Randy Pausch

Randolph Frederick Pausch (October 23, 1960 – July 25, 2008) was an American professor of computer science, human-computer interaction and design at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and a best-selling author who achieved worldwide fame for his “The Last Lecture” speech on September 18, 2007 at Carnegie Mellon. The lecture was conceived after, in summer 2007, Pausch had learned that his previously known pancreatic cancer was terminal.

Pausch delivered his “Last Lecture,” titled “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams,” at CMU on September 18, 2007. This talk was modeled after an ongoing series of lectures where top academics are asked to think deeply about what matters to them, and then give a hypothetical “final talk,” i.e., “what wisdom would you try to impart to the world if you knew it was your last chance?”