Carnegie Mellon University

About ULS

Drawing from the originality and insight of Randy Pausch and his “Last Lecture,” the University Lecture Series (ULS) contributes to the life of the mind on campus by bringing inspiring scholars, professionals and leaders to share their experiences and knowledge.

By providing a forum to address timely ideas and issues spanning the arts, sciences, technology, business, the humanities and policy, the ULS inspires creativity, empowers change and contributes to community conversations that will shape the future.

"Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted. And experience is often the most valuable thing you have to offer."
— Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

Featured Lectures

The University Lecture Series invites two to three featured speakers based on a community nomination process. Past featured speakers have included acclaimed poet Nikki Giovanni, reflecting on race and gender relations; pioneering roboticist Daniela Rus, discussing the future of adaptable robots; journalist Sam Quinones, sharing his chronicles on the opioid epidemic; and best-selling author Michelle Alexander, examining discrimination in the criminal justice system.

ULS Partner Lectures

In addition to stand-alone lectures, the ULS is proud to work in partnership to advance science, education, and diversity and inclusion initiatives with the following lectures:

Dickson Prize Lecture

Awarded annually since 1970, Carnegie Mellon University’s Dickson Prize in Science recognizes substantial achievements or sustained progress in the fields of the natural sciences, engineering, computer science or mathematics.

Simon Lecture

Named for the late Nobel and Turing Award laureate Herbert Simon, the Simon Initiative harnesses a cross-disciplinary, learning-engineering ecosystem. The annual Simon Distinguished Lecture invites leading scholars to discuss the future of education and leaning engineering.

MLK Keynote Lecture

Carnegie Mellon’s Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion offers a month-long schedule of activities to foster conversations and reflections honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The MLK Keynote Lecture anchors these conversations by inviting speakers who bring new light to conversations surrounding race, equality, social justice and democracy.