Sam was full of life, full of all of the best things about being alive. About the love of existence and the wonder and passion that comes with deep-seated curiosity about the world. He personified the idea that beauty is not destroyed but profoundly enhanced by understanding it. He had boundless energy and generosity.
There are very, very few people who are like Sam. So exceedingly few that at times I doubt there is even one more. Sam was on track to change the world for the better; his very existence provided hope for humanity.
I have many memories of Sam. From asking him why he was carrying around a mug clipped to his backpack -- he had counted the number of disposable cups he used through a given day and thought it excessive, to his awe-inspiring thesis defense, to the first time I watched a movie on a laptop, with him in his London flat (Fight Club, it was), to his marvelous remark, "what, there's more?" when I switched topics in the middle of a presentation on my PhD research at Gatsby, to perhaps the only time I've seen him drink a beer, at a souvlaki restaurant in Athens, to a wonderful few months when he stayed in our spare room in Cambridge during his stint at MIT and wooed Meredith, to their elegantly understated wedding full of love, friendship, and devotion.
Sam never ceased to amaze me with his constant stream of ideas and passion for understanding the world around us. We are all better for having known him, and will miss him more than words can express.
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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