The Last Lecture

If you’ve been living under a rock, you may have missed the news than Randy Pausch died last week. Randy was a professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University. He helped start the Entertainment Technology Center. Both Dan and I talked about going there when we graduated from NCSU. My first class introducing me to game development, the Design and Development of Virtual Worlds with Dr. Michael Young, used Alice. So Randy’s work has intersected my career a couple of times already. Most recently, I watched his Last Lecture and read the book. To say that it moved myself and Renee is an understatement. His love for his wife and kids, passion for his work, and positivity are all things that I personally aspire to. The fact that Randy is unabashedly a geek makes the connection even stronger.

It amazes me that his message is making its way out into popular culture. Renee’s friends were calling us telling us to watch the TV special tonight. They’ve watched the lecture. I can use it as a touchpoint to talk about what I do for a living and it connects better than usual. Crossing the geek to mass cultural divide is really hard. Millions of dollars are spent by big companies to make brands like Iron Man and Batman popular. They get their 15 minutes of fame and then flitter away. To touch the lives of millions is amazing. To do it with a positive message is even more amazing.

Even though I never really interacted with him, I think that I wouldn’t be far off in saying that Randy Pausch is one of my mentors.

Last Lecture on Google:

CMU’s website:


~ by shaunkime on July 30, 2008.

One Response to “The Last Lecture”

  1. You know, I always wondered how his legacy would be remembered by those that interacted with him the most, his colleagues. It was weird, I watched the special last night, and wept for a man I had never met. I wept for someone that fought his illness a lot harder and further than I fight mine, and he lost, and I’m still winning. His attitude was and still is inspiring, heartfelt and worthwhile. His legacy is due to live on for a while.

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