Higher Structures @ Centre international de rencontres mathématiques (CIRM), Luminy
Configuration spaces consist of tuples of pairwise distinct points in a given space. Studying the homotopy type of configuration spaces of manifolds is a classical problem in algebraic topology. In this talk, I will explain how to use the theory of operads - more precisely, Kontsevich’s proof of the formality of the little disks operads - to obtain results on the real homotopy type of configuration spaces of simply connected closed smooth manifolds. I will also talk about generalizations and applications: manifolds with boundary, framed configuration spaces, factorization homology, and work in progress on complements of submanifolds.