Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Randy Pausch R.I.P. Oct. 23, 1960 - July 25, 2008)

"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand."
--Randy Pausch

If you didn't hear or see this, Randy Pausch died Friday July 25th from pancreatic cancer. As a fan of theoretical computer reality aka virtual reality, I knew of Pausch's work. Pausch was a well-liked computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University who specialized in virtual reality. A tradition at CMU was for profs to deliver a "last lecture" as if it were the last one they could give before they died.
Since he knew he really was going to die, a month after his diagnosis he gave his last lecture at the university Sept. 18, 2007, before a packed McConomy Auditorium. His last lecture was so compelling, so full of life, that it attracted millions of views online -- and a book deal. Pausch lived long enough not only to complete the book, but also to see it published in 29 languages -- and achieve New York Times Bestseller status. His goal was for his lecture to be a time capsule of advice for his three young children. He was 47. Thank you Randy.