Ian Runnels (Virginia)

Abstract: Inspired by Ivanov's proof of the Tits alternative for mapping class groups via ping-pong on the space of projective measured laminations, Koberda showed that right-angled Artin subgroups of mapping class groups abound. We will outline an alternate proof of this fact using the hierarchy of curve graphs, which lends itself to effective computations and stronger geometric conclusions. Time permitting, we will also discuss some applications to the study of convex cocompact subgroups of mapping class groups.