Monday, September 08, 2008

Remembering Dr.Randy Pausch

I had not heard of Randy Pausch until, as recently as, the end of July when a friend sent me a link to his famed "Last Lecture." Having heard one of the most inspirational talks ever in recent years, I set out to google Randy Pausch and was stunned to know that he was no more and had passed away on the 25th of July, a victim of pancreatic cancer.

For those who do not know (me included, until a few months ago) who Randy Pausch was, here is a snippet.

He was Carnegie Mellon University's most luminous light ever, simply put! Having started his career as an Assistant and Associate professor in the Department of Computer Sciences at the University of Virginia's School, he soon became the Associate Professor of Computer Science, Human-Computer Interaction and Design, at the Carnegie Mellon University. He created the Alice Software Project and co-founded the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon while also working on Virtual Reality Research with Disney Imagineers which, as he put it, was his "dream come true."

However it is not all these long list of important positions and accomplishments alone that made him what he became. It was his uncanny ability to keep things simple and most importantly his humane and extremely positive attitude towards life that made him special. Anyone who has listened to his last lecture will agree with me that his courage is unparalleled. How many people would you know who after being told that they had months to live, would live with a more zealous and energetic spirit and go around telling people to be courageous in what they do?

While at the Oprah Winfrey show he spoke about how important life is and how we as people should make an effort to understand that it is not things but people that we need to attach importance to. He spoke about working towards realizing one's true calling and dream and hence achieving the purpose of life. What was perhaps most inspiring during the show was his display of courage and sign of strength when he went down on the floor, despite his condition and did a few strong willed push-ups and told the world of how strong he was while facing death in the face.

His death was indeed very untimely and a great loss to his family, friends, Carnegie Mellon and millions of people who sought inspiration from his deeds and words. Little wonder that Time magazine named him one of the World's Top-100 Most Influential People.

I'll leave you with what I think has been Randy's best quote ever. It goes thus "We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand."

Do find time to listen to his wonderful words of wisdom, particularly the last lecture, via the following links


  1. never heard bout him but he seems to be an inspirational guy..will have a loook at the his details

  2. You should Rakesh, and most importantly, take a look at the links that I have placed at the end of the post. They are superb to listen to!

  3. I hadnt heard of him either ..
    thanks for introducing an inspiring individual.

  4. You are very welcome Aria. To listen to his "Last Lecture" which is a must listen / watch, please follow the links at the end of the post

  5. that was insightful. quite an inspirational person. sad to hear of so many of these unsung heros! thanks for sharing one!

  6. yes indeed Deepsat. Do follow the links mentioned at the end of the post to listen to his "Last Lecture." It is a must watch / listen.

    Thanks for dropping by

  7. very his last quote..make the best with whatever you have!!!!

  8. Rahul. Thanks for dropping by and posting your comment. Randy was indeed very inspiring. You also need to follow the links mentioned at the end of the post to listen to his last lecture which is a must listen / watch

  9. That was a very good and appropriate post..I have heard about him but the informations you provided was valuable.i will elaborate with the additional links you provided..
    Thank you..

    me have updated

  10. MIP -

    Randy was an invaluable contribution in himself to the United States and the CMU.

    Please follow the links at the end of my post to listen to his Last Lecture


  11. Hi,
    thankx for visitin my space..this looks like an extremely insightful blog.. will def return and comment on the posts in detail later..till then take care!

  12. Echo

    Many thanks for your visit and comments. Appreciate your gesture.

    I've blog rolled you!

    Do take care



  13. Wow he sounds like a really wonderful humanbeing!

    **While at the Oprah Winfrey show he spoke about how important life is and how we as people should make an effort to understand that it is not things but people that we need to attach importance to

    Thats so true! Alot of ppl dont realise that until it's late.

    How sad that such a genuine person died so young.


  14. Keshi

    Thanks for your vist and comment.
    Randy was indeed a very inspiring person apart from being a genuis in his field of work.

    Please follow the links mentioned at the end of the post to listen / watch his last lecture


  15. I wanted to leave you a thank you note. I listened to Pausch's on you tube. It was a lengthy 1 hour lecture, but it was one of a kind. Its 1 hour of my time i spend doing something uselful..thanks again :)

  16. Hi Archana

    I'm glad you could listen to Randy's lecture! It is quite inspiring and very instilling!

    Thanks for your comments

    Warm Regards