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1987-2009 JSam Communications
unless otherwise noted

 

 

UC Faculty/Students

Memories of 
Dr. A. Dain Samples

Following Dr. Shannon's devotional,
further tributes were shared in the following order:

Dr. Vik J. Kapoor
ECE Department Chair, U of C

I speak today with great sorrow and sadness in my heart on behalf of the faculty, the technical, and the administrative staff, graduate students, as well as undergraduate-students of the University of Cincinnati, where Dain Samples was a professor in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

I talked to our president, Joe Steger, last night, and on behalf of the entire university, he sends his condolences and sympathy to the parents and the wife, and other relatives. So does Dean Papadakis, the dean of the college.

We were all stunned and speechless when we found the sudden passing away of our beloved friend, Dain Samples.

I met with him the previous Friday. We had a couple-hour chat. And we said, "Let's meet again next Wednesday," -- the day he passed away -- because he will be gone for two days and I will have gone to Europe for three days. I was informed as I landed at the Atlanta airport on Thursday at 4:30. And when my assistant informed me, I was really... The telephone fell out of my hand, and she has to start yelling, "Dr. Kapoor, are you still there?" It was so sudden.

I want to say with you, a few things. It very few times happens a faculty member gets very close to a department chair. (laughter) Because... I'm the reason given when they come home late. (laughter)

Two years ago at this time, we were interviewing him for the faculty position in our department. I distinctly remember, around 4:30, Professor Phil Wilsey, who is the Director of the computers program in our department, came running to me and he said, "Vik, Vik! We've got to hire this guy." I said, "What's big about this? We have interviewed 15 others," or about 12 at that time. He said, "Vik, our faculty feel not that he is only technically competent, who'll be an outstanding professor, but I'm telling you, he is going to make a difference!"

And I remember those words. And I want to share with you, how in last only... less than two years, he has made the difference!

I always felt his first love was for his teaching, and caring for his students. This year, for example, 10% of the senior class wanted to work with him to do their senior project. And when I informed them there were only two openings available, [I nearly had] a riot. (laughter) I asked the students, "Why would you want to work with Professor Dain Samples? There are other 29 professors in the department." They say, "You know, Dr. Kapoor, he cares. He's going to make a difference, and we're going to get a better job." And, knowing Dain, he took more students than normally a professor takes. Many, many more. And I have seen him spending his hours and days working with the students.

Professor Dain Samples was known to teach compiling; he was a computer scientist. He was in software. We hired him because he was the best in compiler computation theory. And he was the first [such] professor at the University of Cincinnati; built his courses and program. These courses were never taught before.

At the end of the classes, we always have a teaching evaluation. Professors want to get feedback from the students. His teaching evaluations for all the two years -- and I personally read all the evaluations of all the professors -- his evaluations was between one and two. One is Excellent and Two is Very Good. And it always was between one and two, better than any other professor in our department,
consistently over a two year period.

He cares for his students, and that's what I meant, he made a difference.

He took on students... It was so sad... I reflect back, a few months back, one of his students' husband passed away and he and I went together to attend the memorial service.

Dain and I were close. As I said, that very rarely happens. He would be a person I could go to and seek advice. I truly believe I lost a younger brother. He has been -- now that I also know his wife Pat very well; his children; we have visited with Joyce and John at their house; enjoyed the children, when they got the twins. My children, I have twins, and enjoyed coming and visiting and sharing their experience with Dain and Pat.

Truly we lost a faculty member who's going to be very hard to replace and be very missed. In two years, he had made a mark on students, as you saw. So many students came here today to share.

At this time, I'd like to announce the formation -- the department and the University of Cincinnati has decided to establish the

Dain Samples Outstanding Senior Student Award.
(click for list of recipients)

It will be given every year to a senior because Dain was a faculty advisor to Eta Kappa Nu honor society. The plaque will be established and on the principles which Dain Samples stood for... We expect all his principles to be embodied in this award. It will be given every year, chosen by the faculty.

And again, in the end... I am grieved. The department is grieved. We are stunned. You have lost a best friend and a husband and a son and a brother. We have lost also a brother.

May God rest his soul.


Dr. Harold Carter, Associate Professor
Dain's Mentor and Colleague Dr. Harold Carter, Associate Professor
Dain's Mentor and Colleague

Dain was my friend.

It took only two years to obtain a friend that was one of the best. Within a university environment, often times the stresses and the activities become so demanding that it's hard for even relationships to develop any further than just sort of professionally or superficially. But with Dain, that didn't occur. It went deeper than that.

