Randy Pausch R.I.P.

Keynote Talk
Alice: A Dying Man’s Passion
Randy Pausch
Professor of Computer Science
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA USA

I have spent the last fifteen years of my life leading an incredible team. Our quest (which we did not even realize in the beginning) was to revolutionize the way computer programming is taught. Current versions of the Alice system (Alice v2.0, and Caitlin Kelleher’s «Storytelling Alice») have been very effective in the college classroom and in tests with middle school girls. The use of drag-and-drop authoring to create 3D movies has proved to be a powerful motivator for students of all ages and both genders. In 2008, we will release Alice v3.0, which provides «real Java» programming and the characters from EA’s «The Sims,» the most popular PC video game in history.

Damn shame I won’t be there to see it. As you probably know, I’m dying of pancreatic cancer, as became widely known in my «Last Lecture.» Like Moses, I get to see the promised land, but not set foot in it. But the vision is clear. Long before I became ill, Dennis Cosgrove took over the responsibility for the design of Alice v3.0, and he’s doing a whale of a job. Steve Cooper (of St. Joseph’s University), Wanda Dann, and Don Slater are handling the pedagogic materials for college and high school, and Caitlin Kelleher (now junior faculty at Washington University in St. Louis) is heading the efforts regarding middle school girls.

This talk will address the history, philosophy, and future of the Alice project, and will include a behind-the-scenes look at a pre-release version of Alice v3.0. I will give this address in person if I am still alive and able, or by a combination of pre-taped video and help from the Alice team. I cannot imagine a better professional legacy than what the Alice team is current building.

Brief Bio
Randy Pausch is was a Professor of Computer Science, Human-Computer Interaction, and Design at Carnegie Mellon, where he was the co-founder of Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center (ETC). He was a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator and a Lilly Foundation Teaching Fellow. He has done Sabbaticals at Walt Disney Imagineering and Electronic Arts (EA), and consulted with Google on user interface design. Dr. Pausch received his bachelors in Computer Science from Brown University and his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University. Besides the 2008 SIGCSE Award, Randy has also been made an ACM Fellow, and he is the winner of the 2007 Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award. He is the author or co-author of five books and over 70 articles, is the director of the Alice (www.alice.org) software project, and has been in zero-gravity.

O Randy Pausch δεν είχε καταφέρει τον περασμένο Μάρτιο να παρευρεθεί και να δώσει τη διακεκριμένη ομιλία του στο 39th SIGCSE technical symposium on Computer science education. Τον Αύγουστο του 2006 είχε διαγνωσθεί με καρκίνο και ένα χρόνο αργότερα οι γιατροί του έδιναν άλλους 3 έως 6 μήνες ζωής.Πέθανε χθες στο σπίτι του ανάμεσα στην οικογένειά του, έχοντας προλάβει να αξιολογήσει από την αρχή τη ζωή και τους στόχους μας σε αυτήν.