My name is Dana Ernst and I am an assistant professor in the Mathematics Department at Plymouth State University in Plymouth, NH. My primary research interests are in the interplay between combinatorics and algebraic structures. More specifically, I study the combinatorics of Coxeter groups and their associated Hecke algebras, Kazhdan--Lusztig theory, generalized Temperley--Lieb algebras, diagram algebras, and heaps of pieces. By employing combinatorial tools such as diagram algebras and heaps of pieces, one can gain insight into algebraic structures associated to Coxeter groups, and, conversely, the corresponding structure theory can often lead to surprising combinatorial results. I am also very passionate about mathematics education. I am an avid cyclist and rock climber and also enjoy hikes with the family and drinking copious amounts of coffee.