Thank you for the article on Randy Pausch, as well as for all the other informative and inspirational articles you’ve published over the years. The morning after reading that piece, I watched Randy’s entire lecture online, then ordered two DVDs of it, one to give to the high school where I taught until retiring two years ago.

Randy’s mention of Professor of Computer Science Andries van Dam brought back memories. I never had the good fortune to take one of his courses, but in 1970 I remember Chris Braun ’70 and other students who had studied with him speaking of “Andy” with reverence and awe.

Talk about leaving a legacy! If the only student he ever influenced had been Randy Pausch, that would be enough. Professor van Dam must have had a similar effect on generations of computer science students and, through them, on their protégés. Even though he’s not a Brown graduate, perhaps you could do a piece about Professor van Dam some day.

Bruce Novak ’71 ScM

Needham, Mass.





Comments (2)
02/04/08
 
I agree strongly with the sentiments, though I think Bruce may have been unaware of the midnight effigy burnings that Andy also inspires when projects come due. There have in fact been a number of articles in the BAM about him over the years, including one about a decade ago that Chris, Ed Lazowska '72, and I wrote on the occasion of AvD being elected ACM's Educator of the Year.
 
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02/05/08
 
Humm, comment display didn't include my name. It's there in the HTML source, so I suspect that the comment handler failed to do an "escape special characters" function on the name field. That's a serious security hole; I could use it to include Javascript code that would execute on the server, take it over, jump to machines in UH, corrupt their databases, and raise my grade-point to something less embarrassing.
 
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