Tuesday, May 5, 2009

CMU Qatar Tech Conference Features Bill Gates

Carnegie Mellon University’s Qatar Campus hosted the Third International Conference on Information and Communications Technologies and Development (ICTD2009), which featured Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and other noted speakers.

Gates, founder of Microsoft and co-chairman of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, told the conference he was excited about how information technology research and projects are being used to help the poor around the world and excited about countries like Qatar who are investing in the future.

"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, Carnegie Mellon 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 three day conference attracted more than 350 scholars and practitioners from around the world.

This is the first time the conference was 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, Pittsburgh-based CMU said it will be more involved in developments in the ICTD field.

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.

Carnegie Mellon University was the hosting organization for the ICTD 2009 conference, with the TechBridgeWorld research group at Carnegie Mellon taking the lead organizing role.

Carlos A. Primo Braga, Director, Economic Policy and Debt in the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network at The World Bank, also delivered a keynote presentation.

At the invitation of Qatar Foundation, Carnegie Mellon joined Education City in 2004, creating a world-class center for scholarship and research that is the ideal complement to Carnegie Mellon's tradition of innovation through collaboration. Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar offers its highly regarded undergraduate programs in business administration, computer science and information systems to students in Qatar and the Gulf Region.

For more information on the ICTD conference, visit www.ictd2009.org.

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