In the brown-bag talk today, Victor Gorbenko (NYU) discussed the connection between string theory and QCD-like Yang–Mills theories. The connection is that strong nuclear forces (mediated by gluons) have field confined to thin tubes when quarks get widely separated; string theory seems like a fit. This is an old program which was abandoned a while ago, but Gorbenko and collaborators have shown that it might work, if you add to the string theory some additional axion-like particles.
In what little research time I got today, I organized thoughts and process for Yike Tang's (NYU) project to do weak lensing with hierarchical inference. By inferring the ellipticity distribution along with the local shear, he can potentially increase the angular resolution and signal-to-noise of any shear map just by software improvements alone (over standard practice).