Laura Taalman


Laura Taalman in South Africa

Laura Anne Taalman, also known as mathgrrl, is an American mathematician known for her work on the mathematics of Sudoku and for her mathematical 3D printing models. Her mathematical research concerns knot theory and singular algebraic geometry; she is a professor of mathematics at James Madison University.


Taalman earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of Chicago in 1994.[1] She completed her Ph.D. at Duke University in 2000; her dissertation, Monomial Generators for the Nash Sheaf of a Complete Resolution, was supervised by William L. Pardon.[1][2] On finishing her doctorate, she joined the James Madison faculty; she has also worked as the mathematician-in-residence at the National Museum of Mathematics in 2014–2015.[1]

3d printing

3D Printing and Mathematics models by Taalman

In 2013–2014, after becoming head of the 3d printing lab at James Madison University despite her inexperience with the subject, Taalman set out on a project of printing one 3d model per day. Her models have included subjects from mathematics including knots, fractals, and snap-together polyhedra.[3][4]


With Peter Kohn, Taalman is the author of a textbook Calculus.[5] She is also the author of a different text, Calculus I with Integrated Precalculus.

With Jason Rosenhouse (also a mathematics professor at James Madison University) she is the author of Taking Sudoku Seriously: The Mathematics Behind the World’s Most Popular Pencil Puzzle.[6] She has also written a series of Sudoku puzzle books with Philip Riley.[7]

Awards and honors

Taalman won the Trevor Evans Award of the Mathematical Association of America in 2003 for her work with Eugénie Hunsicker on the mathematics of Modular architecture.[8]

In 2005, Taalman won the Henry L. Alder Award for Distinguished Teaching by a Beginning College or University Mathematics Faculty Member, given by the Mathematical Association of America.[9]

Her book Taking Sudoku Seriously was the 2012 winner of the PROSE Awards in the popular science and popular mathematics category.[10]


  1. ^ a b c Curriculum vitae (PDF), January 2016, retrieved 2018-05-14
  2. ^ Laura Taalman at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  3. ^ Eskin, Blake (December 31, 2013), "Mathgrrl makes a 3d print a day", Makerbot Stories, Makerbot
  4. ^ Gonzalez, Sara Russell; Bennett, Denise Beaubien (2016), 3D Printing: A Practical Guide for Librarians, Rowman & Littlefield, pp. 35–36, ISBN 9781442255494
  5. ^ Review of Calculus:
    • Bóna, Miklós (March 2013), "Review", MAA Reviews
  6. ^ Reviews of Taking Sudoku Seriously:
    • Devlin, Keith (January 28, 2012), "The numbers game", The Wall Street Journal
    • Li, Aihua, Mathematical Reviews, MR 2859240{{citation}}: CS1 maint: untitled periodical (link)
    • Hunacek, Mark (January 2012), "Review", MAA Reviews
    • Bevan, David (November 2013), The Mathematical Gazette, 97 (540): 574–575, doi:10.1017/s0025557200000589{{citation}}: CS1 maint: untitled periodical (link)
    • Keedwell, Donald (February 2018), The Mathematical Gazette, 102 (553): 186–187, doi:10.1017/mag.2018.39{{citation}}: CS1 maint: untitled periodical (link)
  7. ^ Henle, Jim (2015), The Proof and the Pudding: What Mathematicians, Cooks, and You Have in Common, Princeton University Press, p. 56, ISBN 9781400865680
  8. ^ Simplicity is not simple, Mathematical Association of America, retrieved 2019-09-18
  9. ^ MathFest 2005 Prizes and Awards (PDF), Mathematical Association of America, retrieved 2018-05-14
  10. ^ "2012 Award Winners", PROSE Awards, Association of American Publishers, retrieved 2018-05-14

External links

  • Home page
  • Laura Taalman publications indexed by Google Scholar
  • Lamb, Evelyn (March 8, 2018), "Laura Taalman's Favorite Theorem", Roots of Unity, Scientific American
  • Lamb, Evelyn (April 24, 2015), "Mathematics, Live: A Conversation with Katie Steckles and Laura Taalman", Roots of Unity, Scientific American