Robert Shrock Recognized by SUNY Chancellor's Award

Monday, 05 October 2015 13:06 administrator
The Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activity is a SUNY-wide award intended to recognize consistently outstanding scholarly and creative productivity of its faculty.

Robert joined the YITP and Department of Physics and Astronomy in 1979, after research and teaching positions at Fermilab and Princeton.   He brought to Stony Brook his extraordinary range of interests, and the ability to work in varied fields.  To his colleagues he is a unique resource, keeping abreast of experimental and theoretical developments, not only in theoretical and experimental high energy physics, but also in biophysics, in cosmology and beyond.   Robert is, in the words of one of his colleagues, a true polymath.

Robert’s approach to research is a perfect example of the “long view”. His career spans the major experimental discoveries that established the Standard Model for fundamental forces, culminating with the recent discovery of the Higgs boson, and he has consistently contributed to theoretical advances during the past forty years, which have enabled the community to interpret these discoveries as they unfolded.   One of Robert’s great strengths, however, has always been to examine accepted theory and to discern its potential limitations. He has thus been exceptionally influential in suggesting tests of the Standard Model, experimentally-­‐accessible situations where new phenomena might arise that would challenge the ruling paradigm.   His work is recognized internationally, and his research has been supported by a series of National Science Foundation awards for thirty-five years.

Other areas in which Robert has ongoing research interests, and in which he has supervised students who have gone on to faculty positions, extend outside elementary particle physics to statistical mechanics and pure mathematics. He has been invited to international conferences in mathematics as well as physics, and has played an active role in mathematical physics workshops right here on campus, at the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics.

As much as Robert exemplifies the strength of a researcher and mentor, he has put the same unflagging energy into teaching and Departmental, University and professional service. On campus, he has served for years as Chair of the College of Arts and Science Library Committee.  On the national level, he is consistently called upon to lend his expertise to community study groups on the design of forward-looking facilities and experiments.

Robert shares the 2015 honor with Peter Stephens of the Department of Physics and Astronomy.   Fred is the third YITP faculty member to have received the Chancellor's Award, joining John Smith who was recognized in 2005, and Alfred Goldhaber, 2014.