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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

'Last Lecture' professor, Randy Pausch, dies at 47


Sometimes getting through the experience of sharing your story for the last
time is the most difficult part of all. Randy Pausch, the Carnegie Mellon professor who became a YouTube phenomenon with his "Last Lecture," died on 25 July 2008 because of the omplications from pancreatic cancer. He was 47. He died at his home in southern Virginia.

Titled "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams," the humorous and heartfelt talk was videotaped and quickly spread around the world via the Internet. Millions of people have since viewed it. It was delivered at Carnegie Mellon on Sept. 18, 2007, a few weeks after Pausch learned he didn't have long to live. Pausch also created a book from the speech, which has been translated into 30 languages. now more than 6 million people read his book

In the lecture he urged his students and colleagues to live life to the fullest. Among his words of wisdom:

•"Never underestimate the importance of having fun. I'm dying and I'm having fun. And I'm going to keep having fun every day because there's no other way to play it."

•"We can't change the cards we're dealt, just how we play the hand. If I'm not as depressed as you think I should be, I'm sorry to disappoint you."

"Good teaching is always a performance, but what Randy did was in a class all by itself," says Andy van Dam, co-founder of the computer science department at Brown University, which Pausch attended as an undergraduate. "His students responded to him as athletes do to a great coach who cares not only about winning but about the team players as individuals."

The last lecture.