Sam embodied some of the best traits of the research field of machine learning. He was open, inclusive, and had a wonderful energy, enthusiasm and excitement for ideas and research developments. He was articulate and clear, with a gift for inspiring people about ideas that he thought were cool -- not just his own.
When he visited CMU a while back, Sam suggested having a joint CMU/Toronto machine learning get together, a great Sam-esque idea that unfortunately never happened. I worked with him to put together a proposal for discussion articles in the Journal of Machine Learning Research. Sam saw a bigger picture, a bigger community, than most of us. His intellect, charm, enthusiasm and energy contributed tremendously to making our field so vibrant.
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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