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.
If you would like to add an article to this blog please contact Or you may leave a comment on any article. (Comments are moderated: please bear in mind that this is a place to remember Sam and to help celebrate his life.)

There is also an album of photographs for which contributions are welcome. Instructions on how to contribute appear next to album.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

from one who knew him through his work

Dear Roweis family, friends, and colleagues,

The breadth and spread of Sam Roweis' scientific legacy are just at their beginning. There are many people like myself out there who have just started to know him through his immense scientific work. As a newcomer to the field of dimensionality reduction, I eagerly read Sam’s paper on sensible PCA a couple of years ago and listed him, Zoubin Ghahramani, and Geoff Hinton as the people I would want to learn pattern recognition from. I admired his work without ever having had a chance to meet him in person or attend any of the conferences he likely attended or develop any form of personal acquaintance. My knowledge of him was through his work, which is imperishable. Today I had decided to do myself some good and read his 1999 paper on EM estimation of nonlinear dynamical systems and I came across in shock to the page with his obituary.

My message is only this: the legacy of his work is eternal and will grow further as years go by, well beyond the circle of colleagues who knew him in person. As this is the aspiration of any researcher, I guess this would have made him happy and I hope it will bring some consolation to his family. I do not sign this note as my name is insignificant and just stands for the many.

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