The National Imperative for Big Science: Is There Still One?
Professor Gates studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where his Ph.D. focused on elementary particle physics and quantum field theory. Thus, began his research into the topic known as "supersymmetry'' with his thesis being the first devoted to this subject at M.I.T. His postgraduate studies started as a Junior Fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows (1977-1980) and ended with an appointment at Caltech (1980-1982). Faculty appointments began at MIT (1982-1984) and later continued at the University of Maryland at College Park (1984-present). From 1991-1993, he was on leave of absence and served as Physics Professor and Departmental Chair at Howard University. In July, 1998 he was named the first John S. Toll Professor of Physics and thus the first African-American to hold an endowed chair in physics at a major research university in the U.S.
Prof. Gates has authored or co-authored over 120 research papers published in scientific journals, co-authored one book and contributed numerous articles in others. His research, in the areas of the mathematical and theoretical physics of supersymmetric particles, fields and strings, covers topics such as the physics of quarks, leptons, gravity, super and heterotic strings and unified field theories of the type first envisioned by A. Einstein. Dr. Gates travels widely speaking at national and international scientific meetings.
On February 1, 2013, Gates received the National Medal of Science and currently serves on President Barack Obama's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.
Event image credit: Flickr, parksdh, Supersymmetry