1) Physics and mathematics have intimidating reputations. What led you to pursue these fields as a career?
See webpage at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/elegant/view-gates.html.
2) One of the primary areas of your research is supersymmetry. Could you define what it is and its relationship to your work as a whole?
At its root the concept of "supersymmetry" implies a great balance. If our universe has this property, it means that ultimately the types matter-particles and energy-particle are balanced with regard to their intrinsic rates of spin.
Supersymmetry has simply been the most puzzling and fascinating topic of my career.
3) What advice do you have for students looking to go into a science career?
Find something that you absolutely love! If you do that then all the rest will take care of itself…with a little luck.
4) What are the next steps for your research?
Currently, my research has headed in a direction so strange that I do not know what to make of it. There is an online discussion of this here, and I published an article about this which is referenced on my homepage. The bottom line is I am trying to figure out whether we live in a universe that resembles The Matrix? Some of the research I do suggests that there may be computer codes hidden inside the equations of a supersymmettic universe!
5) When you're not knee-deep in research, what sorts of things do you enjoy doing in your downtime?
Right now the thing I most often do is to consider the formation of educational policy in my service to the Maryland State Board of Education and the US President's Council of Advisors on Science & Technology.