Abstract:
We examine whether a minimal string model possessing the same massless spectra as the MSSM can be obtained from $Z_4$, $Z_6$ and $Z_8$ orbifold constructions. Using an anomaly cancellation condition of the target space duality symmetry, we derive allowable values of a level $k_1$ of U(1)$_Y$ for the minimal string model on the orbifolds through computer analyses. We investigate threshold corrections of the gauge coupling constants of SU(3), SU(2) and U(1)$_Y$ and examine consistencies of the model with the LEP experiments. It is found that $Z_4$ and $Z_8$-II can not derive the minimal string model but $Z_6$-I, $Z_6$-II and $Z_8$-I are possible to derive it with $13/12 \leq k_1\leq 41/30$, $16/15\leq k_1\leq 17/12$ and $1\leq k_1\leq 41/21$ respectively. The minimum values of the moduli on unrotated planes are estimated within the ranges of the levels.

Abstract:
We examine whether a minimal string model possessing the same massless spectra as the MSSM can be obtained from $Z_4$, $Z_6$ and $Z_8$ orbifold constructions. Using an anomaly cancellation condition of the target space duality symmetry, we derive allowable values of a level $k_1$ of U(1)$_Y$ for the minimal string model on the orbifolds through computer analyses. We investigate threshold corrections of the gauge coupling constants of SU(3), SU(2) and U(1)$_Y$ and examine consistencies of the model with the LEP experiments. Further we investigate what kinds of hidden sectors are consistent with the minimal string models. Also their gauge coupling constants of the hidden groups are estimated. We discuss Yukawa couplings of the models.

Abstract:
We present a systematic study of the constraints coming from target-space duality and the associated duality anomaly cancellations on orbifold-like 4-D strings. A prominent role is played by the modular weights of the massless fields. We present a general classification of all possible modular weights of massless fields in Abelian orbifolds. We show that the cancellation of modular anomalies strongly constrains the massless fermion content of the theory, in close analogy with the standard ABJ anomalies. We emphasize the validity of this approach not only for (2,2) orbifolds but for (0,2) models with and without Wilson lines. As an application one can show that one cannot build a ${\bf Z}_3$ or ${\bf Z}_7$ orbifold whose massless charged sector with respect to the (level one) gauge group $SU(3)\times SU(2) \times U(1)$ is that of the minimal supersymmetric standard model, since any such model would necessarily have duality anomalies. A general study of those constraints for Abelian orbifolds is presented. Duality anomalies are also related to the computation of string threshold corrections to gauge coupling constants. We present an analysis of the possible relevance of those threshold corrections to the computation of $\sin^2\theta_W$ and $\alpha_3$ for all Abelian orbifolds. Some particular {\it minimal} scenarios, namely those based on all ${\bf Z}_N$ orbifolds except ${\bf Z}_6$

Abstract:
We investigate the perturbative and non-perturbative correspondence of a class of four dimensional dual string constructions with N=4 and N=2 supersymmetry, obtained as Z_2 or Z_2 x Z_2 orbifolds of the type II, heterotic and type I string. In particular, we discuss the heterotic and type I dual of all the symmetric Z_2 x Z_2 orbifolds of the type II string, classified in hep-th/9901123. .

Abstract:
The capability of string theories to reproduce at low energy the observed pattern of quark and lepton masses and mixing angles is examined, focusing the attention on orbifold constructions, where the magnitude of Yukawa couplings depends on the values of the deformation parameters which describe the size and shape of the compactified space. A systematic exploration shows that for $Z_3$, $Z_4$, $Z_6$--I and possibly $Z_7$ orbifolds a correct fit of the physical fermion masses is feasible. In this way the experimental masses, which are low--energy quantities, select a particular size and shape of the compactified space, which turns out to be very reasonable (in particular the modulus $T$ defining the former is $T=O(1)$). The rest of the $Z_N$ orbifolds are rather hopeless and should be discarded on the assumption of a minimal $SU(3)\times SU(2)\times U(1)_Y$ scenario. On the other hand, due to stringy selection rules, there is no possibility of fitting the Kobayashi--Maskawa parameters at the renormalizable level, although it is remarked that this job might well be done by non--renormalizable couplings.

Abstract:
The moduli dependence of string loop threshold corrections to gauge coupling constants is investigated for those ${\bf Z}_N$ Coxeter orbifolds with the property that some twisted sectors have fixed planes for which the six-torus ${\bf T}_6$ can not be decomposed into a direct sum ${\bf T}_4 \bigoplus{\bf T}_2$ with the fixed plane lying in ${\bf T}_2.$

Abstract:
We study branes and open strings in a large class of orbifolds of a curved background using microscopic techniques of boundary conformal field theory. In particular, we obtain factorizing operator product expansions of open string vertex operators for such branes. Applications include branes in Z2 orbifolds of the SU(2) WZW model and in the D-series of unitary minimal models considered previously by Runkel.

Abstract:
${\bf Z}_2\times {\bf Z}_2$ Coxeter orbifolds are constructed with the property that some twisted sectors have fixed planes for which the six-torus can not be decomposed into a direct sum ${\bf T}^2\bigoplus{\bf T}^4 $ with the fixed plane lying in ${\bf T}^2$. The string loop threshold corrections to the gauge coupling constants are derived, and display symmetry groups for the $T$ and $U$ moduli that are subgroups of the full modular group $PSL(2,Z)$. The effective potential for duality invariant gaugino condensate in the presence of hidden sector matter is constructed and minimized for the values of the moduli. The effect of Wilson lines on the modular symmetries is also studied.

Abstract:
This paper summarizes several developments in string-derived (Minimal Supersymmetric) Standard Models. Part one reviews the first string model containing solely the three generations of the Minimal Supersymmetric Standard Model and a single pair of Higgs as the matter in the observable sector of the low energy effective field theory. This model was constructed by Cleaver, Faraggi, and Nanopoulos in the Z_2 x Z_2 free fermionic formulation of weak coupled heterotic strings. Part two examines a representative collection of string/brane-derived MSSMs that followed. These additional models were obtained from various construction methods, including weak coupled Z_6 heterotic orbifolds, strong coupled heterotic on elliptically fibered Calabi-Yau's, Type IIB orientifolds with magnetic charged branes, and Type IIA orientifolds with intersecting branes (duals of the Type IIB). Phenomenology of the models is compared. To appear in String Theory Research Progress, Ferenc N. Balogh, editor., (ISBN 978-1-60456-075-6), Nova Science Publishers, Inc.}

Abstract:
We consider worldsheet string theory on $Z_N$ orbifolds of $AdS_3$ associated with conical singularities. If the orbifold action includes a similar twist of $S^3$, supersymmetry is preserved, and there is a moduli space of vacua arising from blowup modes of the orbifold singularity. We exhibit the spectrum, including the properties of twisted sectors and states obtained by fractional spectral flow. A subalgebra of the spacetime superconformal symmetry remains intact after the $Z_N$ quotient, and serves as the spacetime symmetry algebra of the orbifold.