Why do universities value and emphasize research while becoming giddy when they see it on a student’s resume? The answer is unexpected but extremely insightful. that research can lead to patents that are much more lucrative for universities than tuition alone.

Did you know that any patent that a graduate student or professor creates while at a university belongs to the university? Let’s take a look at the example below. This is a US patent’s cover sheet. Do you recognize the school and the researcher?

The inventor is Larry Page, the co-founder of Google and former Stanford PhD student (or alumnus?). But Stanford University owns the patent to Google’s search algorithm. So how did Google get the right to use the patent for its page ranking system? It had to buy it back from Stanford.

How much money did Stanford make of this PhD student’s patent? Let’s ask the LA Times.

 

The answer: 3億3600萬美金

Upshot: Research drives an incredible amount of revenue into university bank accounts, meaning that universities value students with research experience. This can be a big advantage in the admissions process if one can figure out how to integrate research and creativity into his or her Triangle of Talent

 

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