Dr Vanessa Robins

Dr Vanessa Robins
Department of Applied Mathematics
Office phone
Cockcroft 4 64

Research interests

My main research interest is in computational topology and geometry. I work on the underlying mathematics, algorithms, and applications to scientific problems. 

My PhD thesis (2000) explored the mathematical foundations for computing topological information from data. 

Take a look at EPINET: a web database of periodic network structures. 

The hyperbolic crystallography of the cubic genus-3 triply periodic minimal periodic surfaces is here

A link to diamorse: a code package for topological data analysis of digital images.  Diamorse wil compute a discrete Morse vector field, topologically dual skeletons and partitions, and persistent homology from 2D and 3D greyscale image data. 


I'm co-organiser of the second workshop for Women in Computational Topology, being held at ANU from 1st-5th July 2019.  The first day is open to all.  



I'm actively seeking outstanding Honours and PhD students to conduct projects in applied geometry and topology.  See the Available projects tab and contact me for further details.   

I supervise a few undergraduate research projects each year.  Recent examples include "Investigating the relationship between curvature and deflection of thin sheets", "Symmetries of graphs on surfaces", "Polyhedral models of periodic minimal surfaces" with advanced studies students from Physics, Mathematics, and Engineering. 

I lecture one-third of PHYS 3032: Condensed Matter Physics, covering the basic principles of crystallography, x-ray diffraction, and thermal properties of lattices. 

Grants and awards

ARC Future Fellow 2014-2019  Topological data analysis for enhanced modelling of the physical properties of complex micro-structured materials. 


I've worked with five artists in residence from the ANU School of Art under the ANU Vice-Chancellor's College Artist Fellowship scheme: Erica SeccombeJulie BrookeAl Munroe, Susan Buret, Alex Gillespie. 

Erica and I published an essay "3D X-ray art" about the techniques used in her work in the Australian Physics magazine, Jan 2015. 


BSc (Hons I and University Medal) in Mathematics, ANU (1994)

MSc, PhD in Applied Mathematics, University of Colorado, Boulder (2000)

ScienceWise research articles

ScienceWise Magazine - Knots and networks
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