And not just for myself, but in talking with others in our department, Dain had an effect that was deeper than just a professional relationship. And so his passing was very deep to us.

I was by Dain's side within seconds after he'd collapsed; he found his way outside of the classroom, where in fact, his collapse occurred during the time he was doing what he enjoyed best; he was twenty minutes into a lecture he was giving that day. He was teaching students that he dearly loved. He wanted to see their minds enriched. But more than that, he wanted to see the students develop as human beings. As people who are making a transition from youthfulness to professional to adulthood to maturity. So, his passing is doubly hard.

We had very brief conversations during the several minutes it took before the paramedics arrived. He realized the severity of his condition. And to the family -- I, as many of you are, a born-again Christian; very deep in my faith. I also have a son who has decided not to follow the ways he was raised in terms of his own spiritual growth. But remember, God's word does say, in Proverbs, that, train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, when he is mature, he will follow that way. And it is my belief that as a result of this understanding that Dain had in the last few moments of his life, that he had the opportunity to reflect on his childhood raising, and understand the importance of God within his life, and to perhaps at that time, accept Jesus Christ as his personal savior, and through that, clinch eternity with God our father.

So, in closing, I'd just like to state that Dain came to us, selected out of over 400 applicants; unanimous decision of the half-a-dozen computer science and engineering professors. We accepted him and immediately got to know him socially. I have fond memories of going with my son, with him and with Karen and Bobby Davis. I remember having a good time. Then I remember being with Dain occasionally; remember receiving over E-Mail -- we computer people tend to communicate a lot over E-Mail. He had sent to us after his first class that he taught, a two or three page explanation of how he perceived his course to have gone, the background work his students should have had in order to complete his course. At that moment, I think we as a faculty recognized that we had a person who not only would do the things that the time required, but would reflect back on them and let us know so that we all could improve.

He was severely demanding. But he did so because he wanted to see others reach their potential.

So, let me just say that, he was my friend, and I'm going to miss him.


John C. Samples

This was Dain's Day. Thank all of you who made it possible.

So many people to thank for so many things. I have a friend here who drove all the way from Nashville, Tennessee just, willingly brought the sound equipment for us; Ron Worrell, and I appreciate that so much.

People have driven from Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Nebraska (chuckle); our younger son was in Nebraska when the news came.

I think Dain's Day has been just right. Thank you Dr. Shannon for your just right words.

Thank all of you for your presence.

We're not going to leave if someone else has something they want to add. Would you have something you'd want to add.

Please, come to the microphone. Anyone else... Collect your thoughts. Dr. Shannon has to leave to catch a plane. I don't know if anybody else has to leave or not, but this is Dain's Day and... I don't know if you met PudyBear or not, but... this little Teddy Bear here's been Dain's since about two years of age. He took it to college with him. (laughter) Was he there when he got his Ph.D.? He was there when he got his Ph.D.

It's interesting how we learn to love what those we love, love. Ever notice that?

 

Other students, friends, and family members may share their thoughts and feelings at this time.


Nasir Abbas
One of Dain's students

I can't say much to you all, but I would like to say a few things to Dr. Samples. I'm sure he's here. I never got a chance to say anything when he was with us, so I'd just like to take this opportunity to say, he was my advisor. Not only in my academics, but in all my matters that troubled me. I could go to him, turn to him, and speak to him about anything that I wanted.

Dr. Samples was a very patient person. I am not a very good student. I know for a fact, I am not very good student. There are much, much better students than I am. He was very tolerant with me. He taught me whatever I had curiosity about. He always cleared-up everything for me; many times. He never told me I was wrong; he always wanted me to search for the answer, if I was wrong. He never said, "You are wrong," or "This idea won't work." He gave me an opportunity to find it out for myself. That way, I grew into a better person in the last two years of my masters program.

Comparing him to the other professors, he was extremely tolerant. I mean, I would become impatient with him (laughter), really. He was so tolerant with every student. I was one of his research students and we had questions and he would be answering questions of his class students. With so much patience... I never saw it in any person.

And he used to explain each and every step. He never wanted anyone to fail in his class or get a bad grade. He cared about the students so much. It's very tough on all of us; he was a very good friend to all of us.

I really don't have too many words to say for him. He was really a great person. In my heart... the place I have for him... it cannot be replaced by anybody else. He is really irreplaceable in all aspects.

On behalf of all the students in our research group, I'd like to convey our condolences to you all, to the family and relatives of Dr. Samples. And we just want you to have courage.

It is very difficult on all of us, but I guess he is the lucky one; he got out of all the miseries of this life. He escaped all of it, so he is really the lucky one.

Thank you for the opportunity.

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