CMU professor wins top computing award
Share with others:
Randy Pausch, the Carnegie Mellon University professor whose poignant final lecture has become a worldwide sensation, has gotten a top award from the Association for Computing Machinery.
Dr. Pausch, who is dying from pancreatic cancer, yesterday received the 2007 Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award from the association, which previously had given him a separate award for outstanding computer science education.
The announcement mentioned his development of "Alice," an innovative software teaching curriculum that uses animated characters and storytelling to ease the task of learning how to write computer code.
It also noted his founding in 1998 of Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center, which marries the worlds of computer science and such technologies as video games and virtual reality.
The latest award comes the same week that Carnegie Mellon is hosting its annual showcase of virtual reality animations.
The "Building Virtual Worlds" program will be held tomorrow in McConomy Auditorium in the University Center on campus, and will feature the top entries from student creative teams.
Dr. Pausch and Wall Street Journal columnist Jeff Zaslow also have concluded a deal with Hyperion Books for a book based on his inspirational lecture.
The book rights were sold for a reported $6.7 million, and the proceeds will be shared by Mr. Zaslow and Dr. Pausch's family. To be published in April, the book will expand on his September lecture at Carnegie Mellon, fleshing out his stories about his upbringing and his career.
In the lecture, Dr. Pausch emphasized such lessons as supporting your children's independence ("If your kids want to paint their bedrooms, as a favor to me, let them do it"); perseverance ("Remember, brick walls ... are there to separate us from the people who don't really want to achieve their childhood dreams"); and looking for the good in others ("Just give people a little more time and they'll almost always impress you").
The book will expand on those lessons, and is now being auctioned in Europe for foreign publishing rights.
Dr. Pausch, 47, whose lecture is on the Internet and has been viewed by more than 1 million people, has said he is responding well to palliative chemotherapy and has gained some extra months that will extend his life well into next year.
As part of his awards from the computing association, Dr. Pausch is scheduled to deliver its keynote address in March.
He and his wife, Jai, have three children -- Dylan, 7, Logan, 3, and Chloe, 1.
First Published December 4, 2007 12:00 am