Before I continue with brief descriptions of the laudationes, let me mention that Julie Rehmeyer has written descriptions of their work for a general audience and Terence Tao has now posted about the work of the Fields medallists and the other prizewinners. And as I have already said, the ICM website has links to the full texts of the laudationes themselves. So anybody now wanting to understand the mathematics has an excellent starting point, and I am free to concentrate on the more frivolous details of the talks, perhaps slipping in the odd mathematical comment as I do so.

Jim Arthur went next. His was the terrifying task (though much less terrifying for him than for most) of explaining the work of Ngô Bảo Châu to a general mathematical audience. I’d say that he did about as well as it is possible to do, which meant that he was able to convey some of the flavour, but obviously without managing to transmit to the non-expert the sort of wisdom tht it takes the experts in this particular area years to accumulate.

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