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Randy Pausch

American professor of computer science, human-computer interaction and design

Randy Pausch is ...


Born 23 October 1960 in Baltimore
Died 25 July 2008 in Chesapeake
Age 47 years, 9 months
Cause pancreatic cancer

Sex or gender male
Country of citizenship United States of America
Manner of death natural causes
Occupation motivational speaker, computer scientist, writer, scientist, educator and university teacher
Awards Presidential Young Investigator Award and CHI Academy
Member of Association for Computing Machinery

About Randy Pausch

Randy Pausch: The Professor Who Taught Us How to Live

Randy Pausch was a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University, but he was much more than that. He was a pioneer in the field of human-computer interaction and design, and a beloved mentor to countless students. He was also a husband, a father, and a friend. But above all, he was a man who refused to let his terminal cancer diagnosis define him.

Pausch was born on October 23, 1960, in Baltimore, Maryland. He earned his undergraduate degree in computer science from Brown University in 1982, and his Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon in 1988. He joined the faculty at Carnegie Mellon in 1997, and quickly became known for his innovative work in virtual reality and user interface design.

But it was Pausch's "last lecture" that made him a household name. In September 2007, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and given just months to live. Rather than retreat into despair, Pausch decided to give a final lecture to his students and colleagues, titled "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams." The lecture was a moving and inspiring reflection on his life and the lessons he had learned along the way.

The lecture was recorded and posted online, and it quickly went viral. Millions of people around the world were touched by Pausch's wisdom, humor, and courage. He became a media sensation, appearing on Oprah, The Today Show, and other major outlets. He also wrote a bestselling book, The Last Lecture, which expanded on the themes of his talk.

Pausch passed away on July 25, 2008, at the age of 47. But his legacy lives on. His work in human-computer interaction and design continues to influence the field, and his message of hope and perseverance has inspired countless people to live their lives to the fullest.

As Pausch himself said in his last lecture, "We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand." Randy Pausch played his hand with grace, humor, and a fierce determination to make the most of every moment. He will be remembered as a brilliant scholar, a devoted family man, and a true inspiration to us all.


- Pausch, R. (2008). The Last Lecture. Hyperion.

- Carnegie Mellon University. (n.d.). Randy Pausch

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