Jessica De Silva

NSF Graduate Research Fellow
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Department of Mathematics
Office: Avery 344

I am a fifth year graduate student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. My research area is combinatorics and graph theory, my advisor is Jamie Radcliffe.

I am an alumna of California State University, Stanislaus located in Turlock, CA.


I have had great math teachers throughout my childhood and this certainly influenced my choice to study mathematics. My goal in the classroom is to be approachable, engaging, and to have a contageous positive attitude towards mathematics. As a graduate student, I have had the pleasure of teaching some of the most dedicated, successful, and motivated students at the university. Below I note just some accomplishments of my students.

College Algebra Fall 2014

This was the first class I ever taught and I could not have asked for better students. I am most proud of this class for their Preliminary Mastery Exam (PME) performance. Only 1 of 38 students passed the in-class assessment, but by the end of the two week period 36/38 students had passed. Four outstanding athletes represented Husker swimming, women's basketball, track, and football. One student was accepted into the Honors program the following year and others have graduated or gone on to take Business Calculus, Trigonometry, and Calculus.

College Algebra Spring 2015

This class was a third of the size of the fall semester class, but the same amount of character. A member of the UNL rodeo team, a fashion design major, and a PGA golf management major was just some of the makeup of this brilliant class. One student had the opportunity to participate in a summer internship at the Moore Farms Botanical Garden (she blogged her experience here). Another recently began the nursing program at the University of Nebraska Medical Center after completing prerequisite courses at UNL. Our learning assistant graduated with his bachelor's in Engineering and entered a Ph.D. program in Mathematics Education the following year at the University of Maine.

Mathematical Modeling, Fall 2016

After a one year hiatis from teaching, I dove right back in with a class of almost forty future teachers. At 4PM these students ended their long day of classes with 75 minutes of mathematics, but their energy never dwindled. While becoming teachers is their goal, these students spend the rest of their time doing musical theater, running marathons, working at daycares, and playing in the UNL marching band. For most of them, this was their last semester before they started student teaching and it is great to hear that many of them have been accepted to student teach in the school districts of their choice.

Calculus 2, Spring 2017

For my last semester teaching at UNL, it was an honor to have taught a group of William H. Thompson Scholars. Although it is exciting to teach a class of scholars, I was even more excited to be teaching a group of future leaders in STEM of many backgrounds: male, female, hispanic, first generation, etc. (even a twin!) Their majors include computer science, agricultural engineering, mathematics education, and biological systems engineering. Never having been around so many aspiring engineers, it was exciting to hear that students were competing nationally as members of UNL engineering clubs. One student builds rockets for the UNL Aerospace Club and another builds dune buggies for the Husker Racing Team. The handful of undeclared students are narrowing down their field of interest and experimenting with teaching mathematics by being Learning Assistants for our department's pre-calculus courses. The future is bright for these students and I am looking forward to seeing how they will continue to shine!

Research Interests

You may find a list of papers in my CV at the top of this page.

  • Combinatorics
  • Graph Theory
  • Complexity
  • Coffee


Under construction...

Programs in Discrete Mathematics

The following are programs in discrete mathematics that I have had the privilege of participating in over the years.

Rocky Mountain-Great Plains Graduate Research Workshop in Combinatorics

Sao Paolo Coding School

Undergraduate Opportunities

Undergraduate education has been in the limelight recently and there are many programs out there for undergraduates to participate in. Here are just a few that I took part of as an undergraduate.

Summer Undergraduate Applied Mathematics Institute (SUAMI)

Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics

Mathematical Sciences Research Institute-Undergraduate Program

McNair Scholars Program

Other Opportunities

Some programs are for students in the inbetween stage of undergraduate and graduate school, while others are open to mathematicians in all stages of their career.


Institute for Advanced Studies Program for Women and Mathematics

Summer Academy for Math and Science (SAMS)