Sylvester James “Jim” Gates, Jr., (born December 15, 1950) is an American theoretical physicist. He received two B.S. degrees and a Ph.D. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the latter in 1977. His doctoral thesis was the first one at MIT to deal with supersymmetry. In 2017, Gates retired from the University of Maryland, and is currently the Ford Foundation Professor of Physics, and an Affiliate Mathematics Professor at Brown University. While at the University of Maryland, Gates was 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, Affiliate Professor of Mathematics. Gates served on the U.S. President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and contemporaneously on Maryland State Board of Education from 2009-2016, and the National Commission on Forensic Science from 2013-1016. 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. In 2017, working with Frank Blitzer and Stephen Jacob Sekula, he co-authored Reality in the Shadows (Or) What the Heck’s 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 the complexities of unification theory comprehensible to non-physicists. In 2012, he was named a University System of Maryland Regents Professor, only the sixth person so recognized in the system’s history. He is a past president of the National Society of Black Physicists, and is a NSBP Fellow, as well as a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Institute of Physics in the U.K. He also is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. In 2013, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, becoming the first African-American theoretical physicist so recognized in its 150-year history. On November 16, 2013, 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 2011 National Medal of Science, the highest award given to scientists in the U.S., at a White House ceremony in 2013. During 2014, he was named the Harvard Foundation’s ‘‘Scientist of the Year.’’
In 2015, he became a member of the Board of Directors of the Achieve, Inc and the Board of Councillors for the Boy Scout of America’s STEM National Council. He continues to broadly engage video documentaries with appearance or cameos in six of these in 2015:
- “The Big Bang Machine” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqTcJFsN3gw
- “The Great Math Mystery” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuGI6pQFZC0
- “The Mystery of Matter” http://www.pbs.org/program/mystery-matter/
- “Inside Einstein’s Mind.” http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/physics/inside-einsteins-mind.html
- “Thru TheWormhole: DoWe Live In The Matrix?” http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2r2f7t
- “Secrets of Einsteins Brain” http://www.history.com/shows/secrets-of-einsteins-brain/about and in 2016 he appeared the program “Inside CERN” in the BBC Horizon series
He currently continues his research in supersymmetry in systems of particles, fields, and strings.
Jill Pipher is Vice President for Research at Brown University, Elisha Benjamin Andrews Professor of Mathematics and President-Elect for American Mathematical Society. She was the founding Director of the Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics (ICERM), a National Science Foundation mathematics institute, from 2010 to 2016. Pipher obtained her B.A. in Mathematics from UCLA in 1979 and her PhD. in Mathematics from UCLA in 1985. She was a Dickson Instructor and Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago before joining the faculty of Brown as Associate Professor in 1989.
Pipher’s research areas include harmonic analysis, partial differential equations and lattice-based cryptography. She has frequently lectured for both specialist and general audiences at venues in the US and abroad. In 2014, she was an Invited Speaker at the International Congress of Mathematicians. She has published many papers in her areas of expertise and has co-authored an undergraduate cryptography textbook. She jointly holds four patents related to the NTRU encryption algorithm. She was a co-founder of Ntru Cryptosystems, Inc, now part of Security Innovation, Inc.
Pipher’s professional honors include an NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship, an NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award, and an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship. She is an inaugural Fellow of the American Mathematical Society, served as President of the Association for Women in Mathematics from 2011 to 2013, and was a National Women’s History Month 2013 Honoree. In 2015, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Monica Allen serves as a spokesman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in its Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research. She works with scientists in NOAA’s research laboratories across the country to inform the news media and general public about research to improve our understanding of the changing climate, air quality, weather and oceans. Prior to her current position, she was a spokesman for NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service, where she helped media report on fisheries issues and coastal habitat restoration. Allen also served in NOAA’s Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs as a liaison to Congress on fisheries policies. She came to NOAA in 2007 after a 25-year career as a journalist at newspapers in each of the New England states. She won many prizes for her reporting and editorials on social justice, environmental and ocean issues. She has a bachelor’s degree in history from Brown University and a master’s degree in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island.
