I had a single class with Austin (Fundamentals of Molecular Biology) during Winter quarter of this past year. Based on his contributions to the discussion in that class, I could readily tell that he possessed a brilliant mind and an unsurpassed passion for biology and science in general. He had a special gift of which this world is now unfortunately deprived. It is rare that you find a pure, inquisitive mind that is wholly captivated by a desire to comprehend and *experience* the natural world, on the grittiest level.
I am convinced that his death is not in vain. Already he is an inspiration. At the very least in my own mind, he will have a legacy as a model scientist, someone whose attitude really promotes a genuinely enthusiastic, humble approach to trying to understand the natural world. I truly salute him for that, and I will try to emulate.
To his family: I am only 23 years old, and yet still a child, so I cannot begin to fathom the hardship that you all now have to bear. You have my deepest condolences, as sincerely as I can possibly offer them. I wish you all the best.
Rest in peace, Austin.