Sylvester Gates, Jr. mentors undergrads in annual summer research program

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Sylvester Gates, Jr. directs the Summer Student Theoretical Physics Research Session (SSTPRS) at the University of Maryland. The annual program offers a summerlong experience for students interested in conducting scientific research.

The SSTPRS traces its beginnings back to 1999, when the idea came to S. James Gates Jr., a Distinguished University Professor and Regents Professor of Physics at UMD known for his pioneering work in supersymmetry and supergravity, areas closely related to string theory.

The goal of the program is not to teach students physics, but rather to allow students to explore areas of theoretical physics and publish refereed journal articles on their research findings. However, as Gates points out, becoming a published author is not guaranteed.

“We engage in real research, so it has all the uncertainty of real research,” said Gates.

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