The ICMP started today in Rio de Janeiro. I was surprised by the first talk given by W. Werner. It was about critical phenomena in 2D. He illustrated very well what he was saying by using percolation of hexagonal cells. He also talked about Brownian loops and mentioned the theorems he is associated with. Of course, everything has conformal invariance, so life is a bit easier. The second talk was about the classification of the irreducible representations of chiral conformal theories with c<1 using algebraic quantum field theory. It was given by Y. Kawahigashi. A very impressive piece of work.

There was a parallel session on strings theory. Chris Hull gave a very clear talk on nongeometrical string backgrounds. It is a clever way of implementing dualities. Pierre Vanhove talked about hypermultiplet couplings in N=2 sugra and Mina Aganagic on topological strings, monodromy and modular forms.

Tonight Lisa Randall is supposed to give a public lecture. The presentations will be online only after the conference is over. As usual because mathematicians are slower.

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