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.
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.