A Man I Never Knew

For the past week around the office, much talk has been centered around a man who I have never met. He is a professor and a world class expert in the industry of games technology and education. Working at USC for the past 5 years, I have heard his name in passing as an author and expert. I have also heard of people who loved him, and people who didn’t like him so much. About a year ago, I heard something else. A colleague of mine, who had worked with Dr. Pausch (at Carnegie Mellon University) told me that he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and was not expected to live. As tragedy does, it intrigued me. I followed news of his progress with his disease and was disheartened to hear that he wasn’t doing well. I knew he was much too young and that he would leave behind many students and colleagues, and a young family.

On Tuesday afternoon Professor Randy Pausch gave his final lecture entitled “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” to a full lecture hall, and reached many more via teleconference and simulcast. The lecture is recorded here on YouTube. More information can also be found in this piece from the Pittsburgh Tribune. The lecture is long (a little over an hour) but it is alternately touching, funny, and a testament to his brilliance, his work as a humanitarian and his refusal to give up the fight. It is a fitting remembrance to a great man and one that will remain for his young children. It’s not an easy watch, but it is definitely worth the time.


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