Randy Pausch cancer update

July 26th, 2008 - 2:12 pm ICT by Bupha Ravirot  

Randy Pausch delivering his last lectureRandy Pausch died on Friday 25 July, at the age of 47 after a two-year battle with pancreatic cancer.

The Carnegie Mellon University computer scientist, Randolph Frederick Pausch, whose last lecture, titled “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams,” became a viral video on YouTube, died today at the age of 47.

A month after dreadful news, on September 18, 2007, Pausch delivered the lecture that would become his legacy. He regaled students and colleagues with a tour that was both heart-wrenching and amusing of his attempts to live out his childhood fantasies. Some he managed to pull off: experiencing zero-gravity, helping to design attractions for Disney World by participating in its Imagineering program and writing an entry in the World Book encyclopedia–on virtual reality, his expertise. Others didn’t come true, such as becoming a pro football player. He alluded to teaching as a way of helping students live out their dreams.

Pausch was born Oct. 23, 1960, in Baltimore, his father sold insurance and his mother taught English. He growing up in Columbia, Md.,arts were his dreams he was allowed to paint whatever he wanted on his bedroom walls. His artistry included a quadratic equation, elevator doors and the rocket ship that adorns the cover of his book.

Graduated bachelor’s degree in 1982 from Brown University, then he earned a doctorate in computer science from Carnegie Mellon in 1988. At the University of Virginia and taught for nine years.

The video of his last class, which came to be known as “The Last Lecture” and surfaced on YouTube late-last year, has been viewed nearly 3.5 million times. The lecture became a best-selling book with the same title has been atop or near the top of USA TODAY’s Best-Selling Books list since it was published in April. This week it is No. 8. It has been translated into 30 languages and nearly 3 million copies are in print.

His last speech to students was really intended to children – Dylan, 6, Logan, 3, and Chloe, 2.

“I knew what I was doing that day,” he wrote in the introduction to his book. “Under the ruse of giving an academic lecture, I was trying to put myself in a bottle that would one day wash up on the beach for my children.”

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.”

Aside from his Internet fame, Pausch is best known as the creator of Alice, a program that allows children to create 3-D animations. Regarding to Carnegie Mellon’s president mentioning Randy after his death that “Randy was so happy and proud that the lecture and book inspired parents to revisit their priorities, particularly their relationships with their children. The outpouring of cards and emails really sustained him.”

In a statement Friday, his wife thanked those who sent messages of support and said her husband was proud that his lecture and book “inspired parents to revisit their priorities, particularly their relationships with their children.”

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