When Gromov defined non-positively curved cube complexes no one knew what they would be useful for.
Decades latex they played a key role in the resolution of the Virtual Haken conjecture.
In one of the early forays into experimenting with cube complexes, Aitchison, Matsumoto, and Rubinstein produced some nice results about certain "cubed" manifolds, that in retrospect look very prescient.
I will define non-positively curved cube complexes, what it means for a 3-manifold to be cubed, and discuss what all this Haken business is about.
- Junior Topology and Group Theory Seminar