Category: memories

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An Audacious Thinker

Martin was a graduate student in Dr. Kuperberg’s lab at Tufts when I joined as an undergrad RA in 2008. I came to know him as the guy who wrote scripts in Perl, drank tap water from a Pellegrino bottle, and covered for me the time I got stuck in traffic driving back to campus to run a subject. But of course he was much more than that. One conversation with Martin stands out. We were outside, perhaps at a cookout, and I mentioned something I’d read about the role of flame cooking in the evolution of the human brain. Martin knew something about this question, and told me all about the chemistry of grilling meat, the ATP requirements of...

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Martin, me, and watermelons over the years

One time around 2008 we were sitting in the back of the NeuroCognitionLab weekly meeting at Tufts, bored with the speaker, and were whispering about how our martial art (Soo Bahk Do) is a homonym for “watermelon” in Korean. I mentioned that I always had a fantasy of punching through a watermelon, at which point Martin said “I’ll provide the melon, if you yell ‘Tony Danza!’ before you hit it.” We then giggled like school kids until our advisor Gina likely gave us a dirty look. Of course, several months later we did indeed have our melon adventure (for the first time of many), and Martin got to have some fruit fun as well… Watermelon video  

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Memory from José Rivera

I remember like it was yesterday when this young man from Poland was first introduced to me. OMG, he was so stiff that I thought he was about to crack and I wondered how my daughter would make out with this young man. I learned later that the stiffness was actually an overabundance of courtesy and respect for my role. I was blown away. He never lost that special respect for me as a father figure even long after we had attempted to measure each other which glasses of potato vodka.  

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Neil Cohn Remembers Martin on his blog

It’s taken me a bit to get to the point to be able to write something, but my dear friend Martin Paczynski passed away last week, and I’ve written a memorial for him on my blog. There, I cover the more scholarly aspects of our relationship. I leave out the more personal… Like his inspiring my love of cycling, or how we’d do push ups in our office every hour on the hour. Or how he was my first and most devoted Soo Bahk Do student, the only to reach “black” belt, and always the one who held watermelons for me to kick or punch through. Or how he was always there for me with an open ear or warm hug during...

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The photographer’s muse

I met Martin during our freshman year at Vassar.  I was never without my camera, and he was my willing subject.  He went on to “star” in several of my student films.   He was my buddy, my willing companion for any number of adventures.  He gave the best back rubs.  I recall the semester he borrowed his father’s car, which lacked functioning brake lights, and hoping we would avoid being rear-ended.  Most of all, I remember celebrating several beautiful, sunny, Founder’s Days with him. I’m not sure why we fell out of touch after Vassar.  I guess it was partly due to it being the pre-Facebook era.  We emailed once, and he told me that he had married Marta.  About...

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22 Years, 11 months

No words I try to put together sound right, but here are some words. I met Martin on February 17, 1995. He quickly became my best friend. At Vassar, I’d meet him on his campus patrol route to bring him a V8 Picante (which the later renamed “spicy hot” to both of our dissatisfactions. We’d go on runs to Price Chopper for snacks at 2AM after he got off shift. When I left Vassar, he visited me wherever I was, San Francisco that summer I lived there, or once he drove through a snowstorm to bring me Valentine’s Day flowers when I was in Albany. Many folks thought we were too young to get married, and they may well have...

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Memories from Elizabeth Auld

In looking for pictures of Martin, Picasa’s “people” function showed me about 50 shots of him.  It was like watching him in person, the expressions changed from photo to photo, sometimes slightly.  It was a wonderful reminder of his many facets which I won’t try to en umerate here.   I’m pleased with the pictures I found but disappointed also: the best picture may not even exist although it must because the image is so clear in my head.  It must have been the time I met Martin, so during Marta’s year at Vassar.  They were in the middle of the kitchen in the house in Marlboro where Judy and I grew up.  Playful young people, they were passing or...

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Remembering Martin from Wright State University

I was Martin’s colleague and supervisor here at Wright State University, where we worked closely together up until the time he passed away. Martin was one of the first people hired into our new group last January. We were excited to have someone with his impressive research pedigree and breadth of background (from psycholinguistics to machine learning to neurophysiology) joining our team. From the start, Martin stood out as a deep and independent thinker, as well as a conscientious scientist whose integrity was obvious to anyone who worked with him. He had a special talent for going against the grain without ever being abrasive. I only knew Martin for a year, but that was long enough to appreciate his unfailingly...

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Dr. Martin Paczynski

Martin was my very first PhD student at Tufts University. He came to my job talk and, when I got the job, he asked me if I was accepting students. I am so glad that I said yes.  Martin threw himself into the field of psycholinguistics, linguistics and electrophysiology. He helped countless lab members with their experiments. He produced masterly, novel papers. He was passionate, persistent and dedicated to his work and to science with an amazing ability to think outside the box.  I was so proud when Martin graduated as Dr. Paczynski and so happy to meet his family at his graduation. Martin was a wonderful person – big-hearted, full of wisdom, unique insights and humor. His love of...