Last Lecture Series

Over 300 graduating seniors helped to choose who they would like to hear from one last time. We are thrilled to announce the lecture line up of Dr. Malik Magdon-Ismail, Dr. Dorit Nevo, Dr. Kurt Anderson, and Dr. Susan Smith.

Patterned off the Last Lecture Series made famous by Dr. Randy Pausch, Rensselaer's Class of 2022 will celebrate their last lecture at Rensselaer with four lectures on diverse topics. Each lecture will be 45 minutes with a reception to follow. Lucky attendees will leave with a copy of Dr. Pausch's book, The Last Lecture.

The Rensselaer community is welcome at this event, with preference given to graduating seniors and graduate students. We encourage you to invite a faculty member to attend with you. All attendees must be COVID compliant.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022, CBIS Auditorium

11:00 a.m. | Dr. Malik Magdon-Ismail, School of Science

12:00 p.m. | Dr. Dorit Nevo, Lally School of Management

1:00 p.m. | Dr. Kurt Anderson, School of Engineering

2:00 p.m. | Dr. Susan Smith, School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

Join us for a short talk and a reception to follow each.  You are welcome to attend as many lectures as you'd like.

About Our Lecturers»

Dr. Malik Magdon-Ismail

Data, Data, Everywhere; Nor Any Drop of Wisdom

May 11, 11:00 am

Malik Magdon-Ismail has been a professor of computer science at RPI since 2000. His research is broadly in machine learning and algorithms, with stints in communication networks and efficient packet routing, social network analysis, randomized algorithms for efficient learning on big data and privacy in machine learning. Some of the applications have been in healthcare and finance. If you remember him from a class, it was probably FOCS or Machine Learning From Data. In Fall 2022 he will be teaching Quantum Computing, how exciting is that. If you remember him from an extracurricular, it was probably squash, badminton, tennis or bridge (his handle on BBO is magdon). Malik was born in Sri Lanka, grew up in Africa (Zambia, Zimbabwe) and became naturalized as a citizen of Zimbabwe before coming over to the US for college. The US seemed like an interesting place, so he stayed.


Dr. Dorit Nevo

The Path of Least Resistance

May 11, 12:00 pm

Read more about Dr. Nevo »


Dr. Kurt Anderson

A Crooked Road to Working on Space Junk

May 11, 1:00 pm

Read more about Dr. Anderson »


Dr. Susan Smith

The Examined Life: Philosophy and Life

May 11, 2:00 pm

Read more about Dr. Smith »


About the Last Lecture Series»


Dr. Randy Pausch delivered his "Last Lecture", titled "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams", at Carnegie Mellon. His talk was modeled after an ongoing series of lectures where top academics are asked to think deeply about what matters to them, and then give a hypothetical "final talk", i.e., "what wisdom would you try to impart to the world if you knew it was your last chance?"

A month before giving the lecture, Pausch had received a terminal prognosis.

Since then, campuses across the country have asked thought leaders and academics, in the spirit of Dr. Pausch, to consider big questions in "Last Lectures".

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