Allison is the author or editor of several books, including Living Proof: Stories of Resilience Along the Mathematical Journey, A Mathematician's Practical Guide to Mentoring Undergraduate Research, and An Interactive Introduction to Knot Theory. She is a knot theory and games researcher, and she is the Editor of MAA FOCUS, the newsmagazine of the Mathematical Association of America. In 2015, she was honored to be a recipient of both the Mathematical Association of America's Henry L. Alder Award for excellence in teaching and the Halmos-Ford Award for expository excellence. She won the Halmos-Ford Award a second time, in 2020. Allison helped to establish and is currently an editor of the MAA Math Values Living Proof Blog.
Allison earned a B.S. in Mathematics and a B.A. in Philosophy at the University of Washington before completing a Ph.D. in Mathematics at Dartmouth College.
Allison currently holds the rank of Professor at Seattle University, where she has been on the faculty since 2009.