I was already enrolled in graduate school when Sam came to give his interview talk in Toronto. I was so completely impressed with him halfway through his talk that I decided then and there that if U of T would be so lucky as to get this guy, that I wanted him as my advisor. How lucky we were that he came to Toronto, and how honored I was that he took me on.
Sam came naturally and easily to the role of advising. He did not need years of experience to get it right. He just did. And he did so in every possible way that an advisor could: he was a mentor, a teacher, an advocate, a role model, engaging, charming, endlessly enthusiastic and energetic, and always happy to open his door to chat even if it was closed.
Others have spoken of Sam’s deep intellect and curiosity which were immediately obvious to anyone who overheard him or interacted in even the smallest way with him. But his intellect and energy were not just for machine learning and computer science. He was a renaissance man, with broad knowledge of science and the world who easily and regularly impressed others in areas outside his own and could no doubt have been extremely successful in any career of his choosing.
Sam, thank-you for everything you gave us. I have no words to say how much you will be missed.
Sam Roweis died unexpectedly on January 12, 2010.
He was a truly wonderful person; a beloved son, husband and father; and a treasured friend and colleague.
This is a place for all of us who were lucky enough to know Sam to share our memories and to help celebrate his life.
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