Once thought too abstract, category theory has become remarkably pervasive in science, says mathematician and pianist Eugenia Cheng
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to be a mathematician, a pianist, a pastry chef, a newsreader, a Blue Peter presenter, be on a TV cooking show, be in a shampoo advert. I have managed to do some version of quite a few of these while mainly being a mathematician and pianist – apart from the shampoo advert.
Explain your work in one easy paragraph.
My research is in category theory, a branch of (very) abstract mathematics that is about understanding how it all works. I like to …