Alex Rozenshteyn, a computer science major, had been Mr. Krasnopoler's friend since his freshman year and was his roommate.

"Nathan was never afraid to express an opinion, and whether it might be popular or not, he'd express it," he said.

Mr. Krasnopoler was a fan of author Michael Pollan, the sustainable-food advocate whose books greatly influenced him.

"He was interested in locally grown organic sustainable food and wanted to learn how to cook it," his mother said, who added that her son as a youngster became an excellent baker of pies and desserts, and loved giving them away to friends as gifts.

"The morning of the accident, he had been to Waverly Market, and he had a backpack full of food," his father said.

When Mr. Krasnopoler's parents were told that his recovery was unlikely, they considered organ donation.

"We wanted some good to come out of this tragedy and thought we could donate one of Nathan's kidneys," his mother said. "He was a very healthy kid who neither drank or smoked."

"Our family and friends agreed with that idea," said Mr. Krasnopoler.

"It was in keeping with who Nathan was," his mother added.

The couple took their offer to the medical ethics board at Johns Hopkins Hospital and the University of Maryland Medical Center, but because their son was not on a ventilator and could not participate in the decision, the hospitals would not agree to it.

"If he had been on a ventilator and not breathing on his own, it would have been a very easy thing to do," his father said.

"We thought it was something we could offer from this senseless tragedy," his mother said. "Both Maryland and Hopkins took us seriously and gave us good consideration."

In their son's memory, the family established the Nathan Krasnopoler Memorial Fund at Hopkins' Whiting School of Engineering.

In addition to his parents, who live in Ellicott City, Mr. Krasnopoler is survived by a brother, Elliot Krasnopoler of Ellicott City; a sister, Emma Krasnopoler of Ellicott City; his paternal grandfather, Irv Krasnopoler of Pittsburgh; and his maternal grandmother, Charlotte Cohen, also of Pittsburgh.