**Title****:** Exceptional splitting of abelian surfaces.

**Abstract****:** An abelian surface 'splits' if it admits a non-trivial map to some elliptic curve. It is well known that the set of abelian surfaces that split are sparse in the set of all abelian surfaces. Nevertheless, we prove that there are infinitely many split abelian surfaces in arithmetic one-parameter families of generically non-split abelian surfaces. I will describe this work, and if time permits, mention generalizations of this result to the setting of K3 surfaces, as well as applications to the dynamics of hecke orbits. This is joint work with Tang, Maulik-Tang, and Shankar-Tang-Tayou.