This story is as baffling as it is upsetting.
A brilliant NYU computer-science prof who had just become the father of twins jumped to his death last night from a 16th-floor balcony at his university-owned apartment, sources said.
Sam Roweis, 37, an associate professor in the school’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, died at 10:22 p.m.
His wife had recently given birth to preemie twins, the sources said.
“They were in some kind of argument over caring for them and all of a sudden, in the middle of the argument, he jumped over the 16th-floor balcony,” a source said.
Having witnessed too many divorces of parents of the under-two set, it’s not unusual for the stress of having young children to cause irreparable damage. But clearly there was something else going on with the professor.
Roweis was described as a “very happy, happy guy.” Even the happiest guy can become overwhelmed by children, not to mention twins. And preemies require an extra level of intensity (Google preemies and postpartum depression and you’ll find too many links to scroll through in a day). Extreme lack of sleep – common in the early days of bringing home the babies – can also drive people to do crazy things. For the sake of the children and his wife, I do hope another explanation is revealed for Roweis’ suicide. I also hope his wife gets the support she needs during this horrific time.