Abstract:
This article surveys some of the highlights in the development of string theory through the first superstring revolution in 1984. The emphasis is on topics in which the author was involved, especially the observation that critical string theories provide consistent quantum theories of gravity and the proposal to use string theory to construct a unified theory of all fundamental particles and forces.

Abstract:
An SL(2, Z) family of string solutions of type IIB supergravity in ten dimensions is constructed. The solutions are labeled by a pair of relatively prime integers, which characterize charges of the three-form field strengths. The string tensions depend on these charges in an SL(2, Z) covariant way. Compactifying on a circle and identifying with eleven-dimensional supergravity compactified on a torus implies that the modulus of the IIB theory should be equated to the modular parameter of the torus.

Abstract:
This talk is divided into two parts. The first part reviews some of the duality relationships between superstring theories. These relationships are interpreted as providing evidence for the existence of a unique underlying fundamental theory. The second part describes my recent work on the SL(2,Z) duality group of the type IIB superstring theory in ten dimensions and its interpretation in terms of a possible theory of supermembranes in eleven dimensions.

Abstract:
A recent result concerning interacting theories of self-dual tensor gauge fields in six dimensions is generalized to include coupling to gravity. The formalism makes five of the six general coordinate invariances manifest, whereas the sixth one requires a non-trivial analysis. The result should be helpful in formulating the world-volume action of the M theory five-brane.

Abstract:
T duality expresses the equivalence of a superstring theory compactified on a manifold K to another (possibly the same) superstring theory compactified on a dual manifold K'. The volumes of K and K' are inversely proportional. In this talk we consider two M theory generalizations of T duality: (i) M theory compactified on a torus is equivalent to type IIB superstring theory compactified on a circle and (ii) M theory compactified on a cylinder is equivalent to SO(32) superstring theory compactified on a circle. In both cases the size of the circle is proportional to the -3/4 power of the area of the dual manifold.

Abstract:
Superstring theory, and a recent extension called M theory, are leading candidates for a quantum theory that unifies gravity with the other forces. As such, they are certainly not ordinary quantum field theories. However, recent duality conjectures suggest that a more complete definition of these theories can be provided by the large N limits of suitably chosen U(N) gauge theories associated to the asymptotic boundary of spacetime.

Abstract:
In the strong coupling limit type IIA superstring theory develops an eleventh dimension that is not apparent in perturbation theory. This suggests the existence of a consistent 11d quantum theory, called M theory, which is approximated by 11d supergravity at low energies. In this review we describe some of the evidence for this picture and some of its implications.

Abstract:
The generalized Stieltjes transform (GST) is an integral transform that depends on a parameter $\rho > 0$. In previous work a convenient form of the inverse transformation was derived for the case $\rho = 3/2$. This paper generalizes that result to all $\rho > 0$. It is a well-known fact that the GST can be formulated as an iterated Laplace transform, and that therefore its inverse can be expressed as an iterated inverse Laplace transform. The form of the inverse transform derived here is a one-dimensional integral that is considerably simpler.

Abstract:
The first part of this report gives a very quick sketch of how string theory concepts originated and evolved during its first 25 years (1968-93). The second part presents a somewhat more detailed discussion of the highlights of the past decade. The final part discusses some of the major problems that remain to be solved.

Abstract:
This paper is a sequel to one in which we examined the affine symmetry algebras of arbitrary classical principal chiral models and symmetric space models in two dimensions. It examines the extension of those results in the presence of gravity. The main result is that even though the symmetry transformations of the fields depend on the gravitational background, the symmetry algebras of these classical theories are completely unchanged by the presence of arbitrary gravitational backgrounds. On the other hand, we are unable to generalize the Virasoro symmetries of the flat-space theories to theories with gravity.