishments and philanthropic acts, what would you like for your legacy to be or what do you think is your most important accomplishment?


Of all of your many accomplishments and philanthropic acts, what would you like for your legacy to be or what do you think is your most important accomplishment?


What is the best wisdom that you received from Mr. Steve Jobs and Mr. Warren Buffett

Social Media - Change Management

Mr. Gates - where do you believe social technologies fit into today's business world and what are the challenges associated with the successful integration and adaptation of these new technologies.


The Georgia Institute of Technology provides its students with the skills, knowledge, network, and desire to go out into the world and make a concentrated impact upon it! We are reminded throughout the year of the tremendous alumni who have gone out and re-invigorated dying companies, optimized entire systems of thought, led and managed world wide corporations, and championed service initiatives around the globe! Our motto of "Progress and Service" certainly is reflected in each of us. You have made an impact that is immeasurable. The world changed from your contribution to it. And now in your success you are making a service based impact with the Gates Foundation. What single piece of advice could you give us to help us achieve such an impact? AND do you have any words of caution for when we do so?

Also, thank you for taking the time today! We sincerely appreciate it!

Windows 8 and Closed Marketplace

When you were President of Microsoft the Windows Operating System enjoyed almost total adoption and incredible success. I would say it was due to the superior business software and that anybody could build software to run on the platform. What is your opinion on Windows 8 presenting a Microsoft owned storefront as the only way to get and run software using the new tile UI? Many editorials express fear that while Windows 8 has a traditional desktop for now it may not in the next iteration. What are your thoughts on all of this and where Windows will go from here?


what is your philosophy in life? what is the platform that helped you expand your empire on and made you start one of the biggest philanthropy's on earth

Past Business Strategy

In your illustrious career, what is that one think you feel you missed out OR you regret not doing as part of Microsoft's business strategy?

Art and Music fields in Computer Science

I know that you have vast experience in computer science, technology, and their corresponding industries. I am searching for careers that are lucrative and deal with art and/or music. Can you talk about one or two career areas you know of, where computer science and art/music combine and has a good job market? THANK YOU!

Entrepreneurship Advice for Engineering Students

For engineering students that might be looking into pursuing any type of entrepreneurial venture in the future, what do you think would be the most beneficial subjects to invest their time in learning outside of the classroom?

More advice

Looking back on your life, what is the thing that you most wish you had done when you were young? And what did you do when you were young that you now realize has become an important factor affecting you over time?


What is the one advice you would give to us to make our future more successful?


It has been a long career for you, having achieved so much. What do you rate your biggest achievement ? and why?


How do you handle competition in a field like technology where products become obsolete in a matter of months? How do you handle the pressure??

Future of the integration for software and hardware

At present, software is becoming to do more and more work. However, hardware is the fundamental. So, what is your suggestions for engineers on the integration for software and hardware.

Future of Electronics

The integrated circuits and microelectronics industries have played a huge role in society and the advancement of technology, science, and human knowledge over the last 50 years. A large driving force of the industry has been the international technology road map and Moore's Law which sets the standard for micro and nano electronics advancements - however, we are reaching the physical limits of traditional computation devices. What do you think the future of microelectronics is and how will that influence society from both a social and economic perspective? Do you think the physical limit of electronic device technology is near?

Advice on entrepreneurship

I plan towards entrepreneurship in the bioTechnology industry. What inspired you towards entrepreneurship before the founding of Microsoft and what strategies of yours would you consider the most effective in bringing Microsoft to where it is today?

Investing in Apple (Regret?)

In 1997, you invested 150 MILLION dollars in Apple. At the time, Apple's stock price was around $8/share. Knowing what you know now, do you ever REGRET not investing more, and, what INSIGHTS can you share with us, about how Microsoft made the decisions to SELL OFF all its Apple holdings?

Software innovation

How do you feel about software patents and their impact on the rate of innovation in the industry. Specifically, is the incentive they provide outweighed by the cost of licensing?

Also do you think that an API should be considered property? Should the law grant monopolies to the authors of an API?

Thank you for your opinion,

James Fairbanks