# Stephen Shenker : biography

1953 -

**Stephen Hart Shenker** (born 1953) is an American theoretical physicist who works on string theory. He is a professor at Stanford University and former director of the Stanford Institute for Theoretical Physics. His brother Scott Shenker is a computer scientist. His 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)
- The discovery of the first distinct signature of the black hole singularity in AdS/CFT (with Lukasz Fidkowski, Veronika Hubeny and Matthew Kleban)