S. James Gates Jr., Ph.D.
Nobel Conference 49
Oct. 1 & 2, 2013
S. James Gates Jr., Ph.D., University System of Maryland Regents Professor, John S. Toll Professor of Physics, and Center for String and Particle Theory Director, University of Maryland, College Park
Sylvester James (Jim) Gates Jr. has been featured on many documentary programs on physics. Among these are “The Elegant Universe,” “Einstein’s Big Idea,” “Fabric of the Cosmos,” and “The Hunt for the Higgs.” In 2006, he completed a DVD series titled Superstring Theory: The DNA of Reality (for The Teaching Company), composed of 24 half-hour lectures, to make unification in fundamental physics accessible to non-scientists. At the 2008 World Science Festival, Prof. Gates narrated a ballet, The Elegant Universe, with an online resource presentation of the artist forms (called adinkras) connected to his scientific research. These were the topic of “Symbols of Power: Adinkras and the Nature of Reality,” a cover story in 2010 of the British magazine Physics World that led to websites on the topic that have been viewed over 600,000 times.
Professor Gates, a University System of Maryland Regents Professor, the John S. Toll Professor of Physics, and director of the Center for String and Particle Theory, is a theoretical physicist at the University of Maryland, College Park. Prof. Gates currently serves on the U. S. President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and on the Maryland State Board of Education. He has earned two B. S. degrees (mathematics & physics, 1973) and a Ph.D. (1977), all from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His Ph.D. dissertation was the first at MIT to deal with supersymmetry and was followed by postgraduate work at Harvard University, and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). In 1984, with M. T. Grisaru, M. Rocek, and W. Siegel, Gates co-authored Superspace, the first comprehensive book on the topic of supersymmetry. Earlier this year, Professor Gates became the first member physicist of the African Diaspora in the 150-year history of the National Academy of Sciences and was named a recipient of the National Medal of Science, the highest recognition given by the U.S. to scientists, “for his contribution to the mathematics of supersymmetry in particle, field, and string theories and his extraordinary efforts to engage the public on the beauty and wonder of fundamental physics.”