The Interdependency Of Stanford And Silicon Valley

There was a time when Stanford University was considered a second-rate engineering school. It was the early 1940s, and the Department of Defense was pressed to assemble a top-secret team to understand and attack Germany’s radar system during World War II.

The head of the U.S. scientific research, Vannevar Bush, wanted the country’s finest radio engineer, Stanford’s Frederick Terman, to lead 800 researchers on this secret mission. But instead of basing the team at Terman’s own Stanford lab — a mere attic with a leaky roof — he was sent to the acclaimed Harvard lab to run the mission.

It’s hard to imagine Stanford passed over as an innovation hub today. Stanford has outpaced some of the biggest Ivy League universities in prestige and popularity. It has obliterated the traditional mindset that eliteness is exclusive to the Ivy League. Stanford has lapped top schools by centuries. It ranks in the top 3 in multiple global and national rankings (here, here and here).

Plus, survey results point to Stanford as the No. 1 choice of most students and parents for the last few years, over Harvard, Princeton and Yale. In fact, even Harvard students have acknowledged Stanford’s notable rise in popularity.

But something a little more intriguing is happening on Stanford’s campus…something that goes beyond these academic rankings. Since the beginning of time, the goal of academia has been not to create companies, but to advance knowledge for the sake of knowledge.

Yet Stanford’s engineering school has had a strong hand in building the tech boom that surrounds it today. It’s not only witnessed, but also notoriously housed, some of the most celebrated innovations in Silicon Valley.

While Stanford faculty and students have made notable achievements across disciplines, their role in shaping the epicenter of The Age of Innovation is perhaps one of the top — if not the most unique — distinguishers. As the world’s eyes fixate on the booming tech scene in Silicon Valley, Stanford’s affiliation shines brightly in the periphery.

In return, its entrepreneurial alumni offer among the most generous endowments to the university, breaking the record as the first university to add more than $1 billion in a single year. Stanford shares a relationship with Silicon Valley unlike any other university on the planet, chartering a self-perpetuating cycle of innovation.

But what’s at the root of this interdependency, and how long can it last in the rapidly shifting space of education technology?

Read more:


interdependency      N        

The definition of interdependency is a situation where two or more people or things are dependent upon each other.

An example of interdependency is a relationship where a company depends on someone to provide a part and the supplier who provides the part depends on the company for its business.

Silicon valley   /ˈvalē/   N  

دره سیلیکون

نام منطقه ای که نمادی از وجود کمپانی‌های زیاد فعّال در زمینه ی فناوریهای پیشرفته می باشد

early      Adv    

near the beginning of a particular time or period.

“we lost a couple of games early in the season”

press      V        

Make strong efforts to persuade or force (someone) to do or provide something:

” when I pressed him for precise figures, he evaded the subject [with infinitive]”

“the marketing directors were pressed to justify their expenditure [no object]”

“they continued to press for changes in legislation”

assemble   /əˈsembəl/   V                   

“Bring (people or things) together for a common purpose: he assembled the surviving members of the group for a tour”

finest   /fīn/   Adj     

superior in skill, ability, or accomplishment  

” a fine violinist”

lead   /lēd/   V                   

Organize and direct:

“the conference included sessions led by people with personal knowledge of the area”

mission   /ˈmiSHən/   N        

a goal that is very important to a person or organization

mission to do something”

“It is the international community’s mission to end terrorism.”

mission in life (=a personal goal):

“Helping homeless people was Gina’s mission in life.”

mere   /mɪər/   Adj               

nothing more than; nothing more ​important than: The mere ​fact that Greene ​plays for the ​Yankees gives him a lot of ​visibility. The ​city ​receives a mere 20% of the ​parking ​revenues.

attic   uk   /ˈæt.ɪk/   us   /ˈæt̬-/   N                         

the ​space or ​room at the ​top of a ​building, under the ​roof, often used for ​storing things:

“I’ve got ​boxes of ​old ​clothes in the attic. an attic ​bedroom at the ​top of the ​house”

acclaimed   /əˈkleɪmd/   Adj     

publicly acknowledged as excellent  

“Daniel Barenboim, the acclaimed Israeli conductor”  

” an internationally acclaimed documentary” 

” one of America’s most acclaimed film directors”

” She has published six highly acclaimed novels” 

” a highly acclaimed clarinettist

pass over   PhV    

pass over something to ignore or not mention a statement or subject

“I mentioned that you were unhappy with your salary, but it was passed over.”

hub   /həb/   N        

the effective center of an activity, region, or network.

“the city has always been the financial hub of the country”

synonyms:   center, core, heart, middle, focus, focal point, central point, nucleus, kernel, nerve center, polestar

“the hub of family life”

antonyms:   periphery

outpace   /aʊtˈpeɪs/   V

to make more progress, increase more quickly, or become more successful than someone or something else

Ivy league      N        

آیوی لیگ

prestige   /presˈtiːʒ/   N        

respect and ​admiration given to someone or something, usually because of a ​reputation for high ​quality, ​success, or ​social ​influence:

“The ​company has ​gained ​international prestige.”

