COLLEGE STATION —
Dr. Christopher N. Pope, professor of physics and director of the George P. and Cynthia W. Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy at Texas A&M University, has been appointed to the rank of distinguished professor, effective September 1, 2006.
Widely respected as an international leader in the development of strings and M-theory, Pope is considered one of the world’s most active current researchers in high-energy theory. His 25-year career at the forefront of theoretical physics includes more than 250 publications and 8,000 citations. Along the way, he has been heavily involved in every step of the search for a consistent theory of Quantum Gravity, which successfully unifies all the fundamental forces in nature.
“We are very fortunate to have such a world-renowned physicist here at Texas A&M,” said Dr. H. Joseph Newton, dean of the College of Science. “Dr. Pope brings great honor to physics, to science and to Texas A&M.”
By virtue of the appointment, Pope joins an elite group of approximately 65 currently appointed distinguished professors at Texas A&M. The coveted title, which represents the highest academic rank a faculty member can attain at Texas A&M, is reserved for faculty members who are recognized by their peers as being among the top five percent in their fields worldwide for making major contributions that have redirected the flow of related research or scholarship.
Pope, who joined the Texas A&M faculty in 1988, completed his doctorate while studying under world-renowned theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking and is considered one of Hawking’s most successful students and closest collaborators. Fittingly, Pope was honored in 2002 as the inaugural recipient of Texas A&M’s Stephen Hawking Chair in Fundamental Physics.
In the short years since, Pope has done justice to his chair namesake and former advisor by helping to elevate the Mitchell Institute and, in turn, Texas A&M Physics, to international prominence at near light speed. Each spring the Institute attracts a who’s-who listing of the globe’s most eminent physicists to the Texas A&M campus for a week of lectures and face-to-face interactions with University faculty and students. This past spring, Pope proved instrumental in brokering a 10-year partnership between Texas A&M and Cambridge University that will result in an exchange of faculty and students as well as a biannual conference series between the two universities.
“I am deeply honored by this promotion to Distinguished Professor,” Pope said. “I believe my work in theoretical physics has been aided greatly by the Mitchells’ continuing support in setting up the Institute and the associated endowed chairs. I look forward to helping to develop the activities of the Institute further, especially the collaboration with the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology in Cambridge.”
During the last few years, the Texas A&M Department of Physics has been making great strides in international recognition and reputation — advances in which Pope has played a crucial role, according to Dr. Edward S. Fry, professor and head of the Department.
“We are extremely pleased to have Chris Pope as a member of our faculty and to see this well-deserved recognition,” Fry added.
Pope received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Clare College, Cambridge, as well as a Ph.D. from St. John’s College, Cambridge. After completing a research fellowship at Imperial College in London, he spent a year at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) before taking a position as associate professor at the University of Southern California and later moving to Texas A&M University in 1988.
Contact: Shana K. Hutchins, (979) 862-1237 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Dr. Christopher N. Pope, (979) 845-7793 or email@example.com