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Microsoft founder Bill Gates has again complained about the shortage of computing graduates in the US.

Speaking at Microsoft's Research Faculty Summit to an audience of academics Gates said it was important to "capture the imaginations of the next generation of computing innovators by exposing them to inspirational research...".

Gates was joined on stage by Maria Klawe, dean of engineering and applied science at Princeton. Both agreed that industry and academia need to work together to solve the problem. Gates said when he reviewed projects within Microsoft the topic of hiring and headcount always comes up.

Microsoft Research announced the nomination process for its Fellowship Program which will make grants of $200,000 over two years to five professors in the first three years of their careers.

Perhaps Gates could have asked the world's youngest Microsoft engineer - newly-qualifed Arfa Karim Randhawa who was just nine when she passed her exam. The girl from Pakistan asked Gates why he didn't employ people of her age when she met him last week. She also asked him why there were so few women on the Redmond campus and gave him a poem she had written about his life.

More details on the Seattle Post Intelligencer here. ®

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