My friends, do you still remember a professor giving us a "Last Lecture" last September about his childhood dreams and his research? Do you still remember he said "We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand"? Do you still remember that you were shocked by his speech video on YouTube as millions of people around the globe? I just got the news on Monday morning that Dr. Randy Pausch has left us last Friday, of complications from pancreatic cancer.
Many people ask me why I love USA so much. Well, I think one major reason is because I love heroes and this land loves heroes too. He fought with pancreatic cancer and left us "an enduring legacy", as said on the special webpage for him by Carnegie Mellon University. http://www.cmu.edu/randyslecture/
Dr. Randy Pausch is a former professor of School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University. He is a pioneer in virtual reality and an ACM (Association for Computing Machineries) fellow, which is the world's highest honor in Computer Science field. But I think the highest honor for him, should be "a hero" or "an American hero".
Pancreatic cancer took his life but never beat him. When he got the bad news that he had pancreatic cancer, he was happy that he could be the 20% patients who can be cured by surgeries. Later, he tried an experimental treatment of 45% chance to save his life. He never gave up fighting with the cancer and lasted about 2 years - while doctors assessed he could only live 6 months.
He made every last minute of his life benefit the world. He gave us a "Last Lecture" about his childhood dreams and how he did research to make the dream true. Millions of people were enlightened by his speech from YouTube around the world. He helped a non-profit organizations to fight with pancreatic cancer and testified before US congress and asked for more support to the research on pancreatic cancer. What he did, saved and will save our life.
Did he leave us? Well, he left us an enduring legacy, his words, his philosophy, his work for advancing the research on pancreatic cancer and the most important, the courage to face against difficulties. Just as the famous quote in "The Old Man and The Sea", "A man can be destroyed but not defeated".
Here are several legacies he left us:
- His homepage: http://download.srv.cs.cmu.edu/~pausch/ You can find his Powerpoint slides of his last lecture and transcripts there.
- Special webpage made by CMU for him: http://www.cmu.edu/randyslecture/ You can order DVDs of his last lecture in $7, including all fees.
- Video of his "Last Lecture": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ji5_MqicxSo
- His lecture "Time Management": http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5784740380335567758
- His book: "The Last Lecture": http://www.thelastlecture.com/
- Pancreatic Cancer Action Network: http://www.pancan.org/
- Lustgarten Foundation: http://www.lustgarten.org/
Here is all what I wanna say. There is a group on Facebook called "Randy Pausch is my hero!" I joined it and became a fan of Dr. Pausch. I just wanna say it again: Dr. Pausch, you are my hero!