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On Campus

May 15, 2001 - VOL. 28, NO. 07

Commencement Address: Steven Weinberg


Nancy Neff


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World renowned physicist and Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg, holder of the Josey Regental Chair in Science, will deliver the University's 2001 spring Commencement address.

The 118th UT Commencement ceremony will be held May 19 on the South Terrace of the Main Building.

Weinberg is a professor of physics and astronomy at UT Austin and is founding director of the Theory Group in the College of Natural Sciences. Well known for his development of a field theory that unifies the electromagnetic and weak nuclear forces, and for other major contributions to physics and cosmology, he is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, Britain’s Royal Society, the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Council on Foreign Relations, among other organizations.

Weinberg's work has been honored with numerous prizes, including the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1979 and the National Medal of Science in 1991.

"Professor Weinberg believes that scientists should be fully engaged in the world around them," said UT Austin President Larry R. Faulkner, who extended the invitation to speak to Weinberg. "From social commentary to poetry to the role of science in society, Steven Weinberg continues to contribute his ideas and his passion — in addition to his prodigious work in physics. His Commencement address will be memorable."

Weinberg is the author of the prize-winning book The First Three Minutes: A Modern View of the Origin of the Universe (which has been translated into 22 foreign languages) as well as Gravitation and Cosmology, The Discovery of Subatomic Particles, Dreams of a Final Theory and The Quantum Theory of Fields. Last year, Weinberg was the recipient of the Scientist as Poet prize from Rockefeller University for "extraordinary achievements in conveying — with passionate clarity — the ideas, history, explanatory power and aesthetic dimensions of fundamental physics." The citation mentioned two of Weinberg's books.

He also has published more than 250 articles on elementary particle physics, cosmology and other subjects, one of which is the most frequently cited paper on particle physics in the past 50 years. One of his more recent publishing endeavors was a lengthy article on physics for Time magazine's special issue on the 20th century.

Before joining the UT Austin faculty in 1982, Weinberg taught at Columbia University, the University of California at Berkeley, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University.

Weinberg was educated at Cornell University, where he received an A.B. degree in 1954. He attended the Copenhagen Institute for Theoretical Physics and received a Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1957. He also holds honorary doctoral degrees from a dozen universities, including the University of Salamanca, the University of Padua, the University of Chicago, Columbia University, Dartmouth College and Yale University.


May 15, 2001
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