Welcome to Jessica K. Sklar's Home Page!

Professor of Mathematics
Department of Mathematics • Pacific Lutheran University • Tacoma, WA• (253) 535-8341 • sklarjk@plu.edu


I will not be answering my office phone or occupying my office during Fall 2020.
My office will take place in this Zoom session; all office hour visits should be scheduled using my You Can Book Me calendar.
If you are not available during my office hours, you may contact me to arrange an alternate appointment time.
You may also email me questions at any time at sklarjk@plu.edu.

PLU has established the Center for Student Success to serve as a campus-wide network of units dedicated to helping students succeed. There you can find out about academic advising and degree planning; tutoring and assignment help; career and vocation planning; help for personal health and wellness; financial services; and many affinity group connections. You can also visit the Academic Assistance page to find information about drop-in tutoring labs and to make individual tutoring appointments.

I am teaching the following Fall 2020 classes.

Math 331
Linear Algebra
Section 1; Section 2
Math 499A
Capstone: Senior Seminar I
Math 499B
Capstone: Senior Seminar II

For a complete list of classes I've taught, see my cv.


My scholarship is in the areas of abstract algebra, recreational math, math and popular culture, and math and art.


Current and recent projects

I am currently involved in the Mathemalchemy project: twenty-three mathematicians and artists, under the leadership of mathematician Ingrid Debauchies and artist Dominique Ehrmann, are working together to create a large multimedia art installation that celebrates the creativity and beauty of mathematics.


I also recently had two chapters, "''Elegance in design’: mathematics and the works of Ted Chiang" and " 'Bok bok': exploring the game of Chicken in film” (with Jennifer F. Nordstrom) published in the Handbook of the Mathematics of the Arts and Sciences (ed. Bharath Sriraman. Springer International Publishing, Cham. 2020).


Older projects

I have coedited/written a couple of books.

The first is an open source textbook, First-Semester Abstract Algebra: A Structural Approach. It is specifically designed to suit a single-semester introductory abstract course, rather than to be a comprehensive reference source. The book is written in PreTeXt (formerly known as MathBook XML), and copyrighted under a GNU Free Documentation License (v. 1.3). If you want to use it for a course, feel free to do so under the terms of the license; you can access it in HTML form by clicking on its title (above), and you may email me at sklarjk@plu.edu if you wish to obtain a copy of it as a PDF. You can also purchase a paperback copy of the book from Lulu. Finally, if you would like to have my PreTeXt files so you can adapt them for your own needs, you may clone them from the GitHub repository sklarjk/aaptx. The book is a work in progress, so if you find errors or have suggestions, please let me know!

My other book is a collection of essays on mathematics and popular culture. It is available as a paperback or as an eBook. You can buy it from the publisher, McFarland & Co., or at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.

pop culture book cover

For a complete list of my publications and professional presentations, please see my cv.

A Little Bit About Me

I received my Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Oregon in June, 2001, under the guidance of Professor Frank Anderson, and couldn't have been happier with my choices of school and advisor. My current research interests lie in the areas of abstract algebra and the popularizing of mathematics. I received my B.A. in Mathematics and English from Swarthmore College back in 1995, and obtained my Master's degree in Mathematics from the University of Oregon in 1997.

Last significant update: 27 September 2020.