Mathematician Eugenia Cheng on the abstract wonder of category theory

Once thought too abstract, category theory has become remarkably pervasive in science, says mathematician and pianist Eugenia Cheng

Physics 23 October 2019

Eugenia Cheng

© Charlie JH Round-Turner, 2012

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 …

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