Bill Gates will be visiting Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar to deliver the April 18 keynote address at the Third International Conference on Information and Communications Technologies and Development (ICTD2009).
Gates is chairman of Microsoft Corporation, which employs more than 300 Carnegie Mellon alumni in offices around the globe. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, of which he is co-chairman, donated a lead gift of $20 million to the university for the Gates Center, a new building to house the School of Computer Science's undergraduate programs. In February 2008, Gates visited Carnegie Mellon's Pittsburgh campus and delivered a lecture on software, innovation entrepreneurship and giving back.
This is the first time the conference is being held in the Middle East. By hosting the event at Carnegie Mellon Qatar and leveraging its strong computer science programs and impact in the region, the Middle East and Qatar will be more involved in developments in the ICTD field.
"ICTD is all about using the power of high-tech computing and communications to help the people in the neediest parts of the world build better lives," said Chuck Thorpe, dean of Carnegie Mellon in Qatar. "Hosting this conference at Carnegie Mellon gives us a chance to show the world all that Qatar brings to this area: the technology of a rapidly-developing knowledge-based society, combined with the heart to reach out to less fortunate people."
ICTD is the premiere conference for innovating technology accessible and relevant to developing economies. It is a multidisciplinary forum for academic researchers and practitioners designing, deploying, and evaluating computing technology solutions. The conference presents state-of-the-art research by technologists and social scientists, with original, peer-reviewed papers, a poster and demo session and keynote addresses by leaders in the field.
The three-day conference is expected to attract more than 350 scholars and practitioners from around the world. The selected participants will present original and unpublished works on new design, new technology, project assessment, policy, impact, content and social issues around ICT for development.
ICT comprises computing devices, technologies for voice and data connectivity, the Internet, and related technologies for domains including healthcare, education, agriculture, poverty alleviation, enterprise, general communication and governance.