Tamara Veenstra

Professor, Math/Compt Science
Math & Computer Science

Tamara Veenstra


P: 909.748.8634
E: tamara_veenstra@redlands.edu

Professor, Math/Computer Science

Office: Math and Computer Science, Appleton Hall #221

Phone: 909/748-8634 Campus Ext. 8634



Academic Interests and Areas of Expertise

  • Number Theory
  • Cryptography and Communications Security
  • Mathematical Origami

Professional Background

My favorite flavor of mathematics is number theory. I began my number theory career studying Siegel modular forms and their related L-functions in my PhD thesis from Dartmouth College. More recent interests in number theory include cryptography and communications security. I am also interested in the mathematics underlying origami designs. I enjoy developing new courses to excite students about interesting and, sometimes unexpected, topics. I have designed mathematical courses in origami and cryptography, and first year seminars in historical cryptography and exploring fantasy novels. I am especially interested in developing materials to encourage active learning both in and out of the classroom and creating and using interactive software to allow students to explore mathematical results.

Courses Offered

  • Mathematics of Origami
  • Mathematics of Cryptography
  • Magical Realms: An Exploration of Fantasy Novels
  • Secret History: A Study of Secret Messages in History, Literature and Culture
  • Calculus I, II, and III
  • Discrete Mathematics
  • Number Theory and History of Mathematics
  • Geometry
  • Complex Analysis
  • Real Analysis
  • Abstract Algebra
  • Senior Seminar

Degrees Held

  • Ph.D. Mathematics, June 1997, Dartmouth College
  • A.M. Mathematics, June 1994, Dartmouth College
  • B.S. Mathematics, May 1992, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Previous Teaching Experience

University of Northern Iowa, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, 1997-2001

Recent Awards, Honors and Grants

Virginia Hunsaker Innovative Teaching Award, 2018

Faculty Technology Grant Recipient, for “Technology Support to Enhance Online Learning in Calculus I”, University of Redlands President’s Task Force for Digital and Online Learning, Spring 2015.

Faculty Research Grant, for “Historical Cryptology Research Trip”, University of Redlands, 2014.

Recent Publications and Presentations

Alan Turing and his Contributions to Cryptology, AMS/MAA National Meetings, Atlanta, Georgia, January 2017.

"Do the Twist! (on polygon-base boxes)," with s-m belcastro, College Mathematics Journal, November 2016, Vol 47, No 5, pp. 341-345.

Cryptology By Discovery: Favorite Inquiry-Based Activities, AMS/MAA National Meetings, San Antonio, Texas, January 2015.

Investigating the Mathematics of Folding Regular-Polygon-Base Boxes. AMS/MAA National Meetings, San Antonio, Texas, January 2015.

Paper folding, Orders of Elements, and Binary Representations of Fractions, MAA invited paper session, AMS/MAA National Meetings, San Francisco, CA, January 2010.

"Fujimoto, Number Theory, and a New Folding Technique," Origami4: Proceedings of the Fourth International Meeting of Origami Science, Mathematics, and Education, AK Peters, Natick, MA, 2009, pp. 405-415.

"Constructing Regular n-gonal Twist Boxes, with s-m belcastro," Origami4: Proceedings of the Fourth International Meeting of Origami Science, Mathematics, and Education, AK Peters, Natick, MA, 2009, pp. 41-49.

How a Mathematician Looks at Origami and Finds Prime Numbers, invited speaker, AAAS National Conference, Chicago IL, February 2009.

The Vigenere Cipher: A Historical Cipher with a Modern Day Application, AMS/MAA National Meetings, Washington DC, January 2009.