Ford Foundation Professor of Physics, Director of the Center of Advanced Theoretical Sciences


Sylvester James “Jim” Gates, Jr., is the Brown Theoretical Physics Center Director, the Ford Foundation Professor of Physics, an Affiliate Professor of Mathematics, and a Watson Institute for International Studies & Public Affairs Faculty Fellow.

Prof. Gates (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. While at the University of Maryland, College Park, Gates was a University System Regents Professor, the John S. Toll Professor of Physics, the Director of the String and Particle Theory Center, and Affiliate Professor of Mathematics. He is known for his work on supersymmetry, supergravity, and superstring theory.  In 2019 he published his third book together with Cathie Pelletier, co-authoring Proving Einstein Right: The Daring Expeditions that Changed How We Look at the Universe. President Obama awarded Prof. Gates the 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 2018, he was elected to serve in the presidential line as Vice President of the American Physical Society. In 2019, he was invited to serve on the American Bar Assoc Steering Committee for the Annual Prescription For Criminal Justice And Forensic Science.

In 2015, he became a member of the Board of Directors of the Achieve, Inc. He continues to broadly engage video documentaries with appearances or cameos.

He currently continues his research in supersymmetry in systems of particles, fields, and strings.

A more complete biography may be found here.

Brown Affiliations

On the Web