Randy Pausch

"Never lose the childlike wonder. Show gratitude... Don't complain; just work harder... Never give up."

~Randy Pausch

References / Learn More

[1] CMU Link - Randy's Story

[2] Wikipedia - Randy Pausch

[3] Randy Pausch's CS-CMU Webpage

[4] Ted Talks - Really Achieving your Childhood Dreams

[5] University of Virginia: The Legacy of Randy Pausch

Randy Pausch

Randolph Frederick "Randy" Pausch (October 23, 1960 - July 25, 2008) was an American professor and a Carnegie Mellon University alumnus. Pausch was born and brought up in Maryland. He obtained his bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Brown University in May 1982 and a PhD in the same field from Carneige Mellon University six years later.

During his time at the University of Virginia, Pausch served as an assistant and associate professor in the Department of Computer Science under the School of Engineering and Applied Science. In 1997, Pausch became the Associate Professor of Computer Science, Human-Computer Interaction, and Design at Carnegie Mellon University.

Apart from teaching, Pausch was also known for being the founder of the Alice software project, cofounder of CMU's Entertainment Technology Center and receiving several notable awards such as the Karl V. Karlstorm Outstanding Educator Award, ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education Award and many more. Pausch inspired and motivated thousands of students both in and outside the classroom. He gained publicity through what is now known as "The Last Lecture". Pausch has also published a book of the same name. In September 2006, unfortunately Pausch was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He died due to cancer complications on 25th July, 2008.

Pausch has spoken on Time Management several times, one of which being at the University of Virginia in November 2007. He talks about the fact that most people are very poor in managing their time effectively. They come with short term solutions, only to realize later on that it wasn't enough. In order to manage time properly, one must come up with a systematic solution. Pausch talks about several tricks and tactics to overcome procrastination and to prioritize various tasks. Here are five things I liked most from his lecture;

1. "Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgement".

2. Covey's 4-Quadrant TODO List/Matrix - This was something new to me and I really liked the idea due to its simplicity.

3. I love how he talks about the importance of balancing out work and life.

4. I like the part where he talks about "Effective vs Efficient".

5. Randy concludes his talk by saying "Time is all we have, and you may find one day that you have less than you think". This was a very strong statement to end with since it conveys that we should never take time for granted.

Amer Ahmad
CMU-Q Computer Science
Class of 2019