Prize Recipient

shenker10Stephen Shenker
Stanford University


"For seminal work on the classification and characterization of two-dimensional unitary conformal field theories of critical states"


Stephen Shenker received his A. B. degree from Harvard University in 1975 and his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1980.  After postdocs at the University of Chicago and the ITP at UCSB he joined the faculty at Chicago where he taught until 1989.  He then moved to Rutgers University where he helped to found the New High Energy Theory Center.  In 1998 he moved to Stanford University where he now holds the Richard Herschel Weiland Chair.  From 1998 to 2008 he was Director of the Stanford Institute for Theoretical Physics.   

Shenkers research interests range from statistical physics to quantum field theory and string theory.  He and his collaborators have studied the phase structure of gauge theories and the consequences of conformal invariance for two dimensional critical phenomena and string theory.   They have discovered nonperturbative formulations of string theory and have pointed out  the existence of distinctively stringy nonperturbative effects.  His recent interests include the applications of quantum gravity to the study of cosmology and spacetime singularities.

Shenker has held an A.P. Sloan and a MacArthur Foundation fellowship.   He is currently a fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has received teaching awards from Rutgers and Stanford Universities.

Selection Committee:

Leo Radzihovsky, Chair, R. Kamien, B.S. Shastry, S. Redner, R. Singh