Dr. Laura Taalman

Professor of Mathematics, James Madison University



3D printing and computational design


Current CV





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Spring 2022

Current teaching
MATH 103 – The Nature of Mathematics
MATH 232 – Calculus with Functions II
MATH 297 – Undergraduate Research in Knot Theory

Current collaborations
Spatial graphs, Celtic knots, karst modeling, wave function collapse design

New this fall!
Haynes Scholars Residential Learning Community

Stuff I’m making
Catalan snaps, volume nets, knots and graphs, knitting machine punch cards, secret project involving squares


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

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.

Electoral State Stackers

Electoral State Stackers 2016 1512 mathgrrl

I haven’t been stress-printing before the election, YOU have. Well, maybe you will after this post, at least. Fire up your 3D printer(s) because there are dozens of things you need to print before Tuesday, including each of the 50 states (and DC, which has 3 electoral votes), sized to each have approximately the same area, with heights determined by number of electoral votes.

10 Quick Tips for Building an Interactive Math Course in Canvas

10 Quick Tips for Building an Interactive Math Course in Canvas 1906 1452 mathgrrl

Fall semester is coming and you’re teaching online… let’s pause for a small scream 😭

Next year we’ll all be experts and there will be no end of talks, papers, and blog posts that we can use to figure out what to do. But right now we need the quick and dirty. What can we do NOW, and fast, to make our online math course content more interactive and engaging? If you’re getting ready to teach math online and your school’s LMS is Canvas, here are 10 quick tips to get you rolling.

Fitted Face Mask for People Who Aren’t Great at Sewing

Fitted Face Mask for People Who Aren’t Great at Sewing 2560 1920 mathgrrl

Over the past weeks I’ve iterated mask designs many times, acquired a bunch of sewing supplies, and learned from a lot of online patterns and videos. This mask design has a sewn-in nose wire, elastic loops that go all the way around your head, a filter sewn inside the mask, and minimal exposed seams. It’s washable and reversible, so you can decide which side is the outside after you’re done sewing it, or each time you wash it.

Using LaTeX with the New Canvas Quiz Engine

Using LaTeX with the New Canvas Quiz Engine 800 601 mathgrrl

Okay. Deep breath. It’s time to start figuring out how to teach online… I mean, how to do Actually Do It Well, not just as an emergency solution thrown together over a frenzied and sleepless week. There is a lot to work to do, so let’s start with something small: online math quizzes. In this post we’ll walk through how to use LaTeX typesetting in both the new and legacy Canvas quiz engines.


Mathematical surface design for everyone

REINHARDT - Repeating stars and squares based on a Reinhardt tessellation of irregular pentagons
GRADIENT - Concentric squares with a continuous gradient illusion created by just six color values


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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