Sunday, January 9, 2011

Associate Professor Mark Laws

I returned home from holiday yesterday to the heart-breaking news that Associate Professor Mark Laws had drowned. He leaves behind his wife, three daughters and five grandchildren.

Mark was a gifted researcher, a loving and devoted husband and father, and my friend.

Mark and I did our PhDs together in the old Knowledge Engineering Lab at the University of Otago. For years we shared an office, worked together, and partied together. With a handful of others from the lab, he made my time as a post-grad not only bearable, but fun.

He was devoted to his family - I still remember how proud he was of his daughters achievements, and how happy he was when his first grand-child was born. It's for them that I feel the most.

Over the last few years we hadn't seen each other as much as we would have liked, but every time I saw him, he had a big smile and welcoming hug for me. I learned so much from him and I'm immensely grateful to have had him in my life.

I still can't believe that he's gone.

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