A professor of physics at the University of Maryland, College Park who specializes in fundamental questions of the structure and behavior of the universe has been named a recipient of the National Medal of Science.
Sylvester James Gates Jr., 62, was among 12 researchers named by President Barack Obama on Dec. 21 to receive the award at a White House ceremony this year.
The medal, created in 1959 and awarded each year, recognizes what the White House described as extraordinary knowledge and outstanding contributions in science and engineering.
At Maryland, Gates also directs the university's Center for String and Particle Theory, which deals with efforts to find underlying physical laws governing the cosmos.
He also serves as a member of the Maryland State Board of Education.
He holds bachelor's and doctoral degrees from MIT, where his thesis dealt with supersymmetry.