SHIRLEY A. JACKSON (1946– ), a theoretical physicist, became in 1973 the first African American woman to earn a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After conducting research at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and at the European Center for Nuclear Research, Dr. Jackson joined AT&T Bell Laboratories, where her research work is concentrated on theoretical material sciences. She has made important contributions to several areas of physics and, for her work, was elected a fellow of the American Physical Society and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She served as chair of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission from 1995 to 1999, when she was appointed as President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

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