Rick Borchelt is director of communications and public affairs for DOE’s Office of Science. He has had a varied career in science communications and public policy, including stints as special assistant for communications at the National Cancer Institute; communications director for science at USDA; director of communications for the Pew‑funded Genetics and Public Policy Center; media relations director for the National Academy of Sciences; press secretary for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology; special assistant for public affairs in the Executive Office of The President; and director of communications and public affairs at The Whitehead Institute in Cambridge, MA. He was member of the National Academy of Science’s roundtable on Public Interfaces in the Life Sciences, and served on the National Academy of Engineering’s study of engineering communication. He currently serves on the editorial board of the peer-reviewed journal Science Communication. Areas of particular interest include science and public policy, trust in science, extension communication research, and developing community based public engagement in science. He is an avid birder and lepidopterist, and a popular instructor and field trip leader for the Audubon Naturalist Society’s Natural History Field Studies certificate program.
Cornelia Dean is a lecturer at Brown University and a science writer and former science editor of The New York Times. In her editing tenure in the newspaper’s science department, members of its staff won every major journalism prize as well as the Lasker Award for public service.
She began her newspaper career at the Providence Journal.
Her first book, Against the Tide: The Battle for America’s Beaches was published by Columbia University Press in 1999 and was a N.Y. Times Notable Book of the year. Her guide to researchers on communicating with the public, Am I Making Myself Clear? was published in 2009 by Harvard University Press. Her book Making Sense of Science, about the misuse of scientific information in public life, was published in 2017 by Harvard University Press. She is at work on a fourth book (working title: The Fate of the Coast) about coastal land use in an era of rising seas.
In addition to her work at Brown, she has taught at Harvard, where she was twice honored for distinction in teaching, and at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and elsewhere.
She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a member of the Corporation of Brown University, her alma mater, and was a founding member of the advisory board of the Metcalf Institute for Environment and Marine Reporting.
She divides her time between Providence, RI, and the islands of Manhattan and Chappaquiddick.
Jennifer Fenwick is Science Friday’s director of institutional giving, where she has led the organization’s grants fundraising efforts since 2012. She holds a BA in biology from William Jewell College and MA in science education from the University of California, Berkeley. Fenwick has dedicated her career to science learning and engagement, and has worn many hats over the years while working in educational research, teaching, curriculum design, project management, nonprofit administration, and program development. Before working at Science Friday, she specialized in federal grants at New York Hall of Science in Queens, managing the proposal development process for grants to agencies such as NASA, NOAA, DARPA, IMLS, ONR, NIH, Department of Education, and NSF (for the AISL, REESE, ITEST, and DRK-12 programs). Fenwick spent a number of years teaching middle school and high school science for Oakland Unified School District in California, and Jefferson City Public Schools in Missouri. As an informal science educator, she has served at several institutions including the Youzeum, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, and California Science Center, where she co-developed the “Science on the Seas” curriculum and educator training program for Princess Cruises.
Martin LaMonica is the Deputy Editor of The Conversation, a news analysis and commentary site written by academics for the general public. Before joining The Conversation, he was a contributing editor at MIT Technology Review and wrote on energy, environment and science for The Boston Globe, The Guardian, Scientific American and other publications. Previously, he spent 20 years covering technology as a news reporter and editor at CNET/CBS Interactive and at a Silicon Valley-based newspaper.
James K. Woodell (Jim) is Vice President for Economic Development and Community Engagement at APLU. He works closely with member institutions to develop tools and resources to enhance their regional engagement and economic development efforts. He serves as the lead staff member for APLU’s Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness and Economic Prosperity (CICEP), and also the Association’s Council on Engagement and Outreach (CEO), advancing APLU’s economic and community engagement agenda.
Woodell recently earned a Ph.D. in higher education at Penn State University. His scholarly interests are in the ways in which public research universities organize for their “fourth mission” of economic engagement. He examines how institutions respond to regional, state, and federal economic and research policy with initiatives in innovation, technology transfer, and economic, community, and workforce development.
Prior to joining APLU, Woodell served as Assistant Director for Transformative Regional Engagement (TRE) Networks, focused on bringing together business, government, universities, and non-profits for innovation-driven regional development. Previously, he worked in distance education, instructional media, and e-learning for nearly 20 years. Woodell was a college teacher and administrator for ten years, including managing a large-scale distance learning program for Southern New Hampshire University. He also served as Dean of Academic Technology and Distance Learning at North Shore Community College in Massachusetts.
Woodell holds a master of education degree from Harvard University, and a BS in Public Communications (TV, Radio, and Film) from Syracuse University.