What's the difference between a continuous function and a Hermitian matrix? From the perspective of operator algebras, not much! Operator algebras is a branch of mathematics that is equal parts analysis and linear algebra, and operator algebraists spend a lot of time thinking about mathematical objects called C*-algebras. If you've taken a course in calculus, then you are already familiar with one example of a C*-algebra: the continuous functions on a closed interval [a,b]. If you've taken linear algebra, then you're familiar with another example: the nxn square matrices. In this talk I will introduce the definition of a C*-algebra by way of these examples, and show how each example can provide insights into the other.