Randy Pausch's 'Last Lecture'
Randy Pausch during his "Last Lecture: Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams." (Photo: Carnegie Mellon University)

Randy Pausch delivering his "Last Lecture." (Photo: Carnegie Mellon University)

Carnegie Mellon professor Randy Pausch seemed to walk on air. He had his dream job. A wonderful family. And when he learned that he had cancer and only months to live, he barely broke his stride.

He prepared to give his “last lecture,” titled “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.” He talked about how brick walls were built for the “other people,” about mentors and loyalty and finding the good in others.

He became a media sensation, and the YouTube video reached millions. A bestselling book followed.

Pausch died last month. This hour, On Point: Randy Pausch and living your dreams.

You can join the conversation. Did you watch Randy Pausch’s last lecture? What did you take away from it? Share your thoughts.


Joining us from Detroit, Michigan, is Jeffrey Zaslow, a columnist for The Wall Street Journal. He wrote about Randy Pausch’s last lecture for the Journal and brought world-wide attention to the story. He’s the co-author, with Randy Pausch, of the new bestselling book, “The Last Lecture.”

Joining us from Pittsburgh is Dennis Cosgrove. A former student of Randy Pausch, he’s now carrying on Pausch’s legacy at Carnegie Mellon by heading up the design and implementation of Alice, educational software that teaches students programming in a 3D environment.

And with us from Pasadena, California, is Jon Snoddy. He’s an entertainment technology executive who founded the Disney Virtual Reality Studio to invent new forms of storytelling. He invited Randy Pausch into his group. Jon Snoddy’s current company, Bigstage, creates photo-realitistic avatars from digital photos.

Links & multimedia:

The Online Legacy of Professor Pausch
The New York Times’ Tara Parker-Pope has compiled an excellent collection of links on Randy Pausch.

Watch the YouTube video of Randy Pausch’s “Last Lecture”:

Also from YouTube, you can watch a video of Pausch’s Congressional testimony last March on behalf of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network:

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Nov 27, 2015
Josh Baldonado, an administrative assistant at Brown & Brown Insurance, works at a treadmill desk in the firms offices in Carmel, Ind., Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013. (AP)

The end of sitting at work. A new call to get up off our chairs. To stand and move! We’ll look at how that works.

Nov 27, 2015
The punk rock band Sleater-Kinney (from L: Janet Weiss, Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker) (Courtesy the Band)

Feminist punk-rockers, the band Sleater-Kinney, is with us. Reunited. Hotter than ever.

Nov 26, 2015
Jewel performs in the On Point Studio on Tuesday, September 22, 2015. (Liz Gillis / WBUR)

Singer-songwriter Jewel asked “who will save your soul”? Now she’s talking about saving her own. We’ll talk to Jewel.

Nov 26, 2015
This photo taken July 31, 2012 shows a "tiny" house April Anson built in Portland, Ore. For the past couple of months, 33-year-old Anson and her friends have been planning, measuring, sawing and hammering their way toward completion of what might look like a child’s playhouse. (AP)

Tiny houses, micro-apartments. They’re hot. Americans are downsizing.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Fresh Ideas For Your Thanksgiving: Recipes
Wednesday, Nov 25, 2015

Did our Thanksgiving 2016 episode make you hungry? Good news — we’ve got recipes right here.

More »
Karl Rove Still Won’t Get Involved In The 2016 G.O.P. Primary
Tuesday, Nov 24, 2015

Karl Rove may say he’s not endorsing or getting involved in the 2016 G.O.P. presidential primary, but that won’t stop from offering advice on how to beat Republican front runner Donald Trump.

More »
Roger Cohen And Barry Posen On ISIS
Monday, Nov 23, 2015

A brief, but illustrative exchange between Barry Posen and Roger Cohen during our conversation on ISIS today.

More »