The Last Lecture - Randy Pausch
I just watched the aptly titled Last lecture from Randy Pausch, a Computer Science professor at Carnegie Mellon University. As posted on Slashdot he has just died at the age of 47. He was invited to speak at the annual lecture series where each year a professor started out with the premise that if this was their last lecture what would they say, this was a very real question as he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and given six months to live.
The topic of the lecture is Achieving Your Childhood Dreams but turns into much more and is a good watch, it has currently been watched around 4.3 million times on youtube.
Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams
He has contributed a lot to the development of virtual reality and was instrumental in creating a masters degree for digital entertainment that appears to be very influential.
Another project that he created sounds as if it could be useful in schools and help make learning to program into a story telling exercise in a 3d environment. This project is called Alice and is still under development and is up to version 3, it includes characters from the SIMS games and is free:
There is also a version aimed at smaller children and is apparently more appealing to girls in its methods: