University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Funda Gültepe

Visiting Assistant Professor
Department of Mathematics
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
1409 W. Green Street (MC-382)
Urbana, Illinois 61801-2975

Office: 24 Illini Hall
Phone: (217) 244-7297
Fax:  (217) 333-9576


I am a visiting assistant professor at UIUC and my mentors are Chris Leininger and Ilya Kapovich . Before coming to UIUC, I was a student of Kasra Rafi .

From Fall 2017 through Fall 2018 I will be a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Luxembourg under the direction of Hugo Parlier.
On August 2018 I will join the faculty of Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Toledo.


My research interests are in intersections of low dimensional topology and Geometric Group Theory with emphasis on Out(F_n) and mapping class groups.
More specifically, I am interested in the geometry of Out(F_n) and dynamical properties of the outer automorphisms, subgroup structure of Out(F_n), geometry of the Outer Space and of the simplicial complexes associated with Out(F_n), and developing topological and combinatorial methods for these purposes.

My research papers:

  • Normal tori in #_n( S^2xS^1),in Topology and its Applications.vol160,issue8., also in arxiv.
  • Fully irreducible automorphisms of the free group via Dehn twisting in #_k( S^2xS^1), (To appear in Algebraic and Geometric Topology) updated preprint.
  • The video of this talk.
  • An arc graph distance formula for the flip graph , with Chris Leininger . (To appear in Proceedings of AMS) Preprint in arxiv.
  • A combination type construction of fully irreducibles, First draft: PDF
  • Relative twisting numbers and a distance formula for geometric outer automorphisms of the free group, with Yulan Qing and Kasra Rafi (In preparation)
  • A Cannon-Thurston map for boundary of the survival curve complex, with Christopher J. Leininger and Witsarut Pho-on. (In preparation)
  • Hyperbolicity and relative hyperbolicity of Aut(F_n) complexes, with Ursula Hamenstädt (in preparation).


  • Fundamental Mathematics, MATH 347
  • Introduction to Differential Equations, MATH 285
  • Fundamental Mathematics, MATH 347
  • Applied Complex Variables, MATH 446
  • Calculus MATH 241
  • Calculus, MATH 231

  • IAS women and math program, research seminar talk, May 2017.
    Video of the talk
  • University of Toledo, Colloquium, April 2017
  • Rice University topology Seminar, April 2017
  • Lightning talk, Georgia Institute of Technology, December 11, 2016
  • Constructing generic elements of $\Out(F_n)$. MSRI, Post-doc seminar. October 14, 2016.
  • An arc graph distance formula for the flip graph, Geometry Seminar, Indiana University Bloomington, IN, April 7, 2016
  • Lightning talk, Georgia Institute of Technology, December 2015
  • GGD day, Purdue,Nov. 21 2015
  • Geometric and Probabilistic methods in group theory and dynamical systems conference, Texas A&M, College Station, November 9-12, 2015
  • Slides from the talk
  • Spring topology and Dynamics conference, Bowling Green, April 2015
  • Slides from the talk
  • University of Oklahoma Geometry and topology seminar talk, March 2015
  • UIUC Group Theory seminar talk,
  • Spring 2015. video of the talk.
  • Young Geometric Group theory in the Midwest Workshop,
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison, November 1, 2014.
  • UIUC Group Theory seminar talk,
  • Fall 2014.
  • Essential tori and subgroups of Out(F_n) generated by twists.
  • Spring Topology and Dynamics Conference, CCSU, Connecticut. March 23-25, 2013.
  • Essential tori and subgroups of Out(F_n) generated by twists.
  • G3 conference, South Padre Island, Texas March 21-24, 2013.
  • Subgroups of Out(F_n) generated by two Dehn twist automorphisms. Brown University, January 30, 2013
  • Essential Tori and subgroups of Out(F_n)
  • Cool down week for automorphisms of free groups, CRM, Barcelona. November 19-23, 2012.
  • Essential Tori and Dehn Twists in Outer Space
  • Redbud Topology Conference, Norman, Oklahoma November 3-4, 2012.
  • Dehn Twists in Outer Space
  • Topology Students workshop, Atlanta, Georgia June 10-15, 2012.
  • Normal spheres and Normal Tori in #_n( S^2xS^1)
  • OSU Workshop on the Torelli group, Mapping class group, and Out(Fn), Columbus, Ohio May 2-6, 2011.