Bill Gates needs to brush up on his Harry Potter

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates admitted Monday that he has fallen a bit behind the times, when it comes to the Harry Potter phenomenon.

The world's richest Muggle said his family read the first two books, but stopped after his daughter found they were getting too scary.

"But now I understand even adults are supposed to read them," Gates said during a speech with Princeton University engineering school dean Maria Klawe.

Klawe expressed her hope that Potter compatriot Hermione Granger would elect a career in computer science.

"I think that would really turn around our problem, especially for young girls," Klawe said.

Gates concurred, noting that the industry needs all the help it can get. "Good. Well, even Harry can do it, too."

The two, speaking to a crowd of academics gathered in Redmond for Microsoft's annual Faculty Summit, then launched into a discussion of the longstanding challenges the IT industry faces in recruiting computer science majors, particularly women.

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    During her years at CNET News, Ina Fried has changed beats several times, changed genders once, and covered both of the Pirates of Silicon Valley. These days, most of her attention is focused on Microsoft. E-mail Ina.

     

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