I am a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, working with Dr. Alex Zupan and Dr. Mark Brittenham. I earned my B.A. in mathematics from Willamette University, and my M.A. in mathematics from UNL. For more details, here is my CV.
Starting in Fall 2020, I will be a Lecturer at Christopher Newport University.


For more information on my experiences and views on teaching, here is my teaching statement.
  • Linear Algebra. Course materials for students can be found on Canvas.
  • Calculus III (Fall 2018, Fall 2019)
  • (TA) Calculus III (Fall 2019)
  • (TA) Differential Equations (Spring 2019). This involved working with other instructors to co-develop curriculum to be used in a weekly recitation session.
  • Associate Convenor for College Algebra and Trigonometry (AY 2017-2018). Responsible for coordinating 4 (spring) - 12 (fall) sections of Math 103, writing quizzes, improving curriculum, making decisions regarding grading, and running weekly course meetings with all of the instructors.
  • College Algebra and Trigonometry (Fall 2016, Fall 2017)
  • (TA) Mini-Course: An Introduction to Knotted Surfaces in Four-Space (Summer 2017). This mini-course was a part of the Southeast Undergraduate Mathematics Workshop at Georgia Tech.
  • (TA) Mini-Course: An Introduction to Knot Theory (Summer 2017). This mini-course was a part of All Girls/All Math, a summer camp for high school girls at UNL.
  • Geometry Matters (Spring 2017). This is a course for elementary education majors.
  • Contemporary Mathematics (Summer 2016)
  • College Algebra (Fall 2015, Spring 2016)
  • (TA) Calculus II (Fall 2014, Summer 2015)
  • (TA) Calculus I (Spring 2015)


I am interested in low-dimensional topology and geometric topology, particularly trisections of smooth 4-manifolds. Trisection diagrams for (from left to right) T2xS2, S2x(T2#T2), T2xT2, and S2xT2 are displayed at the top of the page; each of these comes from an algorithmic construction I developed for trisecting closed orientable surface bundles over surfaces. For more details, here is my research statement.

Invited Talks:

Contact Information

  • Department of Mathematics
    University of Nebraska - Lincoln
    232 Avery Hall
    P.O. Box 880130
    Lincoln, NE 68588
  • marla[dot]williams[at]huskers[dot]unl[dot]edu