Sam went on to do many great things, in research, engineering, California, London, Toronto, New York, Google. But for me, Sam was my old schoolmate from university. Sam was one of the University of Toronto Engineering Science class of 9T4. Sam was also a member of the New College residence, where I met him. Sam was in engineering science, and I was in computer engineering, so we didn't share any classes together, but we shared friends and residence time together. I remember Sam as smart and funny, always the center of conversation, but never condescending to a quiet person like me. Here are some of my memories of Sam.
Sam went to the famous high school (University of Toronto School) along with several of our other friends. For a while Sam was dating an engineering girl Rina, so I'd see him on the girls' side of the residence. But more often, I'd see him when I went over to the guys' side. We would congregate in someone's room, talking about anything, everything, for hours. Some of us huddled on the tiny bed, some spread out on the floor, some sat on the desk. These long talks fascinated me. They opened my mind to so many things I had never heard about.
One day, Sam talked about an experiment he did in high school. He wanted to know if the mind failed earlier than the body. He and 2 high school friends stayed up for 3 days with no sleep; they talked, did quizzes and rode a stationary bicycle. They were ok on day 1 and 2, but by day 3, they could still pedal the bike, but the blur coming out of their mouths no longer made sense. Sam always had an inquisitive mind.
I last saw Sam in 2004 at a small reunion. He looked the same. Ten years hadn't changed him a bit. The photo on this memorial site was taken at our reunion, very familiar and shocking when I saw it. At the time, he was consulting for Google, and very proud of it. I have always liked Sam.
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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There is also an album of photographs for which contributions are welcome. Instructions on how to contribute appear next to album.