Ramamurti Shankar, Yale University, Joins the MPS Scientific Advisory Board

The Division of Mathematics and Physical Sciences is pleased to announce the appointment of Ramamurti Shankar to the Scientific Advisory Board.

Shankar is the Josiah Willard Gibbs Professor of Physics and Professor of Applied Physics at Yale. After getting his B. Tech degree in Electrical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, he went to UC Berkeley to obtain his PhD in Elementary Particle Physics, specializing on S-matrix theory. Following three years as a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows, he joined the Yale physics faculty in 1977 and has remained there ever since, serving as its chair between 2001-2007.

He worked on determining the quark-gluon coupling using ideas from S-matrix theory, the exact S-matrices for a few two-dimensional field theories (with Edward Witten), the exact solution of several problems in the statistical mechanics of homogenous and random systems, the Hamiltonian theory of the Fractional quantum Hall effect, the renormalization group foundations of Landau’s Fermi liquid theory, and topological insulators. Much of the post Yale work was done with his former student Ganpathy Murthy. The common thread in his work has been the applications of quantum field theory and the renormalization group.

He is a compulsive pedagogue who has given public lectures on relativity and quantum mechanics. His Open Yale Courses on Introductory Physics, available in You Tube, have had over 40 million hits (with subtitles in China). He has written 5 books: Principles of Quantum Mechanics and Basic Training in Mathematics (Springer), Fundamentals of Physics I and II (Yale Press) and Field Theory and Quantum Mechanics (Cambridge). His books have been translated into Polish, Greek and Chinese. He was awarded the A.P. Sloan Fellowship, the Harwood Burns-Richard Sewell teaching prize from Yale and the Lilienfeld Prize of the American Physical Society.

He is a fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and was a Visiting Professor at the Ecole Normale Superieure, Simons Professor KITP Santa Barbara , and Distinguished Visiting Professor the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.

He has served on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Statistical Physics, the Dannie Heineman Prize Committee, the Committee of Visitors at the National Science Foundation, as a Trustee of and Executive Committee member of the Aspen Center of Physics, on the Advisory Board for the Center for Correlated Electrons and Magnetism, Augsburg, and the Lilienfeld Prize Committee of the APS.

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