Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Calling all Maratecks

Yesterday I met my cousin Sam Marateck, a professor of Computer Science at NYU. We compared the stories were had heard growing up, and he told me that what his grandfather had said about my grandfather was that you couldn't be in the same room with him without laughing. We worked on drawing the family tree, and I pulled out a list of both phone records and death records listing Maratecks in the U.S. -- there aren't all that many -- and he was able to tell me who most of them were. It turns out that there is one Marateck still in Shenandoah, PA (but as to my question regarding how in the world the family ended up there, of all places -- and my apologies to anyone who lives in what I understand is a beautiful area -- all he could tell me was that it was a Polish area, but not necessarily populated with Polish Jews). I also learned there is one branch of the family in Ft. Myers, FL (we couldn't figure out from which of my grandfather's brothers that family is descended, so I'm looking forward to calling that cousin) as well as in Marietta, GA.There aren't a lot of us, so I should be able to reach most of them.

So if you happen to know of anyone with the last name of Marateck, there's a good chance it's a close relative, and please ask him or her to contact me.

One final observation: Sam and I were speaking of our grandfathers, and there was so much that we didn't know -- about their siblings, who left Poland and who remained and perished, and so on. That's only two generations. If you have grandparents, ask questions; that information doesn't stick around forever.


  1. Hi Bryna,

    My name is Linda Cote, I am the Sales Director at ForeWord Reviews. We have chosen "The Accidental Anarchist" for review in our November/December issue. I would love to send it to you. Please let me know how to get it to you. Thanks!

    Linda Cote
    ForeWord Reviews

  2. I am very sorry to inform you that Professor Samuel Marateck passed away on January 14, 2014, following an illness of several months.

    Sam was a tireless and dedicated teacher who taught in NYU's Computer Science Department for many decades. He was always full of good humor and cared passionately about our students. He is and will be greatly missed.

    Sam Marateck was born on September 28, 1939. He graduated from the Bronx School of Science. He obtained his B.A. and M.A. at Columbia and completed his Ph.D. in Physics at Rutgers in 1967. His interests then shifted to Computer Science which he taught here from 1972 until he was taken ill in October 2013. He was the author of several well known programming textbooks which introduced many students to the subject. Sam also retained a side interest in Physics throughout his career, with an article on Feynman diagrams in the Notices of the A.M.S. (American Math Society) in 2006 and an article "Yang-Mills and Beyond" published in the Notices of the A.M.S. in 2012.

    Sam was a cherished and active member of the Jewish communities both at NYU, where while eating at NYU's Kosher Cafe, he often befriended students and faculty, and at his regular synagogue, the Young Israel of Long Beach, where he was known for his distinctive warmth and kindness. We're grateful to his friends in the Jewish community for the support extended to him during his illness.

    Sam's real professional joy was teaching. He was awarded the the 1986 Washington Square and University College Great Teacher Award, the 1989 College of Arts and Science (CAS) Baker's Dozen Teaching Award, the 1996 CAS Outstanding Teaching Award and the 2001 CAS Golden Dozen Teaching Award. In recognition of Professor Marateck's outstanding teaching contributions here, the Courant Institute is establishing a new award, the Samuel L. Marateck Award for Outstanding Teaching in Computer Science. The first award will be given later this semester. Contributions to help support this award will be greatly appreciated; interested donors should contact Cheryl Sylivant at the Courant Institute.

    A memorial for Sam will be held tomorrow, February 18, 2014, at 12:30 pm in Room 109 of Warren Weaver Hall, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University, 251 Mercer St, New York, NY. All our welcome.

    Michael Overton
    Chair, Computer Science Dept, NYU

  3. Oops, the memorial is Tuesday Feb 18, not tomorrow.