A native of Baton Rouge, LA, Dr. Michael R. Douglas is an accomplished theoretical physicist who specializes in operator algebras. In 1983, he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in physics from Harvard University. Then, in 1988, he obtained a Doctor of Philosophy in physics from the California Institute of Technology, where he studied under John Schwarz, who was one of the developers and leading researchers in superstring theory. Dr. Douglas also completed postdoctoral work at the University of Chicago. He began his career as an assistant professor, associate, and then full professor at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. During this time, he also briefly became a permanent member of the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques in Les Ulis, France. After his professorship, he became a permanent member of the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics at Stony Brook University. In 2013, he was promoted to his current position as associated member of the Simons Center.
In addition to his primary appointments in the physics field, Dr. Douglas has also extended his expertise to various other positions. He has been granted fellowships to several universities and professional societies. He has also served as the director of the New High Energy Theory Center at Rutgers, and as a visiting professor at École Normale Supérieure in Paris, France and the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Currently, he is also a researcher for Renaissance Technologies.
Throughout his career, Dr. Douglas has been best known for his research in discoveries in string theory such as Dirichlet branes and noncommutative geometry. He also developed matrix models and the statistical approach to string phenomenology, and he served on the team that built the Digital Orrery, a special-purpose computer for computations in celestial mechanics. As an educator, Dr. Douglas has been active in organizing schools and workshops such as Les Houches, Cargese, and the KITP Santa Barbara.
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