I’ve only been 5 days in Stanford and it looks as if I had been ages here. This university is impressing and I think it has a lot to do with what’s going on in the Silicon Valley. Don’t forget that Yahoo and Google were born here and that most employees of Facebook come from this university.
So what does Stanford have? First of all, a gorgeous campus with all the facilities you could imagine. And many things are computerised, as the laundry alert service or the classifieds service in which you can find anything you could need, because there is wi-fi everywhere. All communication between the university and its students is done thru the Web and email. There are no books, as you can download all class materials from the website.
Stanford is a pretty old university. It was founded back in the 19th century by a Mr. Stanford. It has grown around the tech revolution. From the Hewlett and Packards, which still name the largest company in nearby Palo Alto, to the Google guys, whose first server, the one with the colors in the logo of the company, is kept in one room of the university.
Even Vinton Cerf, the father of the Internet, developed TCP-IP, the technology behind the net, in Stanford. So this is a paradise for geeks and people who love technology. I would say that I feel as if I were in the center of the Internet, which is a very special feeling.
Besides that, Stanford has many things that make it so relevant as a place where you can learn what you need to create a startup or to work in one of them:
– It has the right mixture of business and IT. Both things are very important at the same time. BTW, they are investing a lot in nanotechnologies, so it looks as if that is the next thing here.
– It is very international. Asians and very well represented here, but also Europeans. This international environment is great to open minds.
– Teachers don’t give long lectures. They create the resources that students need to learn by themselves or to discuss the topics.
– It’s surrounded by the main IT companies of the world, which also take part in the university, by donating resources and hiring interns.