2013 Rydell Professorship

Featuring S. James Gates 


Dr. Gates is the John S. Toll Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland, College Park, and the first African American to hold an endowed chair in physics at a major American research university. He also served on President Barack Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. In addition to his position at Maryland, Gates has taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Howard University. He publishes in the areas of string theory and particle physics. He has also served as a consultant to the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation, and the Educational Testing Service.

In 2005, Gates presented at the College’s Nobel Conference on “The Legacy of Einstein,” where he gave a lecture titled “Is Cosmic Concordance in Concomitance with Superstring/M-Theory?”

As a prelude to the Nobel Conference 49, James Gates delivered a talk titled “Symmetry and the Quincunx Nexus”. Gates’ presentation explored symmetry in nature and how theoretical physicists make use of symmetry to understand our universe. 

Gates was on campus as the part of the College’s Rydell Professorship — is a scholar-in-residence program designed to bring Nobel laureates and similarly distinguished scholars to the campus as catalysts to enhance learning and teaching. The Rydell Professorship was established in 1993 by Drs. Robert E. and Susan T. Rydell to give students the opportunity to learn from and interact with leading scholars.