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For My namesake Professor Randy Pausch


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I think it is fitting that this be posted in memory of Randy Pausch his youtube lecture inspired and educated and moved many people in a lot of different ways. Even though he was battling Pancreatic cancer and not Lung cancer it is his message that touched everyone. If you have not seen this last lecture of Randy Pausch click on the link below to get to the youtube video of this lecture.....


Randolph Frederick Pausch[1] (October 23, 1960 – July 25, 2008) was an American professor of computer science, human-computer interaction and design at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and a best-selling author who achieved worldwide fame for his "The Last Lecture" speech on September 18, 2007 at Carnegie Mellon.

In August 2006, Pausch was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He pursued a very aggressive cancer treatment that included Whipple procedure[2] surgery and experimental chemotherapy; however, in August 2007 he was told the cancer had metastasized to his liver and spleen, which meant it was terminal. He then started palliative chemotherapy, intended to extend his life as long as possible. At that time, doctors estimated he would remain healthy for another three to six months. On May 2, 2008, a PET scan showed that his cancer had spread to his lungs and some lymph nodes in his chest, and that he had some metastases in his peritoneum and retroperitoneum.

On June 26, Pausch indicated that he was considering stopping further chemotherapy because of the potential adverse side effects. He was, however, considering some immuno-therapy-based approaches.[3]

On July 24, on behalf of Pausch, a friend anonymously posted a message on Pausch's webpage stating that a biopsy had indicated that the cancer had progressed further than what was expected from recent PET scans and that Pausch had "taken a step down" and was "much sicker than he had been." The friend also stated that Pausch was "now enrolled" in a hospice program designed to provide palliative care to those at the end of life.[4]

On July 25, Diane Sawyer announced on Good Morning America that Pausch had died earlier that morning.[5] Pausch died at his home in Chesapeake, Virginia surrounded by his wife Jai and their three children: Dylan, 6, Logan, 4, and Chloe, 2.

Pausch received his bachelor's degree in computer science from Brown University and his Ph.D. in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University. He was a co-founder, along with Don Marinelli, of CMU's Entertainment Technology Center (ETC), and he started the Building Virtual Worlds[6] course at CMU and taught it for 10 years. He was a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator and a Lilly Foundation Teaching Fellow. Pausch was a professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Virginia's School of Engineering and Applied Science from 1988 until 1997. He completed sabbaticals at Walt Disney Imagineering and Electronic Arts (EA) and consulted with Google on user interface design. Pausch was the author or co-author of five books and over 70 articles and the founder of the Alice software project.

Pausch received two awards from ACM in 2007 for his achievements in computing education. These are the Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award and the ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education Award for Outstanding Contributions to Computer Science Education.[7] He was also inducted as a Fellow of the ACM in 2007.

The Pittsburgh City Council declared November 19, 2007 to be "Dr. Randy Pausch Day."[8]

In May 2008, Pausch was listed by Time as one of the World's Top-100 Most Influential People.[9]


Pausch's last lecture posterPausch was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer[10][11] and underwent a Whipple procedure (pancreaticoduodenectomy) on September 19, 2006 in an unsuccessful attempt to halt his pancreatic cancer.[12] He was told in August 2007 to expect a remaining three to six months of good health. He soon moved his family to Chesapeake, Virginia, a suburb near Norfolk, to be close to his wife's family.

On March 13, 2008, Pausch advocated for greater federal funding for pancreatic cancer before the United States Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies.[13] In the week prior to this, he had been hospitalized in order to have needle aspiration of pleural effusion in his right lung.

On May 2, 2008, a PET scan showed that he had very tiny (5mm or less) metastases in his lungs and some lymph nodes in his chest. He also had some metastases in his peritoneal and retroperitoneal cavities.

The "Last Lecture"

Pausch delivered his "Last Lecture," titled "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams," at CMU on September 18, 2007.[14] This talk was modeled after an ongoing series of lectures where top academics are asked to think deeply about what matters to them, and then give a hypothetical "final talk," i.e., "what wisdom would you try to impart to the world if you knew it was your last chance?"

Before speaking, Pausch received a long standing ovation from a large crowd of over 400 colleagues and students. When he motioned them to sit down, saying, "Make me earn it," some in the audience shouted back, "You did!"

During the lecture, Pausch was upbeat and humorous, alternating between wisecracks, insights on computer science and engineering education, advice on building multi-disciplinary collaborations, working in groups and interacting with other people, offering inspirational life lessons, and performing push-ups on stage. He also commented on the irony that the "Last Lecture" series had recently been renamed as "Journeys": "I thought, damn, I finally nailed the venue and they renamed it."[15]

After Pausch finished his lecture, Steve Seabolt, on behalf of Electronic Arts, which is now collaborating with CMU in the development of Alice 3.0,[16] pledged to honor Pausch by creating a memorial scholarship for women in computer science,[10] in recognition of Pausch's support and mentoring of women in CS and engineering.

CMU president Jared Cohon spoke emotionally of Pausch's humanity and called his contributions to the university and to education "remarkable and stunning."[17] He then announced that CMU will celebrate Pausch's impact on the world by building and naming after Pausch a raised pedestrian bridge[18] to connect CMU's new Computer Science building and the Center for the Arts, symbolizing the way Pausch linked those two disciplines.

Finally, Brown University professor Andries van Dam followed Pausch's last lecture with a tearful and impassioned speech praising him for his courage and leadership, calling him a role model. [17]

Randy Pausch repeated his speech to the Oprah show [1].

Media coverage

Randy Pausch and his wife Jai meeting with Sting at "The Police" concert at the University of Virginia on November 6, 2007Pausch was named "Person of the Week" on ABC's World News with Charles Gibson on September 21.[19] His "Last Lecture" has attracted wide attention from the international media,[20] became an Internet hit, and was viewed over a million times in the first month after its delivery.[21] On October 22, 2007, Pausch appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show where he discussed his situation and recapped his "Last Lecture" for millions of TV viewers.[22]

On October 6, 2007, Pausch joined the Pittsburgh Steelers for the day during their regular practice, after the organization learned that one of his childhood dreams mentioned in his "Last Lecture" was to play in the NFL.[23]

The Disney-owned publisher Hyperion has paid $6.7 million for the rights to publish a book about Pausch called The Last Lecture, co-authored by Pausch and Wall Street Journal reporter Jeff Zaslow.[24]

A devoted Star Trek fan, Pausch was invited by film director J. J. Abrams to film a role in the latest Star Trek movie. Abrams heard of Pausch's condition and sent a personal e-mail inviting Pausch to the set. Pausch happily accepted and traveled to Los Angeles, California to shoot his scene. In addition to appearing in the film, he also has a line of dialogue and donated the $217.06 paycheck to charity. [25][26]

On April 9, 2008, the ABC network aired an hour long Diane Sawyer feature on Pausch entitled "The Last Lecture: A Love Story For Your Life."[27]

Other lectures and appearances

Pausch gave an updated version of his "Time Management" lecture on November 27, 2007 at the University of Virginia, to an audience of over 850 people.[28][29][30][31][32]

In March 2008, Pausch appeared in a public service announcement video and testified before Congress in support of cancer research.

On May 18, 2008, Pausch made a surprise return appearance at Carnegie Mellon, giving a speech at the commencement ceremony, as well as attending the School of Computer Science's diploma ceremony, and on May 19, 2008 Pausch appeared on the Good Morning America Show.


On July 25, 2008, Pausch died from pancreatic cancer at his family's home in Chesapeake, Virginia, having moved there so that his wife and children would be near family after his death.[15]


Learning to Program with Alice, Brief Edition (with Wanda P Dann and Stephen Cooper) (2006) ISBN 0132397757

The Last Lecture (2008) ISBN 1401323251


"The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. The brick walls are there to stop the people who don't want it badly enough. They are there to stop the OTHER people!" — from The Last Lecture

"...when you see yourself doing something badly and nobody's bothering to tell you anymore, that's a very bad place to be. Your critics are the ones telling you they still love you and care." — from The Last Lecture

"Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted." — from The Last Lecture

"It's not about how to achieve your dreams, it's all about leading your life. If you lead your life in a right way, karma will take care of itself. And dreams will come to you." — from The Last Lecture

"[Quoting a CMU secretary] This advice is good for the ladies: when it comes to men that are romantically interested in you, it's really simple: just don't listen to anything they have to say; pay attention to what they do" — from The Last Lecture

"We're not going to talk about spirituality and religion. Although I will tell you that I have experienced a deathbed conversion. I just bought a Macintosh." — from The Last Lecture

"If I only had three words of advice, they would be, Tell the Truth. If got three more words, I'd add, all the time." — from The Last Lecture


^ Nelson, Valerie J. Randy Pausch, 47; Terminally ill professor inspired many with his 'last lecture'. Los Angeles Times. July 25, 2008.

^ Randy Pausch's short summary

^ "RandyPauschInformation". Carnegie Mellon University (2008-06-26). Retrieved on 2008-06-28.

^ "RandyPauschInformation". Carnegie Mellon University (2008-07-24). Retrieved on 2008-07-25.

^ Martz, Geoff (July 25, 2008), Last Lecture Author Dies: Randy Pausch, Author of 'The Last Lecture,' Succumbs to Cancer, ABC News,

^ http://www.etc.cmu.edu/bvw/

^ Virtual Reality Innovator Honored with Karlstrom Award by ACM, December 3, 2007,

^ "Proclamation of Dr. Randy Pausch Day by Pittsburgh City Council" (November 19, 2007). Retrieved on 2008-04-09.

^ "The 2008 Time 100 World's Most Influential People". Time Magazine (May 5, 2007).

^ a b Roth, Mark (September 19, 2007), CMU professor gives his last lesson on life, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

^ Zaslow, Jeff (September 20, 2007), A Beloved Professor Delivers The Lecture of a Lifetime, The Wall Street Journal,

^ Randy Pausch's short summary

^ Dying Professor, Famous for His Last Lecture, Testifies Before Congress March 13, 2008

^ "University Lecture Series: Journey's". Carnegie Mellon (September 18, 2007). Retrieved on 2007-11-18.

^ a b Ramit Plushnick-Masti, Associated Press. "Prof whose 'last lecture' became a sensation dies," The Dallas Morning News, July 25, 2008.

^ Watzman, Anne (March 10, 2006). "Carnegie Mellon Collaborates With EA to Revolutionize Computer Science Education". Carnegie Mellon Today. Retrieved on 2007-11-18.

^ a b Robins, Gabriel (September 20, 2007), Randy Pausch's Last Lecture, University of Virginia,

^ Heinrichs, Allison (September 19, 2007), Professor diagnosed with cancer offers his final words for the CMU community, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

^ "Dying Professor's Lecture of a Lifetime". ABC News (September 21, 2007). Retrieved on 2007-11-18.

^ Schmitz, Gregor (October 1, 2007), Ein todkranker Professor rührt Amerika, Spiegel Online,

^ Zaslow, Jeff (September 27, 2007), The Professor's Manifesto: What It Meant to Readers, The Wall Street Journal,

^ "Dr. Oz: A Special Report on Death". The Oprah Winfrey Show (October 22, 2007). Retrieved on 2007-11-18.

^ Heinrichs, Allison (October 4, 2007), Dying prof tackles final dream — the NFL, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

^ Flamm, Matthew (November 20, 2007), Hyperion wins auction for The Last Lecture, Crain's New York Business,

^ Pascale, Anthony (January 19, 2008), Inspirational Professor Given Part In Star Trek, TrekMovie.com,

^ 'Last Lecture' professor dies at 47, July 25, 2008,

^ ABC News Special: The Last Lecture: A Love Story for Your Life, April 9, 2008,

^ "Randy Pausch: Time is All That Matters". UVa Today (November 28, 2007). Retrieved on 2007-11-28.

^ "Lecture of a Lifetime: U.Va.'s School of Engineering and Applied Science Hosts Talk by Randy Pausch". UVA Today (November 12, 2007). Retrieved on 2007-11-18.

^ "Professor with terminal cancer: There's less time than you think". Daily Progress (November 12, 2007). Retrieved on 2007-11-28.

^ "Prognosis Prompts Professor's Tour". NBC 29 WVIR-TV (November 27, 2007). Retrieved on 2007-11-27.

^ "Former UVa Prof Giving His Last Lectures". 19 News WCAV.tv (November 27, 2007). Retrieved on 2007-11-27.

External links

Pausch's graduation speech on May 18, 2008, and his appearance on Good Morning America on May 19, 2008

"The Last Lecture: A Love Story For Your Life", ABC Special aired April 9, 2008 (subtitles: English, German)

Randy Pausch explaining his motivation behind the "Last Lecture" and book (subtitles: English, German)

Randy Pausch, home page and Health update page at Carnegie Mellon University

The Alice Project, project to teach programming more effectively

Entertainment Technology Center, Master's program co-founded by Pausch

Randy Pausch's "Last Lecture" (Original video | closed captions (English, Chinese) | subtitles (English, German))

Randy Pausch's "Last Lecture" news articles (description | impact | followup)

Randy Pausch's "Time Management" lecture video

Historical news articles about Randy Pausch

Article entitled "A Final Farewell" from The Wall Street Journal

Randy Pausch article at Memory Alpha, a Star Trek wiki

Randy Pausch - Obituary


NAME Pausch, Randy

ALTERNATIVE NAMES Pausch, Randolph Frederick


DATE OF BIRTH October 23, 1960


DATE OF DEATH July 25, 2008

PLACE OF DEATH Chesapeake, Virginia, United States

Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randy_Pausch"

Categories: 1960 births | 2008 deaths | American computer scientists | Teachers of computer science | Fellows of the Association for Computing Machinery | Carnegie Mellon University faculty | University of Virginia faculty | Brown University alumni | Scientists from Pittsburgh | Pancreatic cancer deaths

Hidden categories: Recent deaths | Current events as of July 2008 | Semi-protectedViewsArticle Discussion View source History Personal toolsLog in / create

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I hate cancer.

I saw him on Oprah. I am so sorry to hear his family have lost him. Sounds like he accomplished a great deal in that short life.

Donna G

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My family and I were also very moved by this man, and I was so sad to hear of his death. Though I am sorry for his suffering and for the loss his family has gone through I am so happy that so many people have been moved by the words of this man. Cancer is a horrible thing but so many people have gotten inspiration from this man while battling the beast! I use the Tigger/Eeyore phrase here at my house often!

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