You are cordially invited to the inaugural
John S. Toll
Endowed Lecture in Physics
Perspective on John S. Toll's "OmniPolymathism" From an Age of Skepticism
Sylvester James Gates Jr.
Ford Foundation Professor of Physics, Brown University &
College Park Professor of Physics, University of Maryland
Tuesday, September 28, 2021
3:30 p.m. Light refreshments
4:00 p.m. Lecture
John S. Toll Physics Building, Room 1412
Parking is available in the Regents Drive Garage. Enter via Stadium Drive; an attendant will direct visitors within the garage. Additionally, the free #104 ShuttleUM bus runs between the College Park Metro Station and Regents Drive at about 12-minute intervals.
Questions? Contact the Department of Physics at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-405-5946.
I first met John S. Toll during the late 1980s during the time he was leading the University Research Associates (URA) while it sought to build the Superconducting Super Collider. Had it been built, the "Higgs Boson," an elementary particle, would have been discovered in the United States, not at the Large Hadron Collider in Europe. One night in the physics department, I saw an elderly gentleman and wondered whether he was lost. Little did I know then, this man was the creator of the modern University of Maryland. I learned this and many more things later. This talk is a presentation about some of these lessons.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Sylvester James Gates Jr. is currently the Ford Foundation Professor of Physics at Brown University, director of the Brown Theoretical Physics Center and a College Park Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland. He has been on the UMD faculty since 1984 and was the John S. Toll Professor of Physics from 1998 to 2017. The current president of the American Physical Society, Gates was awarded the President's National Medal of Science in 2011 and served on former President Barack Obama's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. He is known among scientists for his work in supersymmetry, supergravity and superstring theory, and is more widely known by the public for his frequent appearances on scientific documentaries.
ABOUT THE LECTURE
Chuan-Sheng Liu and Jingyi Liu established the John S. Toll Endowed Lecture in Physics at the University of Maryland to honor the enormous legacy of John Toll (1923-2011) and bring some of the brightest physicists to UMD's campus to share their talent and enthusiasm with the community. The Lius' generous gift was followed by a contribution from Toll’s widow, Deborah Toll, who was thrilled to see her husband being honored in this way.
John Toll served as chair of UMD's Department of Physics and Astronomy from 1953 to 1965, recruiting dozens of top-tier scientists and catapulting the department onto an international stage. As president of UMD from 1978 to 1988 and founding chancellor of the University System of Maryland from 1988 to 1989, Toll helped grow the system and elevate its reputation.
Chuan Liu is a professor emeritus of physics who joined UMD in 1974 and served as department chair from 1985 to 1990 and 1993 to 1994. His wife, Jingyi Liu (M.S. '83, communications; Ph.D. '91, radio/tv/film), was a cross-cultural communication consultant, educator and TV producer for educational programs, and she served as a contract interpreter for the U.S. Department of State.