Bachelor of Science summa cum laude, Brooklyn College, 1949; Master of Arts, Harvard University, 1950; Doctor of Philosophy, Harvard University, 1953; Doctor of Philosophy (honorary), Stockholm U., 1978.
Currently, he is emeritus Ancell Professor of Physics at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts and a Senior Research Associate at California Institute of Technology. Deser earned his B.A. (Summa cum laude) in 1949 at Brooklyn College in New York, and his master's degree 1950 at Harvard, where he also earned his doctorate in 1953, with an article entitled "Relativistic Two Body Interactions". From 1953 to 1955, he was at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.
He was at the Niels Bohr Institute from 1955 to 1957, and a Lecturer at Harvard from 1957 to 1958. He was an Invited Professor at the Sorbonne during 1966-7 and 1971-2, he held a visiting professorship at All Souls College in Oxford in 1977, and a Loeb Lectureship at Harvard in 1975. In the context of general relativity, he developed, with Richard Arnowitt and Charles Misner, the ADM formalism, roughly speaking a way of describing spacetime as space evolving in time, which allows a recasting Einstein's theory in terms of a more general formalism used in physics to describe dynamical systems, namely the Hamiltonian formalism.
In the framework of that formalism, there is also a straightforward way to define globally quantities like energy or, equivalently, mass (so-called ADM mass/energy) which, in general relativity, is not trivial at all. With L. Abbott, Deser extended the notionof energy for gravity with a cosmological constant. And with Claudio Teitelboim he showed that supergravity has positive energy.
Another of Deser's research interests is covariant quantum gravity. Deser was in the forefront of applying the new formalism of covariant quantum field theory developed by Gerard 't Hooft and Martinus Veltman in the early 1970s. With Peter van Nieuwenhuizen he demonstrated the one loop nonrenormalizability of general relativity plus electromagnetism, plus Yang-Mills, plus Dirac fermions, and plus a cosmological constant.
The apparent impasse revealed by these efforts was partially overcome in 1976, following a strikingly independent approach from the contemporary work of Daniel Freedman, Sergio Ferrara and Peter van Nieuwenhuizen, when Deser and Bruno Zumino demonstrated that a spin 3/2 field can be added to general relativity to produce a consistent, locally supersymmetric theory called supergravity. In 2004, a conference in his honor was celebrated in Ann Arbor, Michigan. A conference in honor of Stanley Deser and the ADM collaborators was held in November 2009 at Texas A&M University on the 50th anniversary of their research.
Fellow NAS, American Physical Society, Institute Physics (Dannie Heineman prize in mathematics physics 1994), American Academy Arts and Sciences.