Thomas Ng’s passion for studying geometric group theory stems from its rich structure, which unifies abstract algebraic concepts with geometric and topological ones. For his PhD in Mathematics at Temple University in Philadelphia, he focused on uniform exponential growth in a variety of important families of geometric groups, including hierarchically hyperbolic groups and groups acting cocompactly on cube complexes.
For his postdoctoral research at Technion–Israel Institute of Technology (already underway prior to becoming a Zuckerman scholar), Dr. Ng continues to examine which groups have uniform exponential growth. He is especially concerned with quantifying the dynamics of (often improper) actions on non-positively curved spaces.
Working with a wide range of collaborators and colleagues provides Dr. Ng with a perspective that helps guide his path as a mathematician. In this spirit, he organized student seminars and conferences at Technion and at Temple, many of which continue even after he has moved on. These led to his being awarded an Outstanding Service Award at Temple. Remarkably, he also received the Outstanding TA Award, after teaching many courses and participating in Project SOAR, where he redesigned a calculus course to increase student engagement and strengthen retention. All other SOAR participants were faculty members; Dr. Ng was the only TA.