Randy Pausch

Not really sure that there are words that would do justice to Randy Pausch’s “Last Lecture”, given at Carneige Mellon recently. Randy’s home page has a number of links to recent media coverage, but here’s the short version: he’s 47 years old, a legend in computer science (particularly in video game design and virtual reality), and learned earlier this year that he has terminal cancer. He has a few months left, and delivered his “last lecture” to celebrate a life of accomplishment and dreams fulfilled.

He’s an inspiration on a number of levels – for his commitment to his family, his desire to translate his passion to a new generation of students, and his incredible ability to achieve his dreams in spite of some remarkable obstacles. This lecture is one you need to watch.

I’ve always wanted to know how to actually write software… I can dabble with web apps, but actual code development has always been beyond me. Inspired by Randy’s lecture, I downloaded a copy of Alice and will give it a whirl. I’ll report back once I’ve played with it a bit. (Randy is the director of the Alice project, among a whole host of other accomplishments.)