For you Simpsons fans out there, I like to think of myself as a hyperbolic topologist. The terminology comes from the following Professor Frink quote: "Well, it should be obvious to even the most dim-witted individual who holds an advanced degree in hyperbolic topology, that Homer Simpson has stumbled into... the third dimension!"

Research Interests

  • low-dimensional topology

  • mapping class groups; geometric and topological group theory

  • curve graphs; combinatorics

  • hyperbolic geometry; identities on hyperbolic manifolds

  • Riemann surfaces; Teichmüller theory (both finite- and infinite-dimensional)


  1. Justin Lanier and Nicholas G. Vlamis. Mapping class groups with the Rokhlin property. Math. Z. 302 (2022) 1343–1366. (journal | arXiv)

  2. Ara Basmajian and Nicholas G. Vlamis. There are no exotic ladder surfaces. Ann. Fenn. Math. 47 (2022), no. 2, 1007–1023. (journal | arXiv)

  3. Ara Basmajian, Hugo Parlier, and Nicholas G. Vlamis. Bounded geometry with no bounded pants decompsosition. Israel J. Math., to appear. (arXiv)

  4. David Fernández-Bretón, Nicholas G. Vlamis, and Mathieu Baillif. Ends of non-metrizable manifolds: a generalized bagpipe theorem. Topology Appl. 310 (2022), Paper No. 108017, 30pp. (journal | arXiv)

  5. Tarik Aougab, Priyam Patel, and Nicholas G. Vlamis. Isometry groups of infinite-genus hyperbolic surfaces. Math. Ann. 381 (2021), 459–498. (journal | arXiv)

  6. Nicholas G. Vlamis. Three perfect mapping class groups. New York J. Math. 27 (2021), 468474. (journal | arXiv)

  7. Federica Fanoni, Sebastian Hensel, and Nicholas G. Vlamis. Big mapping class groups acting on homology. Indiana Univ. Math. J. 70 (2021), no. 6, 2261–2294. (arXiv)

  8. Javier Aramayona, Priyam Patel, and Nicholas G. Vlamis. The first integral cohomology of pure mapping class groups. Int. Math. Res. Not. IMRN (2020), no. 22, 8973–8996. (journal | arXiv)

  9. Javier Aramayona and Nicholas G. Vlamis. Big mapping class groups: an overview. In Ken’ichi Ohshika and Athanase Papadopoulos, editors, In the Tradition of Thurston: Geometry and Topology, chapter 12, pages 459–496. Springer, 2020. (book | arXiv)

  10. Natalia Pacheco-Tallaj, Kevin Schreve, and Nicholas G. Vlamis. Thurston norms of tunnel number-one manifolds. J. Knot Theory Ramifications, 28 (2019), no. 9, 1950056. (journal | arXiv)

  11. Priyam Patel and Nicholas G. Vlamis. Algebraic and topological properties of big mapping class groups. Algebr. Geom. Topol. 18 (2018), no. 7, 41094142. (journal | arXiv)

  12. Jonah Gaster, Joshua Evan Greene, and Nicholas G. Vlamis. Coloring Curves on Surfaces. Forum Math. Sigma 6 (2018), e17. (journal | arXiv)

  13. Matthew Durham, Federica Fanoni, and Nicholas G. Vlamis. Graphs of curves on infinite-type surfaces with mapping class group actions. Ann. Inst. Fourier (Grenoble) 68 (2018), no. 6, 25812612. (journal | arXiv)

  14. Nicholas G. Vlamis and Andrew Yarmola. The Bridgeman-Kahn identity for hyperbolic manifolds with cusped boundary. Geom. Dedicata 194 (2018), 8197. (journal | arXiv)

  15. Ian Biringer and Nicholas G. Vlamis. Automorphisms of the compression body graph. J. London Math. Soc. (2) 95 (2017), no. 1, 94114. (journal | arXiv)

  16. Nicholas G. Vlamis and Andrew Yarmola. Basmajian identities in higher Teichmüller-Thurston theory. J. Topology 10 (2017), no. 3, 744764. (journal | arXiv)

  17. Nicholas G. Vlamis. Moments of a length function on the boundary of a hyperbolic manifold. Algebr. Geom. Topol. 15 (2015), no. 4, 19091929. (journal | arXiv)

  18. Nicholas G. Vlamis. Quasiconformal homogeneity and subgroups of the mapping class group. Michigan Math. J. 64 (2015), no. 1, 5375. (journal | arXiv)

(You can also see a list of all my publications/preprints on the arXiv here.)

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These are notes on the open problem session run by Priyam Patel and Nicholas Vlamis for the infinite-type surfaces group at the 2021 Nearly Carbon Neutral Geometric Topology conference. The notes have been typed by Yassin Chandran.

  • Notes on the topology of mapping class groups (pdf) [Updated 2/21/2020]

These notes stem from discussions at the AIM workshop "Surfaces of infinite type". In particular, they give proofs that big mapping class groups are not locally compact, not compactly generated, homeomorphic to the irrational numbers, and give an infinite family of mapping class groups that are generated by coarsely bounded sets (and hence have a well-defined quasi-isometry class).

Update 2/21/2020: Proposition 18 is now Conjecture 18 (and the following corollary was removed). An error was pointed out to me: please see document for a discussion. Also, added the new and very relevant reference to the paper "Large scale geometry of big mapping class groups" by Mann-Rafi. This paper supercsedes the section of the notes on coarse boundedness, but I still think the explicit examples given in the notes are valuable.

Other sources for this information: