|Sylvester James Gates|
|Born||December 15, 1950|
|Institutions||University of Maryland, College Park|
|Alma mater||Massachusetts Institute of Technology|
|Known for||Supersymmetry, String Theory,Supergravity|
Sylvester James (Jim) Gates, Jr. (born December 15, 1950) is an American theoretical physicist. He received BS and PhD degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the latter in 1977. His doctoral thesis was the first thesis at MIT to deal with supersymmetry. Gates is currently the John S. Toll Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland, College Park and serves on President Barack Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. He is known for his work on supersymmetry, supergravity, and superstring theory. In 1984, working with M. T. Grisaru, M. Rocek, W. Siegel, Gates co-authored Superspace, the first comprehensive book on the topic of supersymmetry.
Gates has been featured extensively on many NOVA PBS programs on physics, most notably “The Elegant Universe” in 2003. 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 laypeople. During the 2008 World Science Festival, Prof. Gates narrated a ballet “The Elegant Universe”, where he gave a public presentation of the artistic forms connected to his scientific research.
Dr. Gates has been nominated by the Department of Energy to be one of the USA Science and Engineering Festival’s Nifty Fifty Speakers who will speak about his work and career to middle and high school students in October 2010. He is currently a Martin Luther King Jr. Visiting Scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for the 2010-2011 School Year, and is a Residential Scholar at MIT’s Simmons Hall. He is also currently continuing his research in String Theory, Supersymmetry, and Supergravity at the MIT Center of Theoretical Physics. He is a member of the board of trustees of Society for Science & the Public.