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Prepping for Bill Gates' college tour

CNET's Ina Fried is on the campus of UC Berkeley as Bill Gates prepares to kick off a three-state speaking tour, which CNET will be covering in depth.

BERKELEY, Calif.--The University of California at Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall is still empty, but that won't last long.

In just over an hour, Bill Gates will kick off a three-day speaking tour of college campuses. While such gigs were frequent during his days at Microsoft, this is the first such tour that Gates has done in his role as full-time philanthropist.

"On our way to Berkeley & Stanford for day 1 of the college tour," Gates said Monday, in a post on Twitter. "I am very excited to talk with students and see the work they're doing."

Gates will speak first here, before heading south to Stanford University. On Tuesday he will speak at the University of Chicago, and then on Wednesday he will be at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

At each stop, he will speak briefly, leaving most of the time for a question-and-answer session with students. The focus is try to encourage students to devote their energies to helping tackle society's big challenges in areas such as global health and education.

Beyond Binary will be attending the speeches in the San Francisco Bay Area and in the Boston area as well as tagging along for some of Gates' private meetings with students and faculty. For all the latest, check out this page.