I have been a graduate student at the University of Nebraska since the fall of 2012. I am an applied algebraist,
specializing in algebraic coding theory and graph theory.
My advisor is Judy Walker, and I have collaborated extensively with
my de facto co-advisor Katie Morrison
at the University of Northern Colorado.
I earned a BA in Math from Hope College in 2012 and an MS in Math from UNL in 2014.
My current research activities are in coding theory - the mathematics of reliable communication.
particular, I'm working on a graph-theoretic framework for understanding polar codes, but in general, I'm excited about the interplay of graph theory,
algebraic objects, and combinatorics, especially in the context of communication or information. I'm also interested in studying (and implementing!)
best practices in undergraduate math education.
Course development, including lesson plans, worksheets, and assessments, for College Algebra (Math 101)
Courses taught as teaching assistant:
Nebraska Math: Primarily Math (Math 800P)
Math Excel Recitation for Analytic Geometry and Calculus II (Math 107)
Recitations for Analytic Geometry and Calculus II (Math 107)
Publications and Talks:
Holistic Course Redesign - A Study from the Trenches (with A. Donsig)
(UNL Fall Symposium, November 2015)
N. Wakefield, J. Champion, J. Bolkema*, D. Dailey. Diagnostic Effects of an Early Mastery Activity in College Algebra and Precalculus
(Submitted, September 2015)
Primarily Math is one of many really excellent and non-standard opportunities offered at UNL.
It's a NebraskaMath program, part of a statewide partnership that exists to support and train in-service teachers of mathematics at all levels.
Here is a press release
about Brace Labs, the building that is now home to most of UNL's pre-calculus level courses. This building was
redesigned and remodeled over the summer of 2014 to facilitate active learning.
I really like teaching college algebra. There is a department-wide initiative happening to transform pre-calc at UNL, and it has made my job so much cooler and more interesting. I got to write lesson plans and mentor new instructors and watch students engage with mathematics in really exciting ways.
Math Club presentation on cryptography, coding theory, and code-based cryptography is here.
My not-strictly-mathematical interests include knitting, bread making, reading, running,
houseplant nurturing, film photography, speaking french, and playing cello.
I like hanging out in airports and hiking through the mountains.
As of mid 2017, I've completed five half-marathons.
The ultimate honor of my life: there was a SET tournament at NASIT
in 2014, and I emerged victorious.
My advisor won a fancy award, and someone made this nice
(Look for me and enjoy our very photogenic research meetings!)