Randy Pausch: 1960–2008

Randy Pausch, renowned computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University, died today, July 25, of complications from pancreatic cancer.

Celebrated in his field for co-founding the pioneering Entertainment Technology Center and for creating the innovative educational software tool known as “Alice,” Pausch earned his greatest worldwide fame for his inspirational “Last Lecture.”

That life-affirming lecture, a call to his students and colleagues to go on without him and do great things, was delivered at Carnegie Mellon on September 18, 2007, a few weeks after Pausch learned he had just months to live. Titled “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams,” the humorous and heartfelt talk was videotaped, and unexpectedly spread around the world via the Internet. Tens of millions of people have since viewed video footage of it.

You may have seen this already but I assure you that it is always worth watching… over and over again. When I first heard about Randy Pausch, the Carnegie Mellon professor stricken with cancer, who delivered his “last lecture,” I prepared myself for a video that would be filled with dramatic tones. I was proven wrong because instead of watching a lecture from a professor who is dying, what I witnessed was a lecture about the celebration of life.

So, I should say, go watch this video and learn how we should confront life to make the most out of it.