Randy Pausch, notable computer science teacher at Carnegie Mellon died today, finally succumbing to the pancreatic cancer that he knew would take his life eventually. Pausch, perhaps more known for his inspirational Last Lecture, given on September 18th 2007 (and subsequently published), was 47 years old.
From the AP –
The talk was videotaped and subsequently criss-crossed the world via the Internet. More than 3.2 million people had viewed the “Last Lecture” on YouTube alone as of Friday, and according to Carnegie Mellon, tens of millions have watched Pausch’s inspirational talk.
“If I don’t seem as depressed or morose as I should be, sorry to disappoint you,” said Pausch, the married father of three young children, at the start of the lecture.
He focused in his talk not on his illness but on “my childhood dreams; how I believe I have been able to enable the dreams of others; and, to some degree, lessons learned… how you can use the stuff you hear today to pursue your dreams or enable the dreams of others.”
Pausch outlined his own childhood dreams, which included writing a World Book Encyclopedia entry, experiencing zero gravity and creating Disney attractions — all dreams that were fulfilled…
“If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself,” Pausch said. “The dreams will come to you.”
The talk spawned a book, called “The Last Lecture,” which was translated into 30 languages and topped best-seller lists around the world.
The book was an attempt by Pausch “to put myself in a bottle that will one day wash up on the beach for my children,” he was quoted as saying by Carnegie Mellon.
Here we have the hardcover (and large print) + audio CD.