“Many ​people are ​attracted by the prestige of ​working for a ​top ​company.”

obliterate   /əˈblidəˌrāt/   V        

to make an ​idea or ​feeling ​disappear ​completely:

“Maybe she gets ​drunk to obliterate ​painful ​memories.”

eliteness     N        

The quality of being elite

Elite   /ɪˈliːt/   N

the ​richest, most ​powerful, best-educated, or best-trained ​group in a ​society:

“the country’s ​educated elite a ​member of the elite”

exclusive   /ɪkˈsklusɪv/    Adj

limited to a particular person, thing, or group and not shared with others

“The road is for the exclusive use of residents.”

“They have exclusive rights to market the drug in Africa.”

exclusive to:

“This special offer is exclusive to our readers.”

lap   /lap/   V

overtake (a competitor in a race) to become one or more laps ahead.

“she lapped all of her rivals in the 3,000 meters”

synonyms:   overtake, outstrip, leave behind, pass, go past;

catch up with;

informal  leapfrog

“she lapped the other runners”

plus   /plʌs/   conjunction

informal   furthermore; also.

“it’s packed full of medical advice, plus it keeps you informed about the latest research”

choice   /tʃɔɪs/   N

the opportunity or right to choose between different things

“Our aim is to provide greater choice for consumers.”

intriguing    /ˌinˈtrēɡiNG/   Adj

arousing one’s curiosity or interest; fascinating.

“an intriguing story”

academia   /ˌakəˈdēmēə/   N

the environment or community concerned with the pursuit of research, education, and scholarship.

“he spent his working life in academia”

For the sake of

Because of; out of consideration for; in the interest of.

“Release this man, for the sake of justice!”

surround    /səˈround/   V

to be all around or on all sides of someone or something

“Can you name the states that surround Colorado?

“He found himself surrounded by an admiring crowd.”

witness    /ˈwitnəs/    V

have knowledge of (an event or change) from personal observation or experience.

“what we are witnessing is the birth of a dangerously liberal orthodoxy”

synonyms:   undergo, experience, go through, see;

“Canada witnessed a cultural explosion”

notoriously   /nōˈtôrēəs/   Adv

publicly orgenerally known,as for aparticulartrait:

a newspaper that is notorious for its sensationalism.

Synonyms: notable, renowned, celebrated, prominent, conspicuous, famous, widely known.

house   /houz/  V        

provide space for; accommodate.

“the museum houses a collection of Roman sculpture”

synonyms:   contain, hold, store, cover, protect, enclose

“this panel houses the main switch”

faculty   /ˈfæk(ə)lti/   N        

the teaching staff of a university or college, or of one of its departments or divisions, viewed as a body.

“there were then no tenured women on the faculty

synonyms:   staff, teachers, professors, instructors

“conflict between students and faculty”

notable   /ˈnoʊtəb(ə)l/   Adj     

worthy of attention or notice; remarkable.

“the gardens are notable for their collection of magnolias and camellias”

synonyms:   noteworthy, remarkable, outstanding, important, significant, momentous, memorable; marked, striking, impressive; uncommon, unusual, special, exceptional, signal

“notable examples of workmanship”

prominent, important, well known, famous, affluential, famed, noted, distinguished, great, eminent, illustrious, respected, esteemed, renowned, celebrated, acclaimed, influential, prestigious, of note

“a notable author”

discipline   /ˈdɪsəplɪn/   N        

a subject that people study, especially at a university

“academic disciplines”

epicenter    /ˈe-pi-ˌsen-tər/   N        


“the epicenter of world finance”

fixate   /ˈfɪk seɪt/   V                   

to concentrate one’s attention (often followed by on).

affiliation   /əˌfilēˈāSH(ə)n/   N        

connection with an organization, especially a political or religious one

“Membership is open to anyone, regardless of religious affiliation.”

periphery   /pəˈrif(ə)rē/   N        

a marginal or secondary position in, or part or aspect of, a group, subject, or sphere of activity.

“a shift in power from the center to the periphery”

alumni   /uh-luhm-nuh s/   /əˈləmnəs/   N        

Alumnus /əˈləmnəs/   plural noun: alumni [uh-luhm-nahy, -nee]

a graduate or former student of a specific school, college, or university

endowment   /ɪnˈdaʊ.mənt/   N        

-Funds or property donated to an institution, individual, or group as a source of income.

-​money that is given to a ​college, ​hospital, etc. in ​order to ​provide it with an ​income, or the giving of this ​money:

“The ​school has ​received an endowment of $50,000 to ​buy new ​books for the ​library.”

charter   /ˈCHärdər/   V        

The definition of a charter is a grant of power to an organization or to an institution, defining the function, rights, obligations or privileges.

An example of charter is when a college is founded and a document made to outline the policies of the college.

an official document that creates a city, university, private corporation, etc. and describes its purpose and its legal rights

“Maryland was established with a charter from the King of England.”

self-perpetuating   /ˌself pərˈpetʃuˌeɪtɪŋ/   Adj     

something such as a system or process that is self-perpetuating is able to continue for a long time because it creates the things that it needs to continue  

Synonyms and related words:

Continuing without stopping:

continuous, forever, permanent…

last   /last/   V        

To continue in force or practice:

“wondered if the marriage would last.”

shifting   /ˈSHiftiNG/   Adj     

changing, especially unpredictably.

“diverse districts with shifting demographics”


We are going to learn English through comprehensible inputs meaning anything familiar to us such as reading of Iran news every day, so this is a place where we would like to share our assignments. We would be grateful if you could give us your comments and feedback. Please leave your questions regarding the text in comments below as well.