Welcome to Jessica K. Sklar's Home Page!

Professor of Mathematics
Department of Mathematics • Pacific Lutheran University • Tacoma, WA 98447-0003
Office: MCLT 253
Phone: (253) 535-8341


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


Are you scared of math? You don't have to be!

My office is Room 253 in the Morken Center.

My Spring 19 office hours are MWF 2– 3 pm, and by appointment.
You may also email me questions at any time at sklarjk@plu.edu.
(You will likely reach me more quickly via email than via the phone.)

Also, PLU has recently 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 Introduction to Calculus (MATH 151) in Spring 19. For a complete list of classes I've taught, see my cv.

A Little Bit About Me

I am Chair of the Mathematics Department and Associate Professor of Mathematics at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA. 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.


My research is in the areas of abstract algebra and the popularizing of mathematics (e.g., examining the intersections of math and art). An ongoing collaborative math-art project of mine is The Ideal Vacuum. Care to see my curriculum vitae?

Last significant update: 24 January 2019.