Dr. Laura Taalman

Professor of Mathematics, James Madison University



3D printing and computational design


Current CV





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Spring 2023

Current teaching
MATH 232 – Calculus with Functions II
UNST 300 – rAnDomNEsS

Current collaborations
PatternPunchKnit.com, EMBARC proposal, forbidden graphs

Year two!
Haynes Scholars Residential Learning Community

Stuff I’m making
Knitknots, Catalan snaps, volume nets, knitting machine punch cards, secret project involving rectangles


Recent publications and events

2021 AMS Calendar

Perko Morph is Mr. March!

Catalogs for Mathematical 3D-Prints

Downloadable files, print-on-demand, and interactive 3D visualizations


Recent Publications

Recent peer-reviewed published articles

Modeling Dynamical Systems for 3D Printing

Stephen Lucas, Evelyn Sander, and Laura Taalman
Notices of the American Mathematical Society, Vol. 67, No.11, p. 1692-1705, 2020

Wallpaper Patterns for Lattice Designs

Laura Taalman and Carolyn Yackel
Proceedings of Bridges Aalto, p. 223-230, 2020

Optimizing Morton’s Tritangentless Knots for Rolling

Abigail Eget, Stephen Lucas, and Laura Taalman
Proceedings of Bridges Aalto, p. 367-370, 2020

Opportunity costs in the game of best choice

Madeline Crews, Brant Jones, Kaitlyn Myers, Laura Taalman, Michael Urbanski, and Breeann Wilson
Electronic Journal of Combinatorics, Vol. 26, Issue #1, 2019

Calculus with Functions I

MATH 231
*now online!*
STEM Calculus I with Precalculus

Discrete Mathematics and Introduction to Proof

MATH 245
Bridge course for the major



A blog about design, math, and failure

Cutting Knitting Machine Punch Cards with the Cricut Joy

Cutting Knitting Machine Punch Cards with the Cricut Joy 2016 1512 mathgrrl

In this post we’ll walk through the process of cutting knitting machine punch cards using the Cricut Joy mini craft cutter. The Joy is somehow *exactly* the right size for cutting directly onto blank machine punch cards! Well, almost… We will walk through the alignment and dimensioning process to make it all work out.

KH-260 Field Notes 2: Ribber Tube

KH-260 Field Notes 2: Ribber Tube 2016 1512 mathgrrl

This is part 2 of our notes as we work through the basics on a Brother KH-260 knitting machine. In part 1 we dusted off the machine and made a quick fair isle Trash Swatch. This time we’ll review how to get the ribber bed adjusted and lubricated, and then create a piece of circular knitting that is open on both ends.

KH-260 Field Notes 1: Trash Swatch

KH-260 Field Notes 1: Trash Swatch 2016 1512 mathgrrl

This is the first of a series of blog posts that will catalog our adventures with a Brother KH-260 knitting machine. We’ve set up the machine and know the basics of using it in various ways, but what now? In this “Field Notes” series we’ll share quick notes about what we learn as we go forward. Nothing fancy, just a day-to-day journal of what works and what doesn’t. Like everything we post here at Hacktastic, we’ll talk a lot about our failures and problems, since that is where learn the most!

Crochet Rainbow Blanket

Crochet Rainbow Blanket 2560 1920 mathgrrl

This very simple blanket pattern is great for using up yarn scraps (or to give you an excuse to purchase more yarn, let’s be honest). The pattern is very forgiving about yarn thickness, and gives you a chance to play with color transitions. The finished piece is comfy and casual. The holes are fun to push your fingers through, and make the blanket airy and cool. Based on the Vintage Vertical Stripe Crocheted Blanket Pattern from Bella Dia, except with two rows of each color and some attention to detail at the edges.

Space-Filling Terrazzo – Getting Started

Space-Filling Terrazzo – Getting Started 640 480 mathgrrl

This is the first in a series of posts about a space-filling riff on Tinna’s Terrazzo Afghan. Our design is going to start off looking like one of Tinna’s Terazzo squares, but it’s going to continue as a larger and larger square, with lots of different but “space-filling” patterns along the way. It won’t be ONE space-filling curve (sorry, math geeks), but it will fill space efficiently as we build the pattern out from the center.


Mathematical surface design for everyone

REINHARDT - Repeating stars and squares based on a Reinhardt tessellation of irregular pentagons
SIERPINSKI - Triangles in positive and negative space arranged to make randomly colored Sierpinski fractals


Taking Sudoku Seriously

The math behind the world’s most popular pencil puzzle

Taking Sudoku Seriously
This book uses the popular Sudoku craze as the starting point for a fun-filled introduction to higher mathematics

Taalman/Kohn Calculus

Flexible, modular textbooks for any classroom

Taalman/Kohn Calculus
A streamlined, structured exposition of calculus that combines the clarity of classic textbooks with a modern perspective and uncluttered design
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