A groupoid is a generalisation of group in which composition is only partially defined.
In first half of this talk, I will give an overview of groupoid theory and show how
groupoids provide a unifying model for a number of seemingly unrelated mathematical structures.
In the second half of the talk, I will give an overview of the theory
of Steinberg algebras. A Steinberg algebra is constructed from
an `ample' topological groupoid. Once again, these algebras
can be used to model a number of seemingly unrelated algebraic constructions.