Stephan is Professor of Theoretical Physics at Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg (Germany).
Stephan got his Diploma in Physics in 1989, and his Ph.D. in Physics in 1991, both from Georg-August University Göttingen. He held scholarships from the "Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes", Germany's most prestigious organization sponsoring the academically gifted. After his Ph.D. he worked for three years in the software industry before he joined the faculty of Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg as a theoretical physicist. His research focuses on disordered systems in statistical mechanics, average case complexity of algorithms, networks problems, and parallel computing.
In 2000, he built one of the first Linux-Clusters in Germany for his numerical research.
This cluster was running until 2016 (with some hardware upgrades in between).
Stephan joined SFI as external faculty in 2007.
With SFI Professor Cristopher Moore, he is the author of The Nature of Computation from Oxford University Press.