Bio


Professor Shenker's contributions to Physics include:


- Basic results on the phase structure of gauge theories (with Eduardo Fradkin)
- Basic results on two dimensional conformal field theory and its relation to string theory (with Daniel Friedan, Emil Martinec, Zongan Qiu, and others)
- The nonperturbative formulation of matrix models of low-dimensional string theory, the first nonperturbative definitions of string theory (with Michael R. Douglas)
- The discovery of distinctively stringy nonperturbative effects in string theory, later understood to be caused by D-branes. These effects play a major role in string dynamics
- The discovery of Matrix Theory, the first nonperturbative definition of String/M theory in a physical number of dimensions. Matrix Theory (see Matrix string theory) is an example of a gauge/gravity duality and is now understood to be a special case of the AdS/CFT correspondence (with Tom Banks, Willy Fischler and Leonard Susskind)
- Basic results on the connection between quantum gravity and quantum chaos (with Douglas Stanford, Juan Maldacena and others)

Academic Appointments


Administrative Appointments


  • Asst--Full Professor, University of Chicago (1981 - 1989)
  • Professor, Rutgers University (1989 - 1998)
  • Professor, Stanford University (1998 - Present)
  • Director, Stanford Institute for Theoretical Physics (1998 - 2009)

Honors & Awards


  • Member, National Academy of Sciences (2015)
  • Lars Onsager Prize, American Physical Society (2010)
  • Dean's Award for Distinguished Achievements in Teaching, Stanford University (2007)
  • Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2006)
  • Fellow, American Physical Society (2003)
  • Undergraduate Teaching Award, Rutgers Society of Physics Students (1992)
  • Fellow, MacArthur Foundation (1987)
  • Presidential Young Investigator Award, NSF (1985)
  • Fellow, Sloan Foundation (1983)

Professional Education


  • Ph.D., Cornell University (1980)
  • B.A., Harvard University (1975)

Current Research and Scholarly Interests


Professor Shenker’s research focuses on quantum gravity, in particular string theory and M theory, with an emphasis on nonperturbative aspects.

2019-20 Courses


Stanford Advisees