Patrick Naylor, Department of Pure Mathematics, University of Waterloo
"Trisections of 4-manifolds"
Trisections were introduced by Gay and Kirby in 2013 as a way to study 4-manifolds. They are similar in spirit to a common tool in a lower dimension: Heegaard splittings of 3-manifolds. These both have the advantage of changing problems about manifolds into problems about combinatorics of curves on surfaces. This talk will be a relaxed introduction to these decompositions. Time permitting, we will talk about some recent applications.