With his Death Looming, Randy Pausch Gives the Lecture of a Lifetime
25, 2007 -- Randy Pausch, a former University of Virginia computer
science professor who is now at Carnegie Mellon University, is
receiving national and international attention for a lecture that he
gave a week ago.
It was not just any lecture.
Titled "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams,” Pausch’s presentation
was part of "Journeys," a lecture series at CMU where members of the
faculty are invited to "share their reflections on their journeys — the
everyday actions, decisions, challenges and joys that make life."
What sets this lecture apart from others in the series is that the
46-year-old Pausch, who taught a U.Va. from 1988 to 1997, is dying of
pancreatic cancer and has only a few months to live.
Pausch’s lecture and the story behind it have been reported in national
media from The Wall Street Journal to the Chronicle of Higher
Education. An online video became so popular that servers at Carnegie
Mellon were unable to sustain the volume of traffic from around the
Gabriel Robins, professor of computer science at U.Va. and Pausch's
former colleague, described the lecture as "one of the most
entertaining, thought-provoking, and inspiring talks that I have ever
heard" in an e-mail to his colleagues at the School of Engineering and
Robins, who said that interacting with Pausch is like experiencing a force of nature, describes the lecture as ground-breaking.
“It is very rare for a single lecture to contain so much meaning,
insights, value, and humanity,” said Robbins. “Randy’s legacy will
continue to impact and improve the lives of so many people, long after
he leaves us."
Pausch is a co-founder of Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology
Center and the creator of the Alice interactive computing program,
which is used by students worldwide.