Matroid theory is a combinatorial theory of independence which has its origins in linear algebra and graph theory, and turns out to have deep connections with many other fields. With time, the geometric roots of the field have grown much deeper, bearing many new fruits.
Optimization and algebraic geometry, in particular, have provided very useful geometric models for matroids. These models have played a central role in the development of fascinating mathematics, and in the solution to long-standing questions. This talk will survey some recent successes.
I will discuss the work of many researchers, including my joint work with Caroline Klivans and with Graham Denham and June Huh. I will assume no previous knowledge of matroids.