News broke this morning that Carnegie Mellon computer science professor Randy Pausch, whose inspirational “Last Lecture” was discussed in episodes 20 and 21 of the Technology and the Arts podcast, has died. He was 47.
Dr. Pausch gained international notoriety after he gave a lecture at Carnegie Mellon in September 2007 in which he disclosed that he learned he had terminal pancreatic cancer a year earlier, talked about his childhood dreams and how he managed to realize most of those dreams (the one he didn’t realize was playing in the NFL…but soon after the speech, the Pittsburgh Steelers invited him to a training camp session). The inspirational lecture was meant to show his children and others how to achieve their goals in life.
Wall Street Journal columnist Jeff Zaslow, a Carnegie Mellon alumnus, attended the lecture and wrote about it. Bloggers and traditional media jumped all over the story, and more than 10 million people have reportedly watched video of the lecture on the Web.
Thank you, Dr. Pausch, for making your last days count for so much. You will be missed, but definitely not forgotten.