Trisections of 4-manifolds

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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. In both cases, one understands a manifold by examining the ways that standard building blocks can be put together. They both also have the advantage of changing problems about manifolds into problems about diagrams of curves on surfaces. This talk will be a relaxed introduction to these decompositions.