Microsoft President Steven A. Ballmer '77 returned to Harvard yesterday for the dedication of Maxwell Dworkin, the new computer science and electrical engineering building he helped finance.
In a keynote speech to an audience of students, faculty and alumni that packed Science Center B, Ballmer mixed reminiscences about his days at Harvard with forecasts about the future of the computer industry. The day's ceremonies also included a panel discussion on the future of computer science, a reception and dinner in the recently completed Maxwell Dworkin and a student luncheon with Ballmer.
Ballmer and William H. Gates III, Class of 1977, donated $25 million in 1996, for the construction of the building as well as to endow a new professorship. The facility is named for
Ballmer and Gates' mothers.
In his speech, Ballmer told the audience that most of the changes that computers will bring about have not yet occurred.
"We're really just at the beginning of the Internet revolution," he said.
Ballmer predicted that advances in technology will give users greater freedom and flexibility.
For example, Ballmer explained, currently there is no way to avoid the commercials and pauses that stretch out a televised baseball game.