These papers cover various modern aspects of M-theory and string theory that we will have no time to discuss in detail in the lectures this semester. Their difficulty level varies. Please select one article to read and send me an email by the end of October. Once an article has been assigned to a particular student, that student's name will appear in parentheses next to the article; those interested in hearing more about the content of that article are then encouraged to contact the person who has been assigned that particular article. Enjoy!
Each student will summarize his/her understanding of the assigned article in a written summary (typed, about 2 pages). This written summary will be due Tue, Nov 26 in class. On that same day (Nov 26), the students will be handed a brief final take-home exam, worth 30% of the grade. (The text of the exam will also be posted on this web site.) The remaining 70% of the grade will be based on the written summary of the reading assignment, and on its presentation by the student in front of the class -- these student presentations will be scheduled for the final week of the classes, with each presentation taking about ten minutes plus a minute or two for questions/discussion.
 M.J. Duff, P.S. Howe, T. Inami and K.S. Stelle, "Superstrings in D=10 from Supermembranes in D=11," Phys. Lett. B191 (1987) 70 (Anthony Ndirango).
 D.J. Gross and P.F. Mende, "String Theory Beyond the Planck Scale," Nucl. Phys. B303 (1988) 407.
 W. Lerche, C. Vafa and N.P. Warner, "Chiral Rings in N=2 Superconformal Theories," Nucl. Phys. B324 (1989) 427 (Craig Helfgott).
 E. Witten, "Chern-Simons Gauge Theory as a String Theory," hep-th/9207094 (James Gill).
 A. Hanany and E. Witten, "Type IIB Superstrings, BPS Monopoles, and Three-Dimensional Gauge Dynamics," hep-th/9611230 (Lisa Dyson).
 J. Maldacena, A. Strominger and E. Witten, "Black Hole Entropy in M-Theory," hep-th/9711053 (Surya Ganguli).
 A. Strominger, S.-T. Yau and E. Zaslow, "Mirror Symmetry is T-Duality," hep-th/9606040 (Ilya Osipenkov).
 R. Minasian and G. Moore, "K-Theory and Ramond-Ramond Charge," hep-th/9710230 (Jeff Brown).
 R.C. Myers, "Dielectric-Branes," hep-th/9910053 (Matthijs Randsdorp).
 J. McGreevy, L. Susskind and N. Toumbas, "Invasion of Giant Gravitons from Anti-de Sitter Space," hep-th/0003075 (Bom Soo Kim).
 D. Mateos and P.K. Townsend, "Supertubes," hep-th/0103030.
 M. Blau, J. Figueroa-O'Farrill, C. Hull and G. Papadopoulos, "A New Maximally Supersymmetric Background of IIB Superstring Theory," hep-th/0110242.
 R.R. Metsaev, "Type IIB Green-Schwarz Superstring in Plane Wave Ramond-Ramond Background," hep-th/0112044 Dmitriy Vasilyuk).
 D. Berenstein, J. Maldacena and H. Nastase, "Strings in Flat Space and pp-Waves from N=4 Super Yang-Mills," hep-th/0202021 (Ed Boyda).
 J. Gomis and H. Ooguri, "Penrose Limit of N=1 Gauge Theories," hep-th/0202157.
 I.A. Bandos et al., "BPS States in M-Theory and Twistorial Constituents," hep-th/0101113 (Uday Varadarajan).