Robert Tang

Robert Tang

Since September 2020, I am a lecturer (assistant professor) in pure mathematics at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University.

PhD Mathematics 2013, University of Warwick
BSc (Honours) 2008, University of Sydney

Research interests: Low-dimensional topology, geometric group theory, hyperbolic geometry, Teichmueller theory, dynamical systems

Email: robert (dot) tang (at) xjtlu (dot) edu (dot) cn


Previous positions

  • Postdoctoral Scholar, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, 2017 - 2020
  • Postdoctoral Scholar, University of Oklahoma, 2014 - 2017
  • Research Member, Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, Berkeley, California, Fall 2016
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, ICERM, Brown University, Fall 2013

Papers and Publications

My papers on the arXiv can be found here.

  1. Detecting danger in gridworlds using Gromov's Link Condition (with Thomas F Burns).
    Transactions on Machine Learning Research, December 2023, OpenReview.
  2. Large-scale geometry of the saddle connection graph (with Valentina Disarlo, Huiping Pan, and Anja Randecker).
    Transactions of the American Mathematical Society, Volume 374, Number 11, November 2021, pp 8101–8129. DOI: 10.1090/tran/8448.
  3. Affine diffeomorphism groups are undistorted.
    Journal of the London Mathematical Society, February 2021, Volume 104, Issue 2, pp 747-769, DOI: 10.1112/jlms.12445.
  4. Rigidity of the saddle connection complex (with Valentina Disarlo and Anja Randecker).
    Journal of Topology, September 2022, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 1248-1310, DOI: 10.1112/topo.12242.
  5. Cubical geometry in the polygonalisation complex (with Mark Bell and Valentina Disarlo).
    Mathematical Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, July 2019, Volume 167, Issue 1, pp. 1-22, DOI: 10.1017/S0305004118000130.
  6. Veech surfaces and simple closed curves (with Max Forester and Jing Tao).
    Israel Journal of Mathematics, February 2018, Volume 223, Issue 1, pp 323-342, DOI: 10.1007/s11856-017-1617-5.
  7. Shadows of Teichmüller discs in the curve graph (with Richard Webb).
    International Mathematics Research Notices, June 2018, Volume 2018, Issue 11, pp 3301–3341, DOI: 10.1093/imrn/rnw318.
  8. Projections in the curve complex arising from covering maps.
    Pacific Journal of Mathematics, August 2017, Vol. 291, No. 1, 213-239, DOI: 10.2140/pjm.2017.291.213.
  9. The curve complex and covers via hyperbolic 3-manifolds.
    Geometriae Dedicata, December 2012, Volume 161, Issue 1, pp 233-237, DOI: 10.1007/s10711-012-9703-7.


I was an organiser of the Geometric Group Theory in East Asia (GGTea) seminar which ran during 2020 - 2021.


  • Suzhou Science and Technology Programme: Gusu Young Innovative Talent Fund, 2022 - 2025
  • NSFC Young Scientists Fund, 2022 - 2024
  • JSPS KAKENHI Grant-in-Aid for Early-Career Scientists, 2019 - 2020