Computing the Six-Loop Divergence of 5D Planar N=4 Super Yang-Mills

A common criticism of the amplitudes field is that the constant push to higher and higher loops seems to have no plausible application. In this talk, I will describe a counterexample: a time when the string theory community had a question that could only be answered by calculating the six-loop divergence of five-dimensional N=4 super Yang-Mills. I will discuss the methods that made this calculation possible, generalized unitarity and sector decomposition. I will then move on to briefly survey some of the research directions that sprung up in the wake of the calculation.