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Innovation

Pausch Bridge continues professor's creative legacy

The Pausch Bridge is a symbol of the creative spirit of the late Carnegie Mellon University professor and also a teaching resource for collaboration.
Written by Sun Kim, Contributor on

Just as Randy Pausch's work bridged art and science, the memorial Pausch Bridge connects the Purnell Center for the Arts and the Gates Center for Computer Science on the campus of Carnegie Mellon University. The 230 foot long bridge incorporates more than 7,000 LED lights and runs through 11 lighting sequences, five of which are newly designed by interdisciplinary teams of students.

Professors and partners Christopher Popowich and Cindy Limauro designed the original six lighting sequences for the bridge's dedication in 2009. They visually translated metaphors from Randy Pausch's book, The Last Lecture. The abstract pattern of penguin shapes on the bridge's skin was also taken from one of Pausch's life lessons: that even in dangerous waters, one penguin had to be brave enough to take the first dive.

The newest lighting show designs are the result of a course that brought together students and professors from different disciplines. The course investigated 'light as art' and continues Pausch's legacy of encouraging creativity and collaboration.

The student-professor designed shows include a sequence that depicts a universal day in 20 minutes from sunrise to sunset, a show that takes and interprets weather data, and TwitterBridge, which visually represents tweets (@Pausch_Bridge) from the campus community.

The Pausch Bridge commemorates the spirit of Randy Pausch, the inspiring computer science professor who died in 2008 of pancreatic cancer. The light shows can be seen nightly from dusk until dawn. Watch a video of the lighting show, in super speed, below:

Images: Cindy LimauroDaderot

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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