Strings 2006

One more day of the Strings 2006 conference to go! It’s been a very intense conference, with many ideas and talks. I’ve gained some ideas which are at least somewhat related to things I’ve been thinking about, but I’m not sure how they’ll turn out.

I have been a little disappointed that there have been no “big picture” talks — string theory has had a slow year, and I would have been interested to hear what some of the big names were thinking about for the coming year. Though I suppose if anyone did have a big idea, they would have already published.

I’ve been contributing a little to Jonathan Shock’s very ambitious efforts to summarise proceedings at the conference, over at his blog. It’s turning into a useful reference (judging by his page hits, if nothing else), and it’s certainly be useful for me to review the talks. Though it is hard trying to write down succinct summaries of talks in other areas of string theory, especially when there are 5.5 hours of talks a day!

My apologies for the lack of updates otherwise. I’ve had limited time and internet access to keep things up to date. But I’ve been taking lots of photos, so will be posting them all when I get a better chance (possibly only when I get back to LA).

But in summary: the teaching English finished well, and the class seemed to be very happy with what they learned. I also made some new friends! Since then it’s been conference, with trips to the Great Wall and Summer Palace inbetween things. I have managed to pick up a little Chinese speaking and reading, and managed to direct a taxi between my accomodation and the conference hotel, using only Chinese and hand gestures. Tomorrow we leave on the overnight train, for the town of Xi’an, and the pure tourist part of the China trip.