Bill Gates To Deliver 2013 Dimbleby Lecture
Written by Sue Gee   
Sunday, 16 December 2012

One of our programming heroes, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, will deliver BBC One's annual lecture next month. In this he follows in the footsteps of the Prince of Wales, Bill Clinton and Terry Pratchett.

The Richard Dimbleby Lecture was founded in 1972 to honor the memory of the veteran BBC broadcaster Richard Dimbleby, who is remembered in the UK for always being able to say something appropriate and witty to camera, often working without a script and well before the days of the autocue.

It  is develivered every year by an influential public figure and this year Bill Gates has accepted the invitation.



Jonathan Dimbleby, broadcaster son of Richard, will host the lecture, called Gates

"one of the world's greatest entrepreneurs and most generous philanthropists"

but it is to be hoped that during the lecture, which will  address how to ensure that every child has a chance of leading a healthy and productive life, we will also see a glimpse of Gates as a programmer, the ability that launched his eminent career.

Although Bill Gates wasn't the creator of Basic, that was done by Kemeny and Kurtz, together with Paul Allen he wrote the first implementation for a micro computer, the Altair.

This can be considered the first Microsoft project and who could have imagined then where it would lead to.

Gates stepped down as chief executive officer of Microsoft in January 2000, although he continued  to work there part time as Chief Software Architect until 2008 and is still its non-executive chairman.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was established in 2000 and has become a leading force in international philanthropy working to seek innovative solutions to extreme poverty and poor health in developing countries.




Bill Gates is also concerned with education and a recent grant from the foundation was made to edX to further its experiments in seeing how the course materials developed for MOOCs might be used in the classroom to widen access to high quality content.

The question that we would all like answering is how much being capable of algorithmic thought influences his bigger ambitions for the world. Could it be that if he sees a problem then the programmer part of his mind can't help working out the solution and then can't resist implementing it?

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Last Updated ( Sunday, 16 December 2012 )