In Toronto last year there was a nice talk by Albert de Roeck from CERN, about the LHC and how it could find signals of string theory like extra dimensions, mini black holes, and so on. This year B. Greene (not the author of The Elegant Universe) did the same with cosmology. In a very optimistic tone he said that stringy effects could be found first in cosmology rather than in particle physics. It is nice to see that some people are really worried about the gap between theory and experiment in string theory and are trying to fill the gap. It is really important that this sort of work be done since all experiments are dedicated and the experimentalists must know where to look.
Another very interesting talk was given by Staudacher. He gave a nice review about the status of anomalous dimensions in QCD and N=4 gauge theories, integrability and string theory. At the end he remarked that transcendentality may not be fundamental after all.
In the afternoon we went to the Great Wall. It is quite impressive. I can show you a picture but the real thing is much better.
In the evening we had Chinese opera. Very nice. Of course, most of the participants didnÂt understand the singers but the visual was magnificent.
On the commercial side, the Becker sisters and Cambridge were promoting their new book, co-authored with John Schwarz String Theory and M-Theory which will be released in November. There is a 20% discount for the conference participants which pre-order a copy. Also, there was a CUP stand during the first two days trying to sell specially string books. Today there was a stand of a bookshop selling CUP books which were specially produced for China. You could find Weinberg's book on QFT or Polchinski's book on string theory by about 10 dollar each volume. Who can compete with China in this way?
UPDATE: Dear Peter, see what happened with the alternative B. Greene in the next post: Day 4.
UPDATE: Dear S. Chan, I think prof. Yau is doing a great job in China. He participated in the solution of one of the greatest mathematical problems and brought two new institutes to China among other things. I have never attacked him. If fact I am surprised to know that China has such a tradition in mathematics. All this is very positive to science in China.