Ballmer Surprises Chicago Students

Not to be outdone by the historic Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup win Wednesday night, Microsoft put on quite a show Thursday at the Chicago Academy for Advanced Technology. Founded only 12 months ago, “Chi Tech” (as it is called) is a proof-of-concept school that focuses on technology-based curriculum and learning.


Steve Ballmer

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer takes a student’s question during his Thursday visit to the Chicago Academy of Advanced Technology. While at the school, Ballmer donated a Microsoft Surface unit and 10 HP TouchSmart PCs.


Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer visited the school and heard student presentations on the future of Natural User Interfaces (NUIs) in computing, such as gesture, touch, and voice recognition. Microsoft Technology Architect Kevin Gates (a lifelong Chicagoan) then showed NUI in action, performing a number of demos, including Microsoft Surface applications and newer technologies such as LucidTouch, a see-through mobile device. Ballmer was also questioned by the students on issues ranging from his feelings about technology, to his educational background, to how it felt when Bill Gates hired him.

Ballmer closed out the event – much to the students’ surprise – by donating a Surface unit and 10 HP TouchSmart PCs to the academy. The donation will ultimately help the school prepare tomorrow’s future leaders for a career related to STEM-D (science, technology, engineering, math and design) education.

Posted by Ted Ladd

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