Biography of Sylvester James Gates, Jr.:
Sylvester James Gates, Jr. is an American theoretical physicist. He received two B.S. degrees and a Ph.D. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His doctoral thesis was the first one at MIT to deal with supersymmetry. Gates is currently a University System Regents Professor, the John S. Toll Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Director of the String and Particle Theory Center, and serves on the U.S. President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. He is known for his work on supersymmetry, supergravity, and superstring theory. In 1984, Gates co-authored Superspace, the first comprehensive book on the topic of supersymmetry.
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 the complexities of unification theory comprehensible to non-physicists. In 2012, he was named a University System of Maryland Regents Professor. He is a past president of the National Society of Black Physicists, and is a NSBP Fellow. In 2013, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, becoming the first African-American physicist so recognized in its 150-year history. Prof. Gates was awarded the Mendel Medal by Villanova University “in recognition of his influential work in supersymmetry, supergravity and string theory, as well as his advocacy for science and science education in the United States and abroad.” President Obama awarded Prof. Gates the National Medal of Science, the highest award given to scientists in the U.S. In 2014, he was named the Harvard Foundation’s ‘‘Scientist of the Year.’’
He currently continues his research in supersymmetry in systems of particles, fields, and strings.