Bill Gates Kicks Off College Tour in Bay Area

Former Microsoft CEO wants to urge young people to solve all the world's problems

Multi-billionaire Bill Gates has come out of his underground lair across the lake from Seattle to go on a three-city speaking swing focused at college students.

Monday he kicked off the tour with appearances at the University of California, Berkeley and at Stanford University.

His idea is to inspire bright young people to think about solving the real problems the world is facing, and maybe not go chasing after the wild riches they'll need to pay off their student loans.

The focus of the talks were about the work the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is doing to help make healthcare more equitable between the developed and developing world, especially through access to family planning and inexpensive vaccines.

He only showed a single slide to the audience at Cal, which revealed that while the worldwide child mortality rate has decreased significantly since 1960, nearly nine million still die young every year.

He also took some time to talk to reporters while in town, and managed to get a passive-aggressive comment in about Steve Jobs and Apple, calling the iPad "okay" but praising its aesthetic qualities.

Gates will be in Chicago Tuesday, followed by Boston on Wednesday.

Jackson West will disclose that Microsoft stock options helped his family pay most of his way through college.

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