Abstract of the lecture by Jordan Ellenberg: Among the most fundamental tasks of mathematics, or science more generally, is to classify in order to understand what kinds of things there are in the world. And a particularly satisfying form of classification is when we can show that every complicated thing is built out of a much smaller set of simpler things. In chemistry we get this satisfaction from the periodic table; in mathematics we find it just about everywhere, from numbers to polynomials to curved surfaces to the work of the Alexanderson prize winners. I’ll give a tour of some of these “periodic tables” of mathematics and talk about the surprising relationship between them.
Video of the award ceremony and